Making an Impact

As a student, you’re often told that ‘the real learning begins once you get into industry’. Having recently made the transition from Graphic Design student to Graphic Design graduate I am definitely starting to get a taste of what that means.

Freelancing is a bit of a scary word for me. You work for a client, from your home, on your own, talking via phone and email (and meetings if you’re lucky) and set your own prices – it’s a lot of responsibility! Of course at this point in my career I’m looking for experience, to build my portfolio, make contacts and earn a bit of money to keep me alive, so when a freelance opportunity came up I decided to bite the bullet and accept the challenge.

The challenge: to present the University of Lincoln Students’ Union’s impact report data in an clear, concise and interesting way.

Amy, my Uni housemate, is the Graphic Designer at the SU, so after looking at what she had already designed I mixed some of the style elements with her colour scheme, the SU branding guidelines and vector banners and dots to highlight facts and figures. The finished booklet is A5 in size and 44 pages long, but here is a selection of my favourite spreads:

It was a great first experience of working for a client – they gave me quite a lot of freedom to begin with and then we worked to reign it in to what they were comfortable with. They were also really helpful with the feedback – constructive rather than confusing. Most of the correspondence was through email but we did meet a couple of times and I even set up camp in the SU office on the last day with Amy there to help me check through everything – cheeeerz pal! The team made me feel really welcome (Thanks Sabine and Scott!) and I have to admit I loved that when I turned up to reception for the meetings I was met with ‘Oh you’re the Graphic Designer!’ and ‘The Graphic Designer is here.’ – Yes. I am a Graphic Designer… not a student anymore! Now I just need to believe it myself ha

I didn’t know what to expect really and it was SO scary sending it to print but thankfully it turned out pretty well – the client is happy and I’m happy too. When Amy text me to let me know that they had arrived at the SU I was nervous but excited to be able to hold it in my hand. There’s 500 copies out there somewhere – a scary but great feeling!

I’m really grateful to the SU for giving me the opportunity to design the Impact Report – it’s good to support your graduates and keep it in the Lincoln family 🙂 It’s even available online – waheeeeeeey! Please don’t point out any mistakes, thanks 🙂

I’d class it as editorial information design? And there’s not even a triangle in sight – are you proud of me or what?
So what do you think to the Impact Report? I just quickly took these photos for blogging purposes so I will beauty shot it properly for my website at a later point, just incase you was wondering.

So all in all, not bad for my first freelance job – any more out there? You know where to find me…


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© Natasha Nuttall | January 2022

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