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From Intern to Lead Designer. Mitch Reflects on 5 Years at Chaptr.

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Mitch over the last 5 years and have witnessed him transform from an aspiring Intern, with bags of enthusiasm, to a Lead Designer producing award-winning products.
We caught up with Mitch to pick his brains about his time at Chaptr thus far. Here’s what he said:

Do you remember your first project?

That’s a tough one, I vaguely remember a few projects from when I first started but can’t remember clearly my first project. The projects I do remember though were; Maxine Jones Jewellery and the infamous Gilly Gander. These were a big learning curve and I had our Creative Director, Matt, working by my side – showing me the ropes!


What’s your favourite project so far?

I’m going to say Williams Lester Architects. Ever since I started designing I always wanted to work with an Architecture firm. The ability to the give the brand a refresh was exciting, plus the client respected us and allowed a lot of creative slack from start to finish, which always supports the production of great work. I was happy with the result and so was the client – all parties went away cheerful. The website also featured on numerous sources of site inspiration and it’s always wonderful to receive recognition from the wider design community.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was probably my first year; I had a good appreciation for design and its principles but having not come from a web design background I had to shift my approach to thinking about users. Let’s just say web design was quite different from my advertising years at University, for example, adapting designs to different screen sizes and layouts was problematic, but with time and constant practice I started to get a better understanding and now it comes naturally to me.

How has web design changed in your time?

Web design is constantly evolving and it has changed a lot in 5 years. I jumped in exactly when flat design was on-trend, it was everywhere, but now it’s only used occasionally in design. I’ve gone from seeing static websites with carousels to incredibly designed interactive sites that make the world of web challenging and exciting. Developers have played a big part in achieving these websites and I personally feel like the bond between designers and developers is a lot closer than it use to be, after-all, a great user-experience requires the two to play nicely in harmony.

How has your approach to design changed over the years?

My approach to design hasn’t really changed over the years, I’ve followed the same steps that I picked up at University. Research to start, sketching ideas out, thinking about the user and how the website should work and transforming those sketches to design. The tools I’ve used over the years have changed, I used to be an avid Adobe user but slowly I moved to Sketch. No regrets.

Do small agencies stand a chance against the big boys (or girls) of the industry?

Yes, if they get it right. If not they are always going to struggle against the larger players in the industry in my opinion. The benefits of a small agency is that you can always provide the personal touch, but I do feel like larger agencies are developing a more personal touch nowadays. Of course, when it comes down to cost for the client, the smaller agencies will nearly always win that battle and they can also be more flexible too – but larger agencies have the ability to dedicate huge resources and manpower to each project and they often approach a pitch armed with a list of successful and often renowned clients. This gives them edge. In the end it depends on the clients and what they want from the engagement but also how they want to work too.

What’s your most valuable nugget of advice to-date for wannabe designers?

Keep practicing. Be patient, passionate and open. Accept criticism but also fight your corner if you think it’s right to do so. Give advice, take advice.  Accept that you won’t always win. Enjoy it!