I am a LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER, and a graduate of CAD.
Adrien Duchateau, who graduated from CAD in 2014.
What has been your professional path since you graduated from CAD? What do you do for a living now?
After my graduation, I was hired by McArnolds, a branding and webdesign agency in Brussels. I then worked simultaneously for a little over a year at Mediabrands Publishing (media agency) and Levelapp (agency specializing in mobile application creation). I then worked on a mobile app with friends, Judg.
In January 2017, I was hired by DataCamp as Lead Designer. DataCamp is a Belgian start-up based in Leuven, New York and London, which offers an online education platform specializing in data science. When I joined the company, we were only 20, now we are more than 100 employees across the 3 locations. The company has just finished a fundraising of 25 million euros and plans to hire + – 80 people in 2019. This is by far the most rewarding experience I have had in my (young) career, a start-up in full expansion with all the responsibilities that it entails is very exciting!
In what way did the CAD help you get where you are today?
The CAD allowed me to be directly credible in the job market as soon as I graduated. CAD projects are always “real cases”, you are asked to invent a brand, create a packaging, design a website or mobile app, imagine a poster for an event, … what you learn at CAD can be immediately applied once you’re out. The teachers are demanding but all nice, you do everything not to disappoint them, at least if you love this job.
Please describe one or two big projects you have recently been working on.
The biggest project I’ve worked on so far, and am still working on, is DataCamp. When I started two years ago, there was no “in-house” designer, they only worked with freelances. Their branding and interface were not up to the quality of their product. Since many graphic designers had worked on it without real branding guidelines, it lacked consistency across the product. So I had to create new guidelines and apply them in all the different facets of the product to create a consistent visual experience for the user. My next challenge is to maintain this consistency through the different designers that we hire, while remaining creative and “up to date” visually.
What did you find most challenging about CAD?
The teachers are demanding, they want to get the best out of us and are not easily satisfied, which can be intimidating at first, but we quickly realize that it is for our own sake. To do “the minimum” is not enough if you want to succeed in this environment.
What were the most fun classes you took? Why?
The classes of the Durieux brothers were undoubtedly the most challenging, they are ruthless! They do not beat about the bush, when what you did is bad, they tell you right away. It’s pretty destabilising, but it helps you progress so much! I loved it. They really helped me choose this style of direct communication in my career. It must be said when something is bad, there is no point in letting it go and being satisfied with the minimum, but obviously it is also necessary to say when it is good!