5 minutes with... Phil Swan - Erskine Design
Erskine is a full service creative agency helping both established brands and start-ups to engage with their audience through effective design and innovative technology.
What do you actually do?
An average day might involve building a prototype for a web application, brainstorming ideas for a Facebook campaign or sifting through shed loads of data, trying to devise a logical architecture. I'm lucky as I get to collaborate with some really talented designers and developers; we're constantly pushing each other to do the best work we can and refining our process along the way.
What would you be doing if you weren't doing that?
I like to think I'd be a music producer.
I studied Product Design at university and during the course we had the opportunity to take a year out to gain experience in industry. Finding a placement was tough, but I eventually found work as a graphic designer. I taught myself Flash on the job and from there on I became hooked on designing for the web. After university I took a job as a junior web designer at about the same time as web standards were becoming more popular. Things just developed from there.
What's your favourite piece of creative work at the moment?
I'm a big fan of Flipboard (http://flipboard.com/). We're continually being bombarded with information through various channels, and the team there have done a great job of making consuming content from the sources we care about a pleasurable experience.
What do you love about your job?
Working at an agency allows you to learn about lots of different industries. I really enjoy collaborating with clients and bringing them into the team.
If you could give one piece of advice for someone starting out, what would it be?
Be pro-active and do what you can to get your foot in the door. In the early days I'd recommend seeking as many placements/internships as possible. A blog or an online presence is always an advantage, there are plenty of services such as http://www.krop.com/creativedatabase/ that you can use to get your work online quickly.
If you have one Super power what would it be?
The power to pause time, I've thought about that a lot!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I still don't really know, I hope I never grow up.
What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?
Working at the bar at Nottingham Forest. The lager ran out and I just ended up getting abuse. It's helped to thicken my skin.
You have already worked with some amazing brands, who would you like to work with next?
I'd love to work on a project for the BBC. I've got a lot of respect for them as an organisation and they do some great stuff online.
Your favourite app?
Facebook or Twitter?