A Day in the Life of a Junior Designer

  • London
  • Feb 02, 2022
Ellen Walpole
By Amanda Li

Meet Ellen – an ex-Shifter from the 2021 D&AD Shift programme.

Through Shift, D&AD aims to create an accessible space for self-made talent to learn from and connect with the industry and establish a network.

Over the course of four months, Ellen was taught by 15 creative agencies - learning skills across multiple disciplines from creative direction, design thinking to pitching, strategy and creative thinking.

We’re so excited to have Ellen with us as our new Junior Designer at our London studio! We caught up with her to find out more about herself, her experience, and more…

D&AD Shift

Hi Ellen! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Hello! I’m Ellen, a designer and lettering artist. Before completing the D&AD Shift courses at the end of 2021, I was working as a Marketing Manager for a theatre charity and had quite a few interesting jobs before that (including working for a lampshade company, a sustainable activewear brand, and at some caverns!) I live in South-East London with my dog, tortoise, and a vast collection of trainers.

You were a part of D&AD Shift – tell us about that?

D&AD Shift is a free, 4-month long night school for creatives who haven’t been to university. It’s an incredible programme that gives you a proper crash course in everything to do with advertising and design and also puts you in contact with some of the best in the industry (including DB’s Chloé Templeman!). During the programme we worked closely with the creative teams at Adidas, Virtue, and Penguin Books, answering real-life briefs and presenting our ideas back to the clients. It was intense and really full-on (especially around a full-time job and pandemic!) but the best thing I’ve ever done for my career.

D&AD Shift

And is the design industry what youthought it would be?

For the most part... It is as fun and exciting as I thought it would be, but also more collaborative than I expected, so that’s been a nice surprise! Before starting my placement, I didn’t realise how many people and teams fed into the process, and whilst being here I’ve learnt a lot about what each department does and how that fits into an agency.

Why Design?

I’ve always been very arty and knew that I wanted to work in the creative industry. When I was at school, my GCSE art teacher (who was a graphic designer and lettering artist) suggested that I might be interested in graphic design. That was the first time I really became aware of the design industry and realised that it was exactly what I wanted to do!

Ellen's work

Where do you get your creative inspiration from?

All sorts of places! I’m always browsing Instagram and Pinterest, but I am also inspired by things like street art, signage, book covers and packaging. I especially love looking at vintage signs and posters - some of the older typography styles are unbeatable.

Ellen's work

What’s one piece of advice you would give to fellow young creatives who are starting their careers?

Just to keep creating work, without worrying about whether it’s good enough or being seen by enough people. You never know who might stumble across it, and even if nobody does - practice makes perfect :)

Ellen's work

And, how can we connect with you? (Socials/portfolio) 

My Instagram handle is @ellenjane_ldn and my portfolio is on ellenjane.london

Thanks Ellen!

If you’d like to know more about D&AD Shift you can read more here!