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A Day in the Life of a Henson Franklyn Designer

“The funny thing about working in the HF design department is that there is no ‘typical’ day.  Everyday is more varied than the last.  On Monday we might we be working for a major sporting event, Tuesday – a banking multinational and Wednesday – a world class vehicle manufacturer,  Thursday – goodness knows.  I could write a bulleted list of my day as others have done but that would bore you.  8.00am  – get to work.  8.10am – brainstorm.  8.30 – excitedly sketch with charcoal. Boring!  I would be lying if I said we didn’t have similar tasks to do each day.  We of course have to take briefs, plan our time, do technical drawings and of course keep a wary eye on the deadlines, always the deadlines.  One thing that doesn’t change is the pace – fast.   When we employ a student straight out of university they are always physically stunned by how fast industry moves in comparison with the higher education system.  On briefing the new green designer I always ask ‘how much time would you have for this project at Uni?”.  The reply is always something like ‘6 weeks’.  With a wry smile I say ‘by the end of play tomorrow please’.  That’s a concept, a final design and a 3D visualisation.  It has to be this fast because the project timelines don’t allow for procrastination.  At the end of the timeline the event starts and we need to be finished.  There is zero time for movement and no room for error.

One of the most rewarding aspects of working in event design and specifically Henson Franklyn is our designers are able to see projects through from concept to completion.  Because we achieve 99% of work in house our designers are able to leave their desks a see their graphics coming out of the ultra wide printers which are situated next door and make tweaks if needed.  They can go over to the workshop and see our carpenters building the design or go over to paint and check that the colours are just so.  These departments are 30 seconds walk away.  They can then go to site to see the project not only being installed but actively being used by the client or public and most importantly obtain feedback.  This is what makes working at HF incredibly satisfying for a designer.  One of my favourite things is to take a new designer to see their project being constructed and watch their face.  When you design a 4m or 5m high exhibition stand on the computer you don’t quite realise the scale.  When they realise their design dwarfs our workshop and scrapes the roof their face is always ‘oh my gosh what have I done??’.  When you put the design into a large exhibition hall with 20m high ceilings then they don’t look quite so large.

I wouldn’t say being a designer at Henson Franklyn is the perfect job and I unfortunately don’t quite leap out of bed every morning with excitement.  But if you can handle the pressure it is a great place to work and the constant variation keeps us all interested on a day by day basis.  Who else can say they have worked for 5 of the biggest brands in the world on 5 different projects in 5 days – not many.  In my mind that’s pretty awesome.

If you would like to know more about the HF design team or think that you might even like to work for us then send me a email – kevinm@hensonfranklyn.co.uk”

Kevin Moore – Design Manager at Henson Franklyn.