The first in a series of posts following talented members of our team in the early stages of their professional careers.
Adam Lee joined LHC Design in 2015 aged 18, straight from Exeter College after finishing a BTEC in Art & Design. Starting as a Junior Graphics Assistant, the first year of Adam’s career consisted of in-house training as part of the graphics team.
The graphics team is headed up by Phil Sanders who became Adam’s mentor, training him to take on the responsibilities of the role producing rendered masterplans, illustrations, editorial work and design for print.
A year later, in 2016, Adam enrolled onto the Foundation Degree course in Graphic Design at Exeter School of Art. He studied the course part time over three years, spending one day a week at university and working at LHC for the remainder of the week.
Over the three years Adam developed a wider knowledge of Graphic Design and, with the help of his ongoing in-house training, continued to put his growing skills to use.
In 2019 Adam earned a well-deserved promotion to Graphic Designer and graduated with a Foundation Degree from Exeter School of Art. He also won a place at Plymouth College of Art to complete the final Honours stage of his Graphic Design degree.
With no part-time option available, Adam committed to studying this Final Year as a full-time student. He spent his two days a week contact time in Plymouth but returned to his day-job at LHC for the remaining three. Studying a full-time degree, together with ever-growing responsibilities in the LHC studio meant that Adam had a lot on his plate. He took on the challenge and as time went on it helped him develop new skills, manage his time and further test his capabilities.
Adam graduated in summer 2020 with a 2:1 and is currently bringing his Final Major Project Discover Axminster to life, something not many students get the opportunity to do in the real world.
Adam’s project saw him take on the task of re-branding his hometown of Axminster in East Devon. His ambition was to give the town and its High Street a new lease of life through the adoption of an aspirational new image and tone of voice which better reflected the Axminster of today. He sent his proposals to the Town Council and to a group called Totally Locally which are part of the Axminster regeneration board. The proposals were very well-received, and Adam is currently overseeing the project with the help of Totally Locally to apply for funding which will enable the town to implement his design ideas.
Adam said of his career so far:
Growing up I always knew I wanted to work in the creative industry, traditional education wasn’t my strong point and so I always gravitated towards creative subjects. After school I went to Exeter College and studied a BTEC in Art and Design. BTEC was an alternative route to the A Level course, and more orientated toward practical course work than exams.
The BTEC course helped me learnt a lot about myself and what I wanted to become. It helped me uncover potential that I never knew I had, which ultimately gave me lots of motivation to pursue a career in Graphic Design and start to learn and progress as much as I could.
When I finished College, I applied for a few junior roles at local design agencies. This was the route I wanted to take, as university at the time seemed intimidating and something that I wouldn’t be able to complete. After interviewing with LHC, and eventually getting the job, they helped me grow as a person and a designer. The first year of working with them was very eye opening. The amount of new skills and processes I had to learn was overwhelming at times; but with amazing support, a few attempts and lots of patience on their part, these all became second nature.
After the first year at LHC I had learnt an enormous amount at a professional level. When they suggested sending me to university the idea seemed a lot less intimidating and the previous year had proved to me how important education was in order to progress. LHC offered me an amazing opportunity to work and study in an apprenticeship scheme that would keep me in a paid job as well as paying for half of my tuition.
The next four years saw me turn into the designer I am today, with over five years industry experience under my belt and a BA Hons in Graphic Design at the age of 23. I am incredibly grateful to LHC for taking the chance on me and all the time and resources they poured into my development. I want to say big thank you to everyone who supported me and especially Phil Sanders for being an amazing mentor. LHC have well and truly set me up for life and I will be forever grateful for that
Paul Osborne, LHC Director said:
At LHC we’re continually looking at new approaches to support the development of our team; and in particular considering apprenticeships as a route to encourage a more diverse range of people entering the design professions.
We’ve been pleased to support Adam throughout his education journey, paying him for his days spent at University and contributing towards his fees. Our support has been rewarded time and again, Adam managed to juggle work and studies admirably. Over the last five years he has grown into a much respected and valued member of staff and we look forward to watching his career develop.
Adam should be very proud of his final major degree project to rebrand Axminster High Street. It is a brilliant piece of work which is topical and reflects the broader themes evident in our work as a multi-disciplinary practice. Well done to Axminster Council and Totally Locally for recognising his talent and adopting his ideas.