A Day in the Life of a Creative Director

Mark Mirko
  • Creative & Interactive Design Services Director
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As Creative Director of gm-design no 2 days are the same! Having been quizzed by the community team I thought I’d share my story, industry insights and what it’s really like to work at gm-design…

Tell us about your working day as a designer at gm-design

I get to work at least an hour early everyday, which gives me space to look over creative material, from our latest work and campaigns to tutorials for software I’m currently exploring – I’m a big believer of learning something new everyday no matter how big or small.

What are your favourite things about working as a creative?

Free thinking! Making something better!

When did you decide you wanted to become a designer, what inspired you?

In general, it’s people that inspire me. Initially it was down to the tutors at school… I have been fortunate to train and work with some exceptional people throughout my educational years, who all brought something different to the classes.

From early on in my education I liked the casual, happy, easy-going creative approach that allowed us to explore the extensive possibilities that were the building blocks to developing our own style; it was cool to see this grow within each student as our influences came from different icons – mine were folks like Neville Brody, David Carson and Brendon Dawes back in the early days! I think that Brody probably inspired me the most as he had an incredible approach towards experimental typography and its legibility. His influence on sports brands such as Nike and the fonts he developed for FontWorks were just a couple of pieces that inspired us designers just starting out; we wanted something different, he gave us that.

Which steps did you take to get you where you are today?

It’s important to develop your own style, my passion was animation and interface design; initially this was for pitches, which led to bigger projects/involvement. I was fortunate to be surrounded by a pool of talented people from around the world who I worked with in my first design job; this saw my creative ideas expand immensely.

What 3 words would you use to describe your fellow gm. creatives?

Creative, honest and Refreshing.

Can you share your tips for overcoming a creative-block?

Personally I ride my bike, the freedom it gives me filters down to my soul. I think that’s why a lot of people run first thing, or cycle to work; it allows you to just ‘open your mind’. In the studio, mingle with the other creative colleagues, run ideas past each other – think collaboratively!

What are your favourite go-to sources for design inspiration?

My absolute favourite just for its pulse and overall mix is my modern met.

What advice would you give to any young people who would like to work in a similar role?

Send your book and information out to as many people as you can. When I first arrived in London, people thought I was mad to go there with no experience… My plan was to face the fierce competition head-on and contact as many people as I could to get myself noticed.

Generally in the creative industry you will meet some good people who are willing to advise you, and even if they don’t have an immediate position ready for you, appointments with them will help sharpen your interview skills – so fit in as many as you can! No one is counting how many interviews you attend, and that’s how you begin to build relationships with design studios. Even a bit of freelance work at first is a good starting point to your career.

Any parting words?

The last adventure is you!

Remember to do what you do…

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