Life at Oxygen Graphics:
Jayana James

While submerged in the brand new ‘Secret Garden’ at Bloom.Space, we hear from Jayana: our most recent graphic designer to join the Oxygen Graphics family, full-time.

I know what you’re thinking, what is this ‘Secret Garden’ you speak of? Let me explain.

For those that aren’t aware, Bloom.Space is our new home, having moved here in late last year. It’s a shared office space, nestled in the heart of Rugby Town, of which Oxygen Graphics has its own fixed working area. We share the office with several other like-minded businesses, some of whom are teams and others, are one-person enterprises. The environment suits our team perfectly – nothing to do with the unlimited tea and coffee provided, of course. A few months into being here, it soon became clear that the office was missing something. There was nowhere for the team at Oxygen Graphics, along with our new peers, to escape work. A safe place, where we could spend time away from our desks and have some much-needed time out, revitalising – albeit just for 10 minutes or so. An area aimed to inspire imaginations and get creative juices flowing again. We knew that space was missing here at Bloom.Space, so what did we do? We decided to create it ourselves.

I was given the task of designing the ‘Secret Garden’. My first solo project and I couldn’t be more excited. Included in the brief, were words like ‘woodland’ and ‘enchanted’, so I quickly got to work on shaping a space, made to feel like you aren’t in the office, when in fact, you are. The area, which can also be described as a pop-up pod, needed to be different to our average daily working space. It needed to bring with it that desired feeling of escapism, by tying in fairy-tale elements.

Although I knew what the end goal was and the brief was bursting with information, I pretty much had a blank canvas here. So, where to start? The colours, of course. The colours are the fundamentals of any project and for me, it’s important to begin by first deciding a pallet that you feel works. Next, I worked on creating a strong concept, by mapping out various elements that I felt would work well together. Once I knew which design idea I wanted to develop, I built on it, creating depth from different layers and the project grew from there. As a graphic designer, this process works well for me and it’s one that I adopt across every project I’m tasked with. Ultimately, I feel, if you don’t create that solid foundation, to begin with, then you’re in danger of the end results looking clustered and confused. After all, a final design needs to be able to tell a story, it needs to have its own identity.

Inspired by the likes of Alice in Wonderland, I designed two backdrops for the ‘Secret Garden’, which will in essence, became walls for the pop-up pod. For this to really feel like a room, separate from the rest of the office, the theme needed to flow throughout the entire space. So, I also designed stools, made to look like tree trunks and added furniture, accessories and plants that complemented the setting. And the results have been brilliant, everyone likes it so far.

I feel like I conquered the brief given to me and I’m very proud of it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a challenge, but it was very enjoyable and something that I found very fun to work on. It sounds cliché but it really was one of those moments, where I was able to sit back and think, ‘I love it when a project comes together’.

As you can see though, the role of graphic designer has changed over time. A logo simply isn’t enough anymore. There is so much more to graphic design, beyond the work I did for the ‘Secret Garden’. As well as the basics of branding a business, web design and video graphics have fast become fundamental parts of my day-to-day role.

The more I do, the more I learn and that’s thanks to the team that keeps pushing me here at Oxygen Graphics. Having started out here, part-time, following university, I was offered a full-time position back in May. I’m learning new techniques every day and getting more confident. My confidence is growing, and I feel like my skill set is evolving alongside developments in the industry. The trouble with me is that I’m one of those annoying perfectionists and I need to be 100 per cent happy with something before I send it back to the client.

It’s great to look back and see how far I’ve come in such a small space of time. It’s a dream here at Oxygen Graphics and I’m looking forward to growing as a professional in the future.

Whether you’re wanting to create your own office breath-taking breakout area or are looking for professional support with another creative project then get in touch with Oxygen Graphics. From website design, to giving your brand a refresh, as well as providing a high-definition printing service, our team of experts can help bring your ideas to life. Contact us today.

Irene Taking Notes
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