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Our designer Nicola reports back on the Designer’s Fiesta 2014

Our creative guru, Nic, headed into London for a fun and informative event run by Academy Class in Hatfields on Friday 12th September 2014.

Here’s her report and commentary on how it went:

designer's Fiesta - Learn Meet Party

Although a first for me, the ‘Learn, Meet, Party’ Designer’s fiesta (@designersfiesta) is in its fifth year and you can tell why. With a line-up of twenty or so industry experts, we were treated to a full programme covering trending topics that have emerged throughout the year. Over 250 keen creatives and developers turned up for the day to absorb as much information as possible.

Before the scurry of people rushed off to one of their chosen classes, an introduction was given by one of the Adobe Team. He presented an interesting overview of the Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 (@creativecloud), opening our eyes on how to really take advantage and utilise this resource to our best advantage. It’s clear that the development of the Creative Suite has been improved – much thought has gone into the design and development stages making the whole process much easier, more efficient and fluid.

After an update on Adobe’s future developments and a glimpse into what to expect next year or so (an ink and slide tablet sketching pen was one), it was time to split off and find your first workshop.

You had a choice of six classes and I decided on:

  1. Through InDesign and Beyond
  2. Creative compositions in Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign
  3. How do we bring positive energy into advertising and design?
  4. The Holy Grail of Photoshop selections
  5. How to Create a Kick Ass Portfolio
  6. Draw like a pro in Illustrator

All the classes were packed, fast paced and fun. Luckily all the tutorials were filmed so we could go back and follow the advice offered at a more leisurely pace at home.

A clear favourite for me and many others was talented designer and teacher Martin Perhinjak @YesIMaDesigner. Not only a certified Adobe master, he has worked with a myriad of cool brands such as Disney, Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network and Sony.

It was a privilege for me to gain at first hand, the wisdom of someone like Martin who imparted his design tricks, knowledge and enthusiasm. He was able to show us new tools in Illustrator and Photoshop, as well as guide us through all those things that as a designer you have always avoided doing or struggled with.

Just a few examples:

  • Creating patterns in Illustrator
  • Using different tools to effectively cut out objects in Photoshop
  • Utilising Bridge to manage and store designs
  • Using masks instead of deleting, transforming a sketch into a vector with just a clicks and much more.

It was nice to be in a creative environment and get a kick up my designer backside! I’m now looking forward to putting what I learnt into practice…



Nicola Purdie, Designer



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