Interview with our designer Sunny

Sunny is the newest recruit to the Castlegate IT team, a graphic designer with experience in branding, print, and web design. We sat down with him over a coffee to find out a bit more about him.

So first off, tell us a bit about your background
I’ve been living in York for five years, and been working in the industry for around 11 years. At my first job I was doing a lot of press advertising, mainly stuff for national car dealerships and a couple of the big supermarkets. When the time came for a new challenge, I got a job at a boutique branding and digital agency. Their focus was mainly the health and beauty industry but they also worked with recruitment agencies and restaurants.  Many of their clients were start ups who needed everything – identity, logos, website, brochures and signage. This gave me a good insight into the bigger picture of how the creative would translate across multiple media. I also worked on rebrands and brand refreshes and was lucky enough to do some work for some of the international Big Pharma firms meaning my work was seen by a global audience.

The Factory. Poster 1978 Peter Saville
The Factory. Poster 1978 Peter Saville

What was it that attracted you to graphic design as a profession?
Visual communication is something that has always appealed to me. At school I loved designing posters, but a careers advisor told me ‘making posters’ wasn’t a job! This lead me to enrol on a marketing course at Huddersfield University. After the first year I realised that it wasn’t exactly right for me, but it did expose me to the wider options available in higher education. I left uni (much to the panic of my parents), took a year off and enrolled at college the following September on a two year Graphic Design and Photography course to help me build up a strong portfolio. I immediately felt this was the right thing for me and loved my time at college, then it was onto Manchester Met Uni to complete a course in Design and Art Direction.

Eye Bee M (IBM). Poster 1981 Paul Rand
Eye Bee M (IBM). Poster 1981 Paul Rand

We know your background is multi-disciplinary working in print, digital and branding, do you have a preference? 
Not really, I enjoy the whole creative process. I enjoy creating the identity, then seeing that identity coming to life through the other pieces of collateral, whether that be a printed brochure, website or a mobile application. Starting with a blank page and seeing the whole picture build up through the typography, colours, imagery, and interactions is the thing I enjoy most.

Could you tell me a bit more about your process when it comes to branding?
Firstly I like to have a direct conversation with the client to really pick their brains about the aims and objectives of the project, their company and their specific industry. Then I’ll go and do my own research – I’ll look at their industry as a whole, then study their competitors to see what we could do better and how we can really make our client stand out. I’ll already be sketching out a few ideas (probably even in the initial meeting) but after the research phase I’ll really start to get some concepts down. Once I’m satisfied with my sketching, I’ll take a few of the concepts into a more finished visual that I can then show to the client and discuss. I’ll look to integrate any client feedback before producing final visuals ready for sign off.

Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration can come from anywhere, it could be from a song I’ve heard 1000 times, or a new article on the latest web trends. The internet is a great resource for seeing what other people are doing, but it’s important to be able to add your own stamp or move an idea forward and make it personal to you. In terms of influential people within the world of design, you have to acknowledge the heavyweights of the 20th century like Paul Rand or Milton Glaser. More modern figures including Stefan Sagmeister, David Carson and Peter Saville have also influenced my approach to thinking, design, and creativity as a whole.

What was it that attracted you to Castlegate IT?
I saw the job advert and was intrigued to find out more. The write up sounded great and made me think ‘this is a really forward thinking company’. I checked out the portfolio section of their site and was impressed by the range of clients and the work they were producing. I arranged a phone call with the Technical Director to get a bit more info and afterwards decided that it would be a good fit and that I should apply. The more I learnt about the company through the interview process, the more it was clear to me that this was the right choice.

What are your goals for the future at CGIT?
My hope is that we continue to move towards a more full service offering for our new and existing clients. We produced branding before I started but I feel its something we can really dive into now. On the web side of things, I’m excited to push the boundaries of what we can do. The development team here are great and their ability is pushing me to produce the best design work I can for our clients.

Contact Sunny direct to discuss your branding and design needs: 01904 654036

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