News 11/02/2021

Megan Rae

2021 has been off to a rip-roaring start for Team Echo. With plenty of new projects to sink our teeth into, we wanted to take this moment to introduce you to our Design Team recruits – Emma and Duncan! The pair are unusual because they are the very first employees for Echo to hire remotely. Below, they’ve shared their views on remote working, their time at design school and a couple of passion projects. As we begin to adapt to the “new normal” we’re hoping this is the first in a long line of successful hires to come.

Emma McIlwaine

Hi there! I’m Emma and I am a new Junior Designer here at Echo. I’m fresh from University, having attended Norwich University of the Arts, studying Graphic Design. I’m hugely passionate about Art and Design, I just can’t get enough!

Getting a job during a global pandemic was tough, particularly as many are in the same boat at present. It was different, but adaptable. I guess the one downside was not showing my portfolio in person, meeting the team, and seeing the office space. However, on a positive note, the online interview meant I could enter a vacuum of complete focus. I didn’t have to worry about reaching a location in time, catching trains, whether my phone had enough charge – I could just centre all attention on communicating my passion for design.

I’d say the jump from Design School to agency life was pretty seamless. Norwich University prepped me well for the working world, particularly in terms of teamwork and organisation. When focusing on my dissertation, I’d have one tutor one day and another the next – they’d say, “add this, change this, include this, take this out” and I had to think on my feet when interpreting feedback. University was also great at giving us realistic briefs to see through. You’d get a two-page brief on what needs to be included in the final product and markers you would have to hit – very similar to a real client brief.

The main difference between university and agency life is the pace at which work needs to be completed. When you’re a student, the pace naturally happens, and projects are very open-ended, allowing for more creative flexibility. At an agency, you need to be hotter on deadlines and timings!

When I’m not working, I spend my spare time envisioning and doodling for my illustrations:

I create all sorts; from experimenting with type, designing people’s names and initials, or picturesque scenery. I used to get told off for doodling in my exercise books at school, so being able to put all that energy into my career and hobby was a dream come true!

 

Duncan Anderson

I’ve been working in the Design Industry for about 4 years now. Coincidentally, I also attended the same university as Emma! NUA was a great university for preparing you for agency life – always trying to push you on “the big idea” and get you to effectively communicate your reasoning behind each creative decision.

Remote working is definitely interesting! Having to rely heavily on technology can be a nuisance, but we make it work. Generally, I prefer to be in the office physically, it’s easier to read people’s body language and easy for them to read you as well. However, there are aspects on remote working that I find quite funny, for example, a family member can walk in during calls, or the hilarious backgrounds on Teams. It just makes everyone seem that much more personable and relatable, as home and work life have become one. I’d love to have a drink after work with my colleagues to get know them better too – get those pubs back open Boris! Despite not being able to have a laugh over a pint, the team have been incredibly welcoming and made me feel at home right away.

During my time in the Design Industry, I’ve worked on a range of projects. My favourite was my D&AD New Blood winning work ‘Counting Every Day’, where I helped bring the TOMS current values to the forefront of the brand and appeal to a new wave of consumers. TOMS wanted to combat the global issue of children being unable to have an education due to lack of footwear. They helped by giving one pair of shoes away for every pair sold. I worked on the campaign, my favourite part being where I developed a ‘flip clock’ format counting up the number of purchases made ‘For Today’ as well as the ever-increasing amount of people being helped ‘For Tomorrow.’ It was rolled out across various digital channels and was incredibly rewarding to work on. A clear reminder of why I love my job.

In the future, I’m hoping to dip my toe into a bit of everything. Production and 3D I don’t know as much about, so I’d love to expand my knowledge in these areas.