My first proper design role involved creating a whole swathe of medical guides.
In the late nineties I was working in an independent colour reprographics shop (think of Prontaprint or Colour Company and you’re in the right ball park), managing the day to day operations and seeing to client needs – but I was looking for a way out and back into design.
Luckily one of my clients – Mike Wells of INQ Design Limited – was looking to expand and needed a designer. After a few chats, I left the reprographics shop and soon I was the new designer at INQ Design. I’d had limited use of Quark as a design tool but knew the basics and I had a much better working knowledge of Photoshop. I was raring to go.
INQ are a small design company of three, who specialise in medical business to business magazine design and layouts. They also have a wonderful sideline in creating theatre leaflets and posters.
My main duties were the layout and design of a medical journal (Update). Not terribly exciting you might think, but it taught me how to use grids properly, how to create easy-to-follow templates and how best to use typography. I soon progressed to working on other projects and stayed for three years honing my skills.
The shop isn’t open anymore but Mike and INQ Design are still going strong (although not based in Croydon) and I’ll always be grateful for the chance they gave me to escape the confines of printing and reproduction!