Graphic Designer: Paper House

Designing for a living

Answers by Nicola Couper, graphic designer

Describe your business/profession.
I presently work for an organisation, The Goli Group, Paper House in Newcastle. I have been working as a Senior Graphic Designer and Production Manageress for the past 10 years. I develop company branding – in other words, we give your company an image to be recognised, to be used on anything from company business cards to billboards, to vehicle text wrapping. I project manage all in-house printing production at the office.

What does it take to be successful in this career?
You need to be creative and have a strong imagination. You should be ambitious, desire to achieve the best and hunger to lead the industry.

What must you study, both at secondary and tertiary level, to qualify for this career?
You require matric exemption to study at a tertiary level. In 2005, when I completed matric, there weren’t many design schools to choose from, but today you have a choice of independent schools, colleges, universities and universities of technology. You can do a short course, diploma or even a degree.

How many years of
tertiary institution. You should be motivated and able to cope under pressure. “Being a people’s person helps you liaise with customers, plus good listening skills.”

What is the most rewarding part of your job and/or career?
Definitely my customer’s smile of appreciation, when they see the idea in reality. I believe I provide customers with the best service and unique modern designs. Every day, you design something new and amazing. Watching my customer’s success due to using the correct marketing, makes me proud.

What are the things you look for when hiring aspirant employees in your field?
We look for creative people, who can work independently as well as in a team.

What does your average working day consist of?
Liaising with customers both in telephonically, compiling customer quotes, designing, managing and printing on numerous ‘top of the range’ machinery, as well as controlling production of orders.

What are the benefits of running a business in a growing economy such as Newcastle?
We grow with the economy by branching out with our product range. We empower people from all communities, and transfer

study does it take to qualify?
From two to five years, depending on your choice of skills and knowledge to previously disadvantaged people.

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