You are invited to read along and find out what a typical day at the EAS Studio is like.
7:30 am each day without fail, the Studio is a hive of activity with each respective person doing their designated job. While the rest of us are preparing for the start of what without a doubt will be a long day, for one special soul, the day began hours ago. For Dean Smith our residential Australian designer, his day starts at 3:00 am because of the time difference between Australia and SA. While some of us (myself included) cannot fathom waking up at such an ungodly hour, Dean does it with an added spring to his step. FUN FACT ALERT! In all the three years that Dean has worked at the Studio he has NEVER been late and that is with the crazy hours that he works, let that sink in.
Dean is but one of the 10 designers and his job, like that of the other nine is to not just translate graphic design files to the respective templates (which for some reason folks think that’s all the job entails). It also includes actual design work, check and pre-checks of artwork for things such as low resolution, jagged vectors & print quality among many others. It is a job that requires a sharp eye and attention to detail, something that all our designers excel at.
On an average busy day, each of the 10 designers averages 26 artwork layouts, that 26 multiplied by 10 equates to 260 with each designer given roughly 20 minutes for each layout on a 9-hour workday. With that kind of pressure, it is a marvel that none of the designers have suffered any nervous breakdowns or nosebleeds.
While you digest this tit bit, here is a second FUN FACT ALERT! This month’s error rate for the studio is 0.1% truly impressive when compared with the number of work and time allocation.
To calm everyone and to cope with the work, music is played and incentives are offered to all. This raises morale and encourages everyone to do their work to the best of their ability. Here is another FUN FACT! Within being at the studio for just 4 months, tough guy Vinolin was awarded the Designer of The Month title! Designers get this sought-after title when they manage to complete 600 layouts a month, with a correction rate of less than 2% & changes of less than 20%.
Of the 10 studio designers, two can be found in different branches of the company. There is the ever-sarcastic funny man Mo in Johannesburg and our sharp-tongued graceful lady Ingemar in Cape Town. While these two are not physically in the Studio, they are included in all studio life thanks to the power of technology. They do their jobs in their respective places & send them through to the Studio to be proofed once approved. Should it not meet certain standards, the jobs are sent back with a dreaded correction mail, which at the end of each month are tallied up and archived.
Before the designers can work their magic, the artwork first goes through our Administrator Kirsty-Leigh. It is she who receives the initial job that comes with accompanying files and detailed brief. She downloads the necessary artwork, creates the job folders (which are archived at a later stage), arranges for job bags and hands out the job to the designers.
Once the job has been designed, it is sent to the proofreader who checks and makes sure that everything is as it should be. This includes but is not limited to making sure that the order and the artwork match and that the brief has been followed as close as possible. Once satisfied, the proofreader sends the job out to the rep, who sends it through to the client and awaits feedback & approval. 10 minutes are designated for each job to be proofed and sent out, with exceptions being taken for jobs with numerous layouts. So, if a designer is given 20 minutes per layout and the proofreader 10 minutes to check and give his stamp of approval, in theory it takes roughly 30 minutes for a single layout job to be done and sent to the client. In theory yes, but for most single layout jobs, they are done, proofed and sent out in under 20 minutes give or take & nope, we are not even bragging (yes, we are).
Should a job be approved or be an approval (as we call it in the Studio), the job is done, proofed and handed over to Paul our go to guy who in addition to being the copy machine master, he does the approval, gives the job a once over to make sure that nothing has been missed, does the various paperwork and hands it over to the print department.
4:30 when it’s quitting time everyone is naturally spent, you would think that would be the time to go home and relax but that’s not always the case. Urgent jobs and a flood of new orders prevent all from going home at the desired hour. Overtime is often approved when needed and it’s not shocking at all to find designers still at it well after 7pm or here at the crack of dawn to make sure that there is backlog.
Working in the Studio is at the best of times stressful and the cause of sleepless nights (literally one of our designers once had a restless night because of a job), it’s that bad, but it’s also very rewarding, thanks to the motivating, proficient and admirable management, the amiable staff and warm and inviting environment.