RGD highlights the experiences of Amanda Boltë, Creative Director at Cineplex Digital Media (London, Ontario office).
1. The Basics:
Name: Amanda Boltë RGD
Company Name: Cineplex Digital Media
Job Title: Creative Director, London, Ontario office.
I lead creative teams focused on digital menu board design, strategy and versioning of both print and digital solutions for Tim Hortons, A&W, and Chick-fil-A. I also lead digital design solutions for Citizen’s Bank and print and branding needs for Cineplex Digital Media internal marketing.
2. When does your typical work day start and end?
Our office hours are 9-5, but I like to get to work early. It gives me time to ease into the day and prepare for any meetings, deadlines, and opportunities that await. I am usually one of the last to leave the office at about 5:30-6, and then continue to work into the evening as needed. My staff know that they can always reach me, day, nights, or weekends. Being a designer has never been a 9-5 job.
3. What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?
Drink my tea while I read through any new emails that have come in over the night, and create a game plan for the day. I touch base with the accounts team for client feedback and my creative team for status on jobs. I like to make sure that I talk to everyone first thing in the morning to make sure that they are supported for the day, and that I can address anything urgent right away. There are many moving parts in the studio; clear and frequent communication is essential.
4. List the 5 things you spend the most time on during a typical work day, and allot them a percentage amount (adding up to 100%).
30% - Creative. Sometimes it’s working out a new strategy, design review, decision making, or brainstorming with the team.
30% - Client facing. Working mostly with our account teams, listening to the client while providing the creative voice that understands the clients’ needs and objectives.
20% - Staff management. This includes goals and objectives, ensuring that the accounts are staffed correctly, and that we have all the resources needed to meet the client’s requests.
10% - Company Meetings. Our objectives as a company, is try to ensure that only the key personal attend each meeting, but it’s still a large part of my days.
10% - Morale. Participating in company events, leading and attending team meetings, social committee events, lunch and learns, and more. A positive workplace culture leads to increased productivity, better employee morale and the ability to keep skilled workers.
5. Of all of the tasks you complete during the day, what is your favourite? What is your least favourite?
Honestly, I adore everything about my job; mentoring, directing, designing, inspiring, and supporting my team. I enjoy watching a designer learn something new, improve on a skill, or present a new idea or perspective. I love leading just as much as I love being a part of the process. My least favourite part of the job would be red tape. Either internal or client side, when working with large companies there often comes excess layers of approvals and processes.
6. Do you have any strategies to keep up your productivity/inspiration over the course of the day?
Our business is electronic screens and digital experiences, with a focus on digital menu boards. But as designers, we need to think out of the box to make that box work smarter. Lunch and learns, skill-shares, motion meetings, and creative challenges are only some of the sources of inspiration that we bring to the team. I encourage designer-led sessions, as inspiration should not always be a top-down initiative.
7. Are there any tasks that you like to do at the end of the day? That you feel you must do before you leave?
Before I leave the office at the end of the day, I touch base again with key members of the team or follow up on the day’s events. I try to ‘check off’ everything on my to-do list, and start tomorrow’s list. In my studio, there is rarely a dull day, so it’s best to follow-up as you go.
8. How has your job changed over the last year, 5 years, if at all?
In the last five years, I have worked with large clients on a variety of projects at two agencies. The biggest change I have witnessed is the prominence of digital design. From apps, to websites, to touch screens and digital experiences, it has changed how we see, buy, sell, and design. Great designers adapt, learn and push that technology to work smarter, harder, and help develop better solutions.
Finish these sentences:
9. As a graphic designer, I can’t go a day without … my computer, my phone, a cup of tea, and a positive attitude.
10. One thing I wish I knew when I started my career is that … continue to always STAY HUNGRY. Our industry is always evolving and changing and you need to adapt, learn and change. Read, study, watch and always continue to learn from your peers and to share that knowledge with those around you.
11. In my job, I wish I had more time for… more big strategy thinking and big design. I really love what I do, and I feel that there is a lot of unexplored opportunity out there. I want to help push clients and their limits of what is next.
12. Can you also provide an image of a project (or something else) you are currently working on?