Meet the Team: Elyas Shamaan
Sit down chat with SPEY Design Associate, Elyas
How did you get into Graphic Design?
I never had any intention to study or get into the design industry, but I am very glad I did! At heart, I’m an illustrator, but I wanted to get into the creative field through a broader path. That led me to apply for Visual Communication at Inverness College UHI. The tutors there helped me see all my options, and one of them was design. I particularly enjoyed branding projects, layout design and illustration. I went from college straight into work, as I was lucky enough to find a local design agency who was looking for a part-time graphic designer. My time there gave me a great stepping stone into SPEY.
What led you to SPEY?
I lived in Inverness with my partner prior to starting work at SPEY. I’d known about SPEY for a while, so I followed them on social media, and when I saw the job post for Content Designer pop up, I knew I had to grab that opportunity. I applied & got the job after a successful test design project, which ended up being used for the client. The job also involved a move, and for me and my partner, this worked out very well. We now live in beautiful coastal Lossiemouth, both working in our dream jobs.
Top 3 pieces of work you have done for SPEY?
- My favourite project is the SPEY website, which included a refresh of branding as well. I helped reinvent the message we are trying to send with SPEY, and translate that to a professional, inviting, yet classy and minimalist website.
- Another project I enjoyed is the tasting note cards for BenRiach. I designed the cards to match the bottle & sleeve designs, and had to work closely with the client to ensure the information, colours & branding is faultless. The end result was a set of five beautifully designed cards to be handed out with a BenRiach dram.
- The third project is The Cabrach Trust's website, which involved not just a really clean and modern website, but also illustrations to match the theme of old-but-new. I got to illustrate a lot of elements in a very medieval and victorian line drawing style, which was a big bonus!
What is the best part about working with SPEY?
Too many to name! What really makes me enjoy the job is the vast diversity of tasks. One day I will be updating a website with text, the next I am wax sealing letters for high-end PR packages. I get to experience so much at this job, and I feel like I am learning something new every day thanks to my talented colleagues as well.
Top 3 graphic design tools you can’t live without?
1. I don’t think any designer can live without the Adobe Creative Suite. Illustrator, InDesign & Photoshop are the best tools in the market.
2. Another tool I can’t live without is my graphics tablet. I use both a Wacom Bamboo as well as a Huion Q11K. I use my graphics tablet for photo editing, illustration, and a variety of other things.
3. Last but not least, the good old fashioned pen and paper. From exploring thoughts to illustrating graphics, it always starts on pen and paper.
What's it like working for a rural agency?
I think it’s great! I enjoy the lunchtime walks, the friendly locals, the comfort of an office in a small village, rather than in a busy city where people are constantly moving and buzzing about. I want to say fresh air as well, but the smell of distilleries can overpower that!
Who's your favourite designer?
It’s more of a team of two rather than a single designer. 1924us, which consists of Christian Watson & Elle-May Watson. They are a husband and wife team of designer & photographer. Their work is very vintage, earthy and rough, but at the same time so delicate. All their design assets, including fonts, are hand drawn too!
What inspires you?
Film, TV, music & comic books. I'm a creator and would love to work in the film industry one day. I hope to release a comic book with a story good enough to go to TV or the big screen, which is why my inspirations lay in all of those fields.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
In my spare time I write and draw. I am currently working on a comic book, as well as co-writing other comic books with some friends. I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our cats, and I have a huge list of movies and tv shows I'd like to watch, as well as several tv shows I am still trying to catch up on. That last one doesn't happen very often.
What's your favourite font?
Akrobat, a free font by Plamen Motev. The font combines two fonts I tend to use the most, Futura and Bebas Neue. It comes with eight weights, but doesn’t have italic versions. I don’t like using italics myself, so that makes Akrobat the perfect font for me!
What's your favourite Pantone colour?
I don't really have a favourite pantone colour, but if I were to choose, it would be Pantone 1585 C, a nice strong orange, which is a colour I have been really liking lately.