Creative Lives — Industry experience is essential: Designer at Edit_ Brand Studio, Liv McCarthy
For designer Liv McCarthy, working as part of a small studio means that each team member is totally immersed in every phase of a project, from start to finish. As she says, at Edit_ Brand Studio, “Every project feels like a team effort”, with everyone pitching in with their own ideas and skills. Liv talks to us about how she came to her current role with the branding design agency, her day-to-day responsibilities and the immeasurable value of gaining industry experience via a placement year or internships.
Designer, Edit_ Brand Studio (July 2018–present)
Designer, BJL (2015–2018)
Junior Designer, Wonder Associates (2014)
BA Graphic Arts and Design, Leeds Metropolitan University; now Leeds Beckett (2009–2012)
BTec National Diploma in Graphic Design, Stockport College (2007–2009)
How would you describe your role?
As a designer at Edit_ I’d say my role is varied. One day I could be working on a brand identity, another designing a website and another taking part in a client presentation. We each have a responsibility to manage our time on a job and interaction with the client which helps you have a better understanding of the whole project.
Do you run any side projects alongside your job?
I often do jobs for friends and family. I’m currently working on two projects in my spare time, one of them being my best friend’s wedding invites. The other is the branding for a candle company I’ve started with my partner.
“The benefit of being a small agency is that anyone can contribute ideas at any time.”
What do you enjoy most about working at Edit_?
I love being a part of a tight-knit team and being involved in a project from its beginning to end. The benefit of being a small agency is that although one person tends to be the lead on a job, anyone can contribute ideas at any time. Every project feels like a team effort.
What skills are essential to your role?
I think the most important skills for my role other than creativity are organisation, teamwork and a good sense of humour.
Work by Edit_ for the Barbican
Work for Peak
How I Got Here
Has your degree been helpful to your work?
I think a degree is useful as it gives you a direction within the creative industry. It teaches you the tools to use, design theory and history and how to experiment and develop your craft. Industry experience or a placement year, however, is essential in my opinion.
How did you land your current job?
I met Karen and Khadija at an Edit_ Christmas party! My friend had interned with them previously and invited me along. We really got on and kept in touch. I worked on a freelance job before they then offered me a full-time role.
Inside the studio
Words of Wisdom
What advice would you give to a young creative wanting to do the same kind of work?
Take part in live briefs, if possible. If you’re at university, I would choose a course that had the opportunity to do a placement year. If that’s not an option then take on internships and gain experience working with your own clients. Stay informed and make sure you read plenty of design blogs but remain interested in all things creative: art galleries, films, books and exhibitions.
This interview is part of a series of articles profiling brand design studio Edit_. See the In the Studio With interview here.