Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a designer in a web agency? Or what digital marketing execs really get up to in their working day? Even how creative copywriters might be briefed, guided and reviewed within an agency setting? Look no further.
Whether you are new to the industry, looking for a job at a creative agency, or simply curious, this article takes you through the day-to-day life at a creative agency, shedding light on the various roles and responsibilities, as well as some fun along the way.
Here at Squarebird, we’ve been in business since 2015, and have since grown to be a leading Bristol web design agency. So, we certainly know a thing or two about what makes the day to day successful as well as enjoyable for our creatives and clients alike. It’s not all treat trolleys and party socials (well, sometimes it is!) – our team of hard grafters and clever minds create magic for the likes of Thatcher’s, Evona, ETM Recycling, Apollo and more every day!
Our designers, in our humble opinion, are a real talented bunch. Able to take on an array of briefs, these guys work their magic, and produce visually stunning digital experiences crafted for the brand, with UX in mind.
Web design is critical in bridging the gap between a brand, and its digital presentation. What works on paper, might not work on screen. That’s why these expert lot are super talented; having an idea is only half the battle, the other half is making it work digitally. Armed with design skill and knowledge of web best practice, web designers create designs that actually work.
While most of their day may consist of design work and creating a pixel perfect webpage, a typical day for a web designer entails more than, well, web design.
For a designer, failing to plan is planning to fail. Because they’re usually working on more than one project on a given day, they need to set time aside to plan their daily schedule. Whether it’s an online calendar, their team task list, or even pen and paper, every designer needs a place they can scribble down their thoughts and plan their activities.
It may not always be the most enjoyable task, but it’s one that needs to be factored into everyone’s daily schedules. Admin for a designer can range from client communication (emails or telephone calls) to paperwork such as status and progress reports. From keeping project managers in the loop to clarifying a brief with a client, a designer’s proactive communication can play a huge role in keeping projects on track.
The scope of a project is outlined in briefing sessions. This can take place between the client or project manager and the designer. A brief will provide the designer with some background to the project (as the ‘why’ majorly impacts the finished product), information on the deliverables, and any other relevant information.
A briefing provides the designer with the opportunity to ask questions about the client, project, and desired creatives, as well as understand expectations around timelines and review process. For example, is the website to be designed mobile-first?
A good brief equals good results, but it’s not away easy. See our top tips for briefing a web agency to kickstart a project well.
Obviously, a designer must do some design work. From Photoshop to graphics, to UX, to illustration, there are so many skills a web designer can employ to convey the client’s services, products or offering in the best, and accessible, way.
But it doesn’t always happen straight away, and many designers like to draft a few rough ideas first, then hone in one. Using paper, a tablet, or a programme, designers work through their thoughts, evolving concepts that best fit the brief and use. This takes a lot of concentration, so it’s not uncommon to find a designer deep in thought, huddled over an iPad with headphones firmly attached.
Design can be subjective, plus quality control is important for any web agency, so designers will have their work reviewed by colleagues to ensure it’s ready for the client to see. This point of collaboration is key; another designer might have a skill that would add to the design, or the project manager might have new information that impacts the layout. By bringing in others to take a look, and stepping away from their work themselves, designers often see their projects in a new light.
The review period is especially important in web agencies as it gives developers the opportunity to weigh in too, highlighting which design features may be more time-consuming to build and provide ideas on how to present information. Designers and developers are a match made in heaven!
Web design is a fast-paced industry that is constantly changing and evolving – from bottom navigation to sustainable website design, there is always a new trend to learn about. So, in between projects, or while researching inspiration for a new one, a designer may take to the web to find out more about the latest techniques, trends and software. Not only does research help to inspire designers and expand their knowledge, but it also helps to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction with modern designs. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to stay ahead of clients’ competition!
Getting together as a team and having a brainstorming session is a great way for designers to share feedback, gather inspiration, and teach new skills. Whether a designer is struggling with ideas or wants some input from someone with a different skillset, brainstorms make the ideal conditions for creativity. Reflection is just as important as planning, so we encourage creatives to take stock of their work, and feel pride in their portfolio.
The purpose of copywriting is to use the written word as a tool of persuasion. Ideally, persuading people to invest in something. Be it a product, service, or brand story. You name it.
Whether it’s through informative language or creative storytelling, someone is selling something, and they want help selling it.
The job of a copywriter is to help businesses sell whatever they’re selling in various forms of writing, from an informative service page to a cohesive SEO article.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Research
Using SEO software helps copywriters identify keywords relevant to our clients so we can help them start ranking higher on search engines.
Applying SEO copywriting techniques to content helps increase web visibility. (It’s the key reason 69% of marketers invest in SEO.)
Most marketing agencies employ SEO specialists specifically to help inform their content creators about keyword opportunities. However, a good copywriter will have a solid understanding of SEO best practices before starting a project.
From products to services and industries to competitors, our research is essential to feed the content we create.
Frankly, without thorough research, authoritative content is not a possibility. We also aim to include quality links within our copy to help stamp our content with credibility and to encourage people to visit other pages of a website. We call these external linking and internal linking. Again, incorporating these elements into a piece of digital web content or blog is great for SEO.
Based on keyword and long-tail keyword findings from SEO research or the latest trends, the next job will be structuring the content ready for writing. For blog and website content, this includes mapping out the header and sub-headers. And for social media, this could be a matter of planning topics and sticking to a hook, context, and call to action format on every post.
The biggest job for a copywriter is the writing part. (No surprises there.) This part of the process is where we combine all the research and planning with a bit of creative flair.
Now, it’s time to refine the masterpiece. At this stage, it’s best to be concise, lose what we don’t need, look for repetitive words, phrases or syntax and amend any mistakes such as bad grammar.
To be successful as a web graphic designer you must have a good understanding of front-end and back-end coding to create functions that work and look appealing. A top-notch web graphic designer is both technically minded and design oriented.
Daily tasks carried out by our graphic designers include:
- Meeting with clients or art directors to define the scope of a project.
- Using photo editing software, layout software and digital illustration to create designs.
- Selecting colours, images, and typefaces to convey a company’s brand and message.
- Presenting design concepts to clients or art director.
- Applying updates to designs based on stakeholder feedback and opinion.
- Examining final designs to ensure there are no errors before printing or publishing.
Graphic design is becoming increasingly important in the sales and marketing of products. Therefore, our graphic designers often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing.
Graphic design agencies like Squarebird are hired by outside clients to produce creative work. In this environment, designers typically work with an assortment of brands. Assignments tend to be short-term, project-base, and limited to a specific campaign.
Careers at Squarebird – a leading digital agency
Are we singing your song? Would you like to be part of our growing team, delivering projects for clients across the South West and beyond? If so, check our Careers page for available roles. You might want to stay tuned on our socials too, as we always post new opportunities on our Instagram and Linkedin profiles.
Leading Web Design, Copywriting, and Marketing with Squarebird
There is no better way to get to know a potential agency than to get in touch. Reach out to one of our friendly and professional members of staff today to pursue a balanced approach to your online marketing.
Here at Squarebird, we know that your site needs to work together with multiple elements from search engines to social media in order to ultimately drive sales. So, it’s important to look for a web agency that has a strong understanding of the overall process, and one that can support your business to truly grow online – not simply build your website.