Graphic Designer
North East Lincolnshire County Council

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Julia H

00:00:03 My name is Julia H and I’m a Graphic Designer for the Northeast Lincolnshire Council. I’ve been working with the Council now just gone seven months but I’ve been designing for 13 years. The side I enjoy about designing is starting it from scratch, seeing it in your head and developing it through from screen to printed matter or seeing it go past a logo, go past on a van and thinking I did that. It’s nice to know that it’s you that thought of it and designed it and created it.

00:00:32 My favourite subject is art. I drew all the time at home but didn’t know obviously when you’re young that that can take you into a career. It’s probably the only subject I enjoyed really at school.

00:00:45 My mum and dad used to buy me these great big graphic things that are like they had felt on and they were like black felt and you had the white areas and you had to colour in the white areas. I went through countless of them and colouring books and things like that but it was just something I did, just drawing. Encouraged to do it probably.

00:01:04 While my mum currently is a dance teacher, it’s something I do as well and I currently teach for my mum at her school and it’s something as long as I get satisfaction from and seeing the kids smile when they win a trophy and that’s something I don’t feel I can let go which is why I do both. But my art and my design is something that I’ve done that I’ve achieved. So I do both and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, to have two passions in life. I was told I’d have to choose by previous employers and I refused to choose.

00:01:40 When I was younger, that’s all I wanted to do, was be a dance teacher but at school, dancing then was not encouraged as a career. When I was almost by the school you’re good at art, go into art. So that’s the way the school led me so that’s the way I went from Uni not thinking of dancing as a career.

00:02:03 So then I was encouraged to go to Art College where I did a first diploma and from there, I went on to specialise in graphic design basically because I was no good at fashion. I liked visual arts but I didn’t think I would be able to make a living so I decided to go for graphic design and I got on a course in York and did two years there with the intentions to do a final year BA. By the end of the two years, I’d had enough of being a student. It was not for me and I wanted to start working.

00:02:35 The first couple of years was hard, to find a job that was stable. The first three jobs I think was like three months, then eight months, then ten months. And then my next job after that was like two and a half years and the next one after that was eight years. So the longer you’re with it, the better it seems to get.

00:02:54 I think a couple, one job in particular, I nearly gave it all up because I had a male boss who, I’m not sure whether I should say as in the girls wear the skirts and the men wore the trousers. I was told I would have to work harder, work longer hours, learn more, put my own time in and unfortunately that place went under and I got made redundant and it took me a long time to pluck up the will to want to go and put my CV back out there.

00:03:28 I think my next job, I worked for a female boss and she picked me right back up again and she taught me the things I needed to know and to be more confident in the things that I was good at she encouraged.

00:03:43 In ten years’ time, I hope to see myself as a senior designer but I think with me, as long as I’m still designing, that’s all that will be important to me.


Julia H is a Graphic Designer for North East Lincolnshire County Council. She enjoys this job but the road to it wasn’t straightforward. She left University before finishing her degree. She has had several different jobs, some of which did not last long. She took a long time to get over a male boss who thought the girls should “wear the skirts” and the men should “wear the trousers”, then she was made redundant. But with support from a female boss and her family she now has a satisfying job and a satisfying hobby teaching dancing.

More information about Graphic designers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

62%  male 
38%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Graphic designers use illustrative, sound, visual and multimedia techniques to convey a message for information, entertainment, advertising, promotion or publicity purposes, and create special visual effects and animations for computer games, film, interactive and other media.
Entrants have usually completed a foundation course, a BTEC/SQA award, a degree and/or postgraduate qualification. NVQs/SVQs in Design (in various disciplines) are available at Levels 2 and 3. Portfolio work is also important for entry.
  • Liaises with client to clarify aims of project brief, discusses media, software and technology to be used, establishes timetable for project and defines budgetary constraints;
  • Undertakes research into project, considers previous related projects and compares costs of using different processes;
  • Prepares sketches, scale drawings, models, colour schemes and other mock-ups to show clients and discusses any required alterations;
  • Prepares specification and instructions for realisation of the project;
  • Liaises with other parts of the production team to ensure graphic design fits with other elements, processes and timescales;
  • Produces or oversees creation of the final product.
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