In our latest Team TPS spotlight, we have our Graphic Designer, Carl Heath. Carl pursued a career in graphic design due to his love of pop culture as a teenager! Find out more about his role and day-to-day activities with TPS…
What is your role at TPS and how long have you been here?
I have been at TPS for about 5 years working as the Graphic Designer. Being the only graphic designer at TPS means I am the person who handles all parts of making visual materials. I am the creative at the initial stage of a project. This involves creating a brand or a solution, presenting or turning information into graphics, and designing how elements will look. I then get to be the artworker, rolling out the designs into leaflets, posters, booklets, or PDFs. If on those things we need a map, diagram or infographic, I also get to be the illustrator. I’m also the print manager – overseeing the buying, production, and delivery of our work.
Where once there was an empty white artboard screen, there is now our masterpiece!
With other TPS team members not coming from a design background I also try to own the projects I am given as much as I can. Others will ask me to do something with a basic brief of what they are promoting or the information needed. I will then take that format and as best as I can, make it happen as if by magic.
What do you get up to on a typical day at work?
A typical day for me involves working out priorities. Who wouldn’t want the thing they asked for done straight away?! But I generally manage to keep everyone happy. It’s not unusual to have 4 or 5 people all ask me for things in the space of a few hours.
So, I have an active list which has a running order of priorities. These get scribbled out and changed around a few times a day. Sometimes job number 3 or 4 can stay that number for a few days especially if something more urgent comes in. I tend to do the shorter tasks (30 mins or less) between other tasks so they don’t even need to go on the list.
The bulk of my day is producing the design work. Always starting with a blank screen or reworking an existing document. With a bit of thought, energy, and a few hundred mouse clicks later, we have another job done.
Tell us something that your connections might be interested to know about you?
I’ve seen all of Christopher Nolan’s movies at the cinema. I will hold my hands up here and say the first 4 were just movies I wanted to see and at that point, I didn’t know who Nolan was. But from his 5th movie onwards, I know he makes movies I generally like. The best is still Inception though!
Yes, I do get really geeky and into things, like movies. I suspect you’d get a big crossover on a Venn diagram if you had “graphic designers” + “geeks who really get into stuff”!
What’s your favourite thing to have worked on in the last month?
In the last month, I have gotten stuck into the ParkLife branding project. This involved coming up with the look and feel of that brand. This one has been cool because it’s very different to the other brands I work on. ParkLife is less about hard-edged information and more about community engagement. What I was aiming for was friendly and colourful, whilst being professional. I’m looking forward to applying it to all the upcoming work we have lined up. It sounds cheesy and a throwaway line to say I love what I do, but I do get to create things which I love. I at least aim to design and produce things which I love the look of. Or at the very least if I’m updating an older file, I like to see if I can push it a bit more towards I’m loving it!
How do you wind down out of work?
I ended up as a graphic designer because as a teenager, when I discovered pop culture, I loved cool record sleeves and movie posters. Nothing much changed, I still love watching movies and what people call genre tv. I’m currently loving the Last Of Us. I listen to the alternative end of rock and pop music, currently, I’m loving the new Gorillaz album and the Wet Leg album. I have also been listening recently to the old LCD Soundsystem albums. I am also looking forward to going to see The National when they tour the UK later in the year.
I’m also a fan of most sports as a spectator and love it when the Olympics or a World Cup roll around and I have been down to Silverstone for the British F1 Grand Prix weekend a few times. I also used to do a lot of running and in a former life I managed a 1.42 half marathon and a sub 23min Parkrun. I say used to because I have a 22-month-old toddler which is very time demanding! So I don’t do much of anything at the moment besides playing with him. I can often be found in his 80cm square play house with him on my knee reading a children’s book. Oi frog and What The Ladybird Heard are recommendations!