Meet our members: Hollie Clarke Assoc.CSD

‘From learning to earning’ ™ – our memberships have been created to support all designers, regardless of where they are in their career.

In this blog, we spoke with Graphic Design graduate, Hollie Clarke Assoc.CSD, who recently upgraded from being a e-Student Member of the Society to an Associate.

Here, Hollie shares her experiences of CSD as a student member and now as an Associate and why she is passionate about design.


Q: Please introduce yourself

I’m a graduate graphic designer, who is passionate about responsible design and producing work that benefits others.

Overall, I’m a multidisciplinary creative, with varied skills and knowledge, including researching, copywriting, visual communication, typography, and illustration.

I studied at Sheffield Hallam University and since graduating, have moved to the Northeast of the country.


Q: What made you choose this career?

I’ve always had a passion for creativity! But, when I was studying A-Level Graphic Design, I had two amazing teachers who helped me discover that I could develop a career doing something I love and enjoy.

From a young age, I have found creative projects inspiring. When I was applying to university, my family were very supportive and encouraging. I love learning new things and the fact that design is part of anything. It allows me to learn new subjects, skills, and knowledge in a variety of fields and industries.

The Anti Depression Toolkit: A self-help resource for people with depression.


Q: Tell us about your journey as a CSD member.

I joined the Chartered Society of Designers as a Student e-Member, whilst studying an accredited Graphic Design course at Sheffield Hallam University. As a student, I loved having access to CSD’s student blog for industry insights and advice.

As I begin my journey into the design industry, I have recently upgraded my membership to an Associate Member. I plan to work towards becoming a Chartered Designer with the Society.


Q: What do you enjoy/value about CSD membership?

Firstly, I appreciate being a part of a wider community of designers and creatives. I also really like having a profile and portfolio on the ‘Find-A-Designer’ directory on the CSD website, where members can upload images and details of case studies.

One of the things I value most about my CSD membership is the emphasis on and encouragement to continually develop during your career. I enjoy taking part in and attending events and workshops – which I can log on to my CSD account as CPD (Continued Professional Development). It’s a great way to monitor my career development and contributes towards becoming a Chartered Designer in the future.


Q: What do you find the most exciting and enjoyable thing about being a designer?

I love researching. I enjoy finding out new information and creating ways to communicate with an audience.

I find it exciting that as well as learning about other fields, there is a culture that you never stop learning as a creative! There is always new software to try and new techniques and ways of thinking to explore.

The process of idea generation all the way to developing an outcome is exciting for me. I have a particular interest in social impact projects and non-profit organisations.


Q: What are the greatest challenges you face as a designer and how have you overcome them?

COVID made my final year at university especially difficult. It meant I had to adjust to very different and new ways of learning online. It had an impact on my mental health and wellbeing, and so the last few months of my degree, I was finding it hard to keep going and stay motivated. By the end of my course, I was completely burnt out.

Despite the social pressures of getting a graduate job straight away, after finishing my degree, I took some time out to focus on my mental health. I believe I am now starting to get to know myself, I am beginning to understand that personal mental wellbeing is, and always should be, a priority.


Q: What are the most important qualities or competencies for a designer?

What matters most to me is the reasoning behind design and the drive to solve a problem or make things better for people. It’s why I aspire to continue to develop my skills in the responsible design field in my future career, using unconventional ways and visuals to make viewers think about an issue.

I feel that as designers, we have a responsibility to always educate ourselves about the subjects we are designing for. We should consider the values of the client, alongside whether the image that they want to portray to the world truly reflects who they are.

A fake supermarket brand to encourage action on climate change.


Q: If you were not a designer what else would you like to be?

I could perhaps see myself as a journalist or a documentary filmmaker if I had taken a different route in life. I think it fits well with my love of researching and learning, as well as producing work that creates a positive impact. For these reasons and the fact that I love binging documentaries!


Q: What does design mean to you?

To me, design is having a responsibility to communicate effectively to make an impact, through creative means. This can be through provoking emotion or an action from a selected audience, or simply raising awareness on a subject through communication and engagement, in a clear manner to ensure the desired audience understands.

I feel that a key part of design is ensuring that a piece of work is going to have the desired effects. This is achieved through community-driven practice and detailed consideration for each of the groups that will feel the impacts of a project.


Q: In one sentence what advice would you give to a new designer?

Do not put too much pressure on yourself, try not to be too precious with your work and always keep learning.


You can contact Hollie through our Find-a-Designer tool or connect with her via her website.