During Semester 2, I actively sought a work experience placement at the engineering and aerospace company, Lockheed Martin Australia. I shadowed the Senior Graphic Designer in the Business Development team, based in Mount Waverly. I chose this company as I have worked in Defence before and I thought what the company does is pretty cool, who doesn’t like space right?! I thought it would be an interesting environment to learn how to do graphic design – which was something I have always been interested in doing professionally, I was just never confident enough to pursue it properly.
For 2 days each week I went in and I learnt how it’s done from the Graphic Designer, one who was a previous Swinburne student (small world!) no less. Each week, I used Adobe Illustrator (which I found a bit tricky as I’ve always used Adobe Photoshop for my graphics. However, half way through my time there I found it pretty easy and I was able to design better graphic sin Illustrator than Photoshop – though I still used Photoshop every now and then when I needed to fix up a photographs colouring and sizing etc.
One of the major tasks I did was for a colleague based in Canberra. She had made a request for some graphics that would be printed onto big business sized cards for an education game at the Technology Centre. She had requested the cards to be fun as they would be used with children as they hoped to attract more young people into learning science and engineering. This was a very fun project to do and I had to make sure the colour scheme on each card was consistent (I used the eye tool to select the most appealing colour from the photograph for each card) and I incorporated some groovy icons from flaticon.com to give it some kick, yet still stay professional.
The game was split into 3 sections: Facts, Missions and Occupation. Below are some copies.
The majority of my time there was spent updating organisational charts and recreating mockups of design drawn by other colleagues, who needed something that was consistent with the LMA design style guide. These designs took a lot of time to complete as they required intricate details to ensure everything was correct. When it comes to certain companies, certain colours and shapes in charts and graphs may not mean the same thing as other companies, so I had to be very careful to use the appropriate colours. There was room for flexibility, however I mostly stuck with blues, greens, purple and orange as anything too bright (red, pink, yellow) usually means something along the lines of Top Secret or Confidential etc.
One colleague gave me a document with images that looked like icons he wanted represented. I researched icons from flaticons.com (a fantastic source) as the main image of the icon and used bright, yet as always corporate, colours for each one.
Another colleague made a request for motivational fliers to be designed that would be used in staff presentations and possibly up on a section of the website. these were again, to be designed in corporate style with motivational catchphrases for staff. This colleague also asked for a few generic ones which she could adapt for other purposes. I submitted a few designs with alternating colours for text, so she was able to see what a flier looked like with black text and with white (she was pretty vague in her colour and design brief so I wanted to give her some options). She loved them!
As you can see, I enjoyed my time at LHM Aus. the team were very friendly and easy to get along with. I’m pleased with myself for being brave and attempting something I have been wanting to do for such a long time and believe I could do graphic design in a professional capacity. As I was working in Government and working in general prior to University, it was easy for me to slip into working part time (even though it was unpaid).