We Are Randox | Secrets of a Graphic Design Team
Ever wondered what it’s like to be part of the Graphic Design team here at Randox? Well who better to ask than one of our Heads of Design, Caoimhin Magee!
From navigating Illustrator to finding inspiration, collaborating on projects to taking part in creative sessions, and following proofing systems to encouraging professional development, Caoimhin shares all the secrets of one of the most creative departments in our global healthcare company.
Here’s Caiomhin’s story.
When I’m telling people the story of how I came to be Head of Design for such a prestigious company as the sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National, I like to start by saying that there is no one way to become a Graphic Designer.
My background is actually in architecture, which I studied at Queen’s University in Belfast for four years. But I realised that it just wasn’t for me. Although there was a certain element of creativity in my architecture degree, there was also a very heavy focus on maths and physics, and it just wasn’t what I pictured myself doing. I started thinking about changing to a fine arts degree to give me a bit more freedom creatively, but instead of rushing in to making a decision, I took some time out to go travelling across Australia and some of South East Asia.
When I returned home I worked for some time in a printing business in Lurgan, designing and printing a range of stationery for local businesses, and menus for local bars and restaurants.
Then I heard about a Graphic Design course at Shillington College, a design school run by a guy called Andy Shillington. He has schools in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, London, Manchester and New York, and so I made my way over to the Manchester school to begin training to be a Graphic Designer.
Basically, it was the same as an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design…
…but squeezed into an intense three months. Everyone studying there had come from different backgrounds and career disciplines but we all started at the same point, learning everything you needed to know to work in the Graphic Design industry – perfecting different design techniques and getting to grips with a range of design software.
Then at the end we were each awarded a Certificate of Education, which is recognised by major design organisations, like Adobe. We all graduated and showcased our work at a Graduate Show in Shillington, which was attended by some really big names in the design community. London might be the most obvious city choice for a design career in the UK, but Manchester is very quickly catching up. There’s a real creative hub there and so on the night of my graduation there some really prestigious designers flicking through my portfolio. I was lucky enough to secure some great freelance work in Manchester and Liverpool after I graduated.
But then I heard about a design job with Randox and it allowed me the opportunity to move back home and to secure a fulltime job.
What’s so great about working here is that you go in, and effectively you’re just given your own brand to make as exciting as you can. You’re immediately given the responsibility and trust that you would only get after working in an agency for several years. Whether you work on the design for Randox Reagents, or Randox Biosciences, or Randox Toxicology, you can go in and put your own stamp on that division.
I always make sure therefore, when talking to designers who are considering coming to work for us, to highlight that there are no Junior Designers in Randox. Everyone works on an equal pegging and we all support each other.
When I moved up to Head of Design here in Randox there were a few new policies that I introduced to improve this sense of collaboration. Even though we each work on our own unique and independent Randox product division, I requested a redesign of the marketing and design office space, so that our designers were each paired off with each other.
Each designer therefore sits beside another designer and we can all keep track of each other’s work and projects, so that we keep a certain level of consistency under the parent brand of Randox. Working in this way also allows us to take inspiration from each other and help complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
For example, our Motion Graphics Designer Anthony obviously has a very particular skillset, so he’s helping me improve my talents in that area. In turn I’m helping him develop his abilities in our Illustrator software because that’s where my own strengths lie.
I’ve also introduced a Design Studio where the work of our designers is showcased for everyone to see. Not only does it instil a sense of pride in our work by using it to decorate the office, and showing it to our colleagues, but again it helps us keep track of what other designers are currently working on and makes sure we’re each using the correct typefaces and established colour schemes. It’s the final stage of the proofing system when we finally see the finished piece of artwork up on the wall for everyone to see.
In the Design Studio you can really see the eclectic mix of projects on which we get to work. It ranges from virtual reality video, to app design, to brochures for global events like AACC, the American Association of Clinical Chemistry. There is such variety in what we do and there’s always a new challenge to put your hand to. Randox is the perfect place to be if you want to grow your skillset.
Working here also provides us with the opportunity to develop key business skills in the design market. Relationship building with printers for example, is key, and we do that pretty much every day here. I honestly can’t think of anywhere else that offers the same level of professional development as Randox.
I’m very proud of the team we now have in place here. We all work really well together and are making such good progress in our own capabilities and confidence. We even have a Summer Placement Student, Katie, currently working with us, who is really impressing everybody with her ability and enthusiasm.
I’m sure that the Graphic Design team at Randox will continue to grow and develop, and I can’t wait to see where the coming months and years will take us.
For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com
Pictured above: The Randox Graphic Design Team
Front row left to right: Anne Smith, Katie McLernon, Melissa Hull
Middle row left to right: Elizabeth Moran, Amy Fekkes, Anthony Heaney
Back row left to right: Niall McCafferty, Maxwell Brown, Colm Douglas, Caoimhin Magee