We Are Social

We chat with We Are Social Senior Designer Georgie Yiannoullou about quitting her A-Levels with no idea what to do next; how she uses Instagram to get helpful feedback and challenge her ideas, plus we discuss how she thinks design will become even more motion-orientated over the next five years.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

Initially I quit A-Levels without a clue of what I could do with my passion for art. I was a little lost at the time - I was only 17 and still finding my feet as an adult. I took a couple of years out where I learnt more about design and the possibilities of making a career out of it. I then went on to study at the London College of Communication, where I earned a First Class Honours Degree in Digital Media Design. In my final year I was asked to do an internship with a startup company - having never worked in design I jumped at the chance. It wasn’t quite the agency life I was expecting but I couldn’t have loved it more as I could finally work in design.

What are some of the best and worse parts of your job, day-to-day.

One of the best parts of my job is the amazing projects I get to be a part of and take ownership of. I love having the autonomy to create my own motion design style and then implementing it across campaigns. Unfortunately the more senior you become the less design you do on a day to day basis. Some days, I am not required to do much oversight, but others I might only be at my desk for a couple of hours due to being in and out of meetings. It all becomes worthwhile when you get to work on a big fun campaign or someone in your team has produced some awesome work that everyone is proud to be a part of.

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Who are your top five design crushes globally right now?

D.I.A Studio - I saw them at a talk recently and was so blown away I felt too shy to go over and say hello. Their approach to type animation is truly inspiring.

Travis Kane - he constantly creates fresh design, which is always evolving depending on his subject. A truly amazing designer.

Ariel Costa/Blink My Brain - his animations are so magical. I saw him at a talk last year and fell in love with his work. He mixes 2D animation with moving collage.

Braulio Amado - he does mesmerising things with textures and always shows the original image he used to create them.

Run with the Golden Wolf - an incredible studio that constantly creates groundbreaking and experimental work.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

I love experimenting with motion and design - around the middle of last year I decided to start creating personal projects where I got to push the boundaries and have some fun. I have shared quite a few projects on my Instagram account since then, mostly looking at the connection between kinetic typography and music. Every time I get an idea I feel like I have to get it out of my head. I’ve also found Instagram a really interesting platform to share my work on and to see everyone's reactions. Responses can often provide really helpful feedback and push me to challenge myself further.

Design work by We Are Social The Design Kids interviews We Are Social work-4
Design work by We Are Social The Design Kids interviews We Are Social work-4

Don’t narrow yourself down too much - one day you will find something more specific but you’ll have a bigger palette and experience to draw from.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

Throughout Uni, I was told I needed to narrow my field and master one skill. I didn’t listen. My first job required all the skills I learned at uni so I continued to develop them all. It’s only in the past couple of years that I would class myself more as a motion designer, but because of my background in design, I feel I can approach animation from a different angle. Now when I look to hire freelancers or permanent roles, I always look for someone who can both animate and design, it’s a rare skill to have and one that has definitely helped me in my career. So if I was to give graduates advice, I would tell them to learn as much as they can. Don’t narrow yourself down too much - one day you will find something more specific but you’ll have a bigger palette and experience to draw from.

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

The past couple of years have seen designers challenging the norm and creating much more playful designs, with both still and animated projects. I think this will continue for a while longer, but will then start to strip back and we will see more simplistic design coming through. I’ve also noticed an increasing demand for motion design from clients. Moving images in all forms are more engaging across all platforms, especially social media. I think design will become even more motion-orientated over the next five years, and it’s an area I pushed myself to explore a few years ago when I became much more motion-focused in my daily role. It allowed me to really refine my skills but I’m keen to keep pushing and challenging myself further over the next five years, especially in 3D and processing animation. As long as I can keep evolving my work and design skills, I’m happy.

Design work by We Are Social The Design Kids interviews We Are Social work-6
Design work by We Are Social The Design Kids interviews We Are Social work-6

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