What is it like working in news design? Any highs or lows?
I started as a trainee broadcast designer in 2008, two years after I graduated from university. Thinking about that time, in comparison to what the internet and the creative, social, political landscape looks like now, is vastly different. My team at ITV News were always ahead of the curve in terms of how we thought about our creative output. It was about understanding how social media and digital would become a much bigger focus for newsrooms.
Before joining CNN, I was creating graphics for national TV, whereas the majority of my work now at CNN is producing for our social platforms, like Snapchat and the CNN website. Working on Snapchat was one of the first times I designed work that would be viewed in a vertical format, and although I had the experience of using After Effects to create motion graphics, both my canvas and time capacity had changed. The target audience for Snapchat is younger millennials, and this influences the style of graphics I create, in comparison to what I create as a designer for CNN digital’s visual news team. An average news graphic could be on screen for 30 seconds or more, whereas Snapchat graphics last for 10 seconds, so you really have to think about what you want to convey visually in a way that will capture the users attention immediately.
Being able to create work that has personal meaning has definitely been a high. A low or challenge is the fast-paced nature of newsrooms. The amount of time you have to spend on creating work can be limited to just a few hours, which can add a lot of pressure when designing.