This service represents the face of the council through our customer service centres as well as handling our publications, online messages, social media and the press.

We use our customer feedback and insight to guide our strategic direction. We also monitor council performance and lead community initiatives to deliver our corporate promises.

What is your job role and what does that mean?

I am currently one of two graphic designers in the Strategy and Communications team at Wychavon District Council. In simple terms, a graphic designer is a creative role that involves producing design work for a range of different projects such as: posters, magazines, corporate reports, presentations, leaflets, animated gifs, social media items, maps, branding, logos and advertising – you name it we do it!. Generally, a graphic designer is a visual-thinking problem solver and communicator. You have to have knowledge of the relevant design software, as well as skills in layout, branding, colour theory, printing techniques, typography, sub-editing, and marketing strategy. You also have to stay on top of what’s on trend and be continuously learning new techniques and software.

Photo of Gemma Lewis in frame shaped like a gear

What does a normal day in your role look like?

No day is ever the same in this role! A normal day starts with checking emails and looking to see whether there have been any new jobs booked in. I will then review my schedule for the day and check which projects have the highest priority or the closest deadlines (you have to be great at prioritizing and project management in this job); generally I can be working on 10-20 different projects at a time. Once I have finished with any admin I will begin the design portion of the day, which involves working on my Mac using programs from the Adobe Creative Suite (e.g. Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator). I coordinate layouts, select and manipulate images and choose typefaces, around the text that the customer has provided. I may also do a little proofreading or suggest re-wording things to make something more marketable. I design for both printed products and web media, and tend to work on several different projects at once. I may produce a poster for one customer, while designing several options for a logo for another. The job might involve developing a whole new brand and style concept, so I will meet with the customer to discuss the details. If a project (for example, an event flyer) is to be externally printed, I might speak to a few different printers to get the best quote for the job. I will switch back and forth between projects throughout the day, and pick up new jobs and schedule them in. I might look online for some inspiration (Pinterest is totally brill) and check out what’s currently on trend, or sketch out some ideas on paper before designing on screen. As there are two of us, I also have to keep track of what the other designer is working on and be able to pick up anything should she be out of the office. I will finish each day by updating our project log, backing up all of my work, and filing away emails.

Why did you choose to work for the Council?

When I was 18, I did some work experience at Wyre Forest DC with their graphic designer. She had image inspiration stuck all over the walls and was working on some vehicle livery design, which I’d never seen done before. I’d always wanted to be an illustrator or graphic designer, and working with her really cemented it for me. Working for a council seemed like it could be a lot more varied and seemed to give the designer more ownership of her work – which is not what it would be like when working for a design agency. The range of different projects I work on at Wychavon is amazing and gives me a chance to communicate so many different messages and ideas. Wychavon has a great reputation for being a creative council, so it’s brilliant to have the freedom to design for so many different projects that are seen by so many people in the district. Designing for the council means my work has a real use and can inform, instruct, and entice people to get involved in their community. Not all graphic design jobs have that range – it’s very rewarding.

What advice would you give to a person considering a role at the Council?

The best advice I can give is to research the role and the council as much as possible, to decide if working here would be the best place for you. You should also have an understanding of the local area, the community and its people as, after all, that is whom we serve!

Wychavon is a friendly yet hard-working council and can be a very rewarding place to work, whichever role you are in. It offers a variety of different services but everyone is working towards a common goal. My advice to anyone considering a role here would be that you need to be fairly adaptable, flexible, and a team player. You need to be willing to get stuck in and most of all be driven to deliver the best service you can.

Photo of Gemma Lewis at her computer

Gemma Lewis

Graphic Designer

Strategy, Democratic and Customer Services