We’re welcoming the new year with a spotlight on LCI student and graphic and digital design maestro, Murray Pearce.
Murray Pearce is a passionate designer and creative, who has spent over five years personally and professionally perfecting his skills and design process, from conceptualisation to delivery.
Doing small commissions for friends and family from year 10, Murray has have developed his skills and experience, gradually building his own freelance graphic design business, gaining bigger and more challenging clients.
Recently, Murray completed a job for a client in the vegan community called BiteMeFineFoods. He was asked to design the surface graphics and packaging for three new burger patties.
“Since the age of 14, unlike most people, I have had an idea of where I want to be in the future and where I want to go with my career. At first my goals were not set in stone, but I knew I had to do something creative.”
Can you share a bit about your creative process for the project you recently completed with BiteMeFineFoods?
Hi Murray, how are you today?
I’m doing better than ever!
Describe a typical day in the life of Murray at the moment. What are you currently working on?
When I’m not working at my part time job or working hard on my uni assignments, a typical day for me would include waking up and spending time with my French bulldog puppy called Nismo.
Then I get straight into a variety of things that push me further to my goals, whether that be promoting myself, researching and learning new design skills, creating or finding briefs and then completing small pieces for my folio, or working on client projects.
I am currently designing a brochure for MGR Security Doors based in Cranbourne, Melbourne. When their sales rep goes out to find potential customers, they see everything available to them via multiple flyers and pamphlets from MGR’s suppliers.
My job is to create a brochure that collates everything the client sells from the different types of mesh available for flyscreens, to the more expensive, secure and stunning steel security doors, while conveying MGR’s key messages.
From the beginning, I knew this job was going to be challenging and would be a project that I would never forget. BiteMeFineFoods founder and owner, Chris Ahilias and his team, found me through a graphic design ad I posted on Gumtree.
After a few messages back and forth, they told me that they approached a few bigger design agencies about their idea and simply couldn’t find what they were looking for, design and price wise.
For my creative process I wanted to execute the brief in the most professional way possible. After talking to business professionals and researching how to go about a larger than normal project for myself, I took this job as an opportunity to grow as a designer, freelancer and small business owner.
Throughout the overall process I was able to work closely with the client to explore difference aspects of the creative brief, generate designs, then develop and refine them for the finished product design; as seen on shelves today!
The whole job had a deadline of 5 weeks. At this point the client wanted a complete NET packaging with surface graphics for 3 different burger patties and a box to hold the patties, ready to send straight to the printer.
After a lot of indecisiveness, changes of heart and many energetic discussions with the BiteMeFineFood team, the 5-week deadline was extended to 5 months. Although this was not intended, I learned that this happens in industry and is unavoidable whether I’m a freelancer or part of a creative agency.
What inspires your work?
My work is generally inspired by what I see both on the internet and in shopping centres. I am always actively looking around wherever I go and seeing what elements I can take from each piece of design I see, so that I can adapt it to a potential future project.
Pinterest and the ‘explore’ section of Instagram have also been a big part of where I find my inspiration especially when I am experiencing a creative block or just need motivation.
How did you develop your design ethos and what does it refer to personally?
Over the past few years, I have loved to look ahead at where a design might be in the next 1-5 years, throughout our creative process. I strongly believe that ‘good design’ needs to both look good and function well, now and in the future.
I currently keep two folders at home, one with work I am proud of and another with pieces I think could have had a better outcome. When I look back at these two folders it helps to keep me on track with my design journey and is a constant reminder to do my best work every day.
How has your experience been studying at LCI Melbourne? How do you think your journey has been affected by your mentors and classmates?
If I could go back and do it again, I would. LCI has been amazing and it is not just a university, it’s a creative community and a memorable experience!
I have learnt so much from the curriculum, teachers and students. Going to LCI at the start of 2019 I thought I would just get the work done and come out with a degree, but I have done so much more than that!
I have gained invaluable knowledge from students and teachers who have detailed answers to all my career related questions from their many years in the industry. I had the amazing opportunity, thanks to my mentor Donna O’Neill, to work at the LessThanTwo design marketing studio alongside Creative Director, Serhan Sahin.
I had consistent and extremely helpful advice and guidance from my tutors throughout my course on client projects outside of LCI. These tutors helped through both the creative process and the financial side of things when dealing with my clients.
I have thankfully met some lifelong friends, mentors, and industry professionals who I plan to keep in touch with after I graduate. I also developed great friendships with older students who had existing businesses in the industry which has presented job opportunities along the way.
Do you have any advice for future LCI Melbourne students? How can they make the most out of their study?
Be kind, open and engage with your mentors, as their knowledge, industry experience and career hurdles will definitely help the way you shape your business and work creatively in the present and future.
What’s next for Murray Pearce?
During my last trimester at LCI, I plan on either re-joining Serhan Sahin at his LessThanTwo design studio or start applying at other creative agencies, so I can secure a creative career before I graduate.
Either way I aim to continue my freelance business efforts with a manageable number of clients that I can work with, while balancing work with a creative agency!