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My journey into building a brand and ultimately become a professional graphic designer

After completing my Fine Art degree, I worked in the Netherlands for a short while in the marketing sector. Then, I decided to move to Liverpool and start a new project with money that I had earnt from working various jobs in retail.

For me, this was an interesting process and acted as a great opportunity to explore my creative ideas. Little did I know, it would enable me to realise my passion for digital marketing and content design. This set off a spark that I eventually pursued, working a three-month internship in Digital Marketing at Liverpool Biennial which lead to my application for The Juice Academy.

In 2016, I set up The Trophy Room gallery, a platform for mid-level artists to showcase themselves to the public through exhibitions, workshops and artist talks. Setting up The Trophy Room gallery had a host of hurdles which I had to overcome including: developing online newsletters, social media marketing, artist liaison and communication skills, website building, logo and poster design.

The brand's identity and tone of voice evolved over time, demonstrated in the images above. The image on the left is from the first exhibition in June 2016 and the right is from the current exhibition in July 2018.

Modelled on American hunting lodges, The Trophy Room has a rustic aesthetic and an immersive feel unlike many other gallery spaces. It does not have standardized white walls, it instead invites the viewer to interpret contemporary art in a different manner.

With this in mind, I needed a clear message to give to the viewer but wanted to keep a unique visual aesthetic that would carry across over a multi-platform marketing strategy. This took the form of inspiration from hazard tape, as a cheeky nod towards the D.I.Y element of building the space from scratch.

I decided to use a informal tone of voice from the outset, appealing to the wide age-range of audience interested in contemporary arts. It was key that I developed a message which could be conveyed coherently when describing the gallery and how it offers something different to what was already available.

The exhibition space is free to use and a creative place for artists who may not have the means to advance their practice in the creative sector. The Trophy Room hosts a varied

programme of events to engage with communities such as artist talks and workshops, hosted by myself, guests or artists.

It’s been two years since starting the gallery space, I have hosted 19 exhibitions, had 2 mentions in The Guardian newspaper and featured in the 2017 A-N Artist-led Hot 100. My eyes have been opened to the world of digital marketing, brand management and creating content. This has directly fed into my apprenticeship with The Juice Academy and has only pushed me further in trying to understand what consumers want and how I can make interesting and unique visuals for brands whilst I work for Tangerine Communications.

Check out our social channels on Facebook and Instagram @thetrophyroomgallery and on Twitter @trophyroomliv.

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