Report by a new illustrator
At 9:05 I stepped inside Today Branding Design Agency.
On the first morning, I listened to Robbert speaking enthusiastically about the ambitious goals for the coming year. About Today’s rebranding and repositioning. About B-corp, the Project Managers and the MT. But also about a job for the Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht.
Between the lines and the acronyms, I get the feeling that it’s a fun and modern company, where job satisfaction is important, colleagues are valued for their diversity and where everyone does their utmost to make beautiful designs and catchy stories.
I spent the first two days shaking a lot of hands and seeing new faces. I must have opened the ‘About Us’ page a dozen times to learn the names of all my new colleagues. The first three mornings began with presentations, onboarding, chats and meetings. All that information buzzed around in my head as I sat behind the computer in the afternoon.
An unread email from Bob. Adjustments to Infrastructure and Water Management. I opened the folder on the server, made a to-do list, formulated a few questions and opened Illustrator. It was all a little awkward. But fortunately, the program worked almost like it does at home. Something familiar when everything else was new.
The second week flew by. Making a story board, table football, listening to presentations, eating hummus, setting up a laptop, a detour via Arnhem station, becoming digitally connected. And on Thursday afternoon we drank a few bottles of beer.
I realised it was something I could get used to!
By my third week, I was beginning to get used to things. When I entered the studio, I recognised the hard-working faces and could put names to them. My work week began with an intensive course on being an illustrator from Colin. We looked for inspiration. He taught me a number of handy keyboard shortcuts. And he walked me through my new role as Illustrator.
I didn’t take the train on Wednesday. I sent Sophie a message the night before, and we drove to Utrecht together by car. She told me how she’d started out two years before as an intern at Today and had stuck like a limpet. The car ride flew by!
The U-ov is off our hands for now. Astrid’s been sent the PDF. Melissa, Today’s veteran project manager, is sitting at my desk. She gives me a new job of making isometric illustrations of hospital equipment. Later in the day I got an email from Astrid. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management was in urgent need of an infographic. Up till now, all my jobs have been really varied. Different styles, different formats and totally different goals. I love all this diversity!
We wrapped up the week spectacularly on Friday afternoon. I held the table football figures upright as Bob shot from the rear putting the heat on the opposition. Boom! Crash! Whoosh! The ball shot through the air and landed spectacularly in Ben’s shirt pocket.