It’s an exciting time in the Work PR office, as after years of being ineligible due to our office location, we have finally had fibre broadband installed.

With speeds we’ve never known the like of, we’ll now be able to work much more efficiently, upload our animations quicker, have better quality video calls and deliver work to clients that little bit faster.

Once again though, this is another reminder of how reliant we are on technology and the internet to function as a business.

While my colleagues’ work is primarily writing, which could be done without the aid of a computer if need be, they still require the internet to research topics, gather details to inform their articles and send articles to publishers.

But as a designer, I am perhaps the team member who is most reliant on computers and the internet. Without my trusty MacBook, I wouldn’t be of much use to the team, and I couldn’t deliver the design services that our clients require.

The internet is down!

We have had a few occasions over the years when the internet has gone down for some reason and it has had a surprisingly significant impact on my workflow.

We have designed many websites for our clients, and once they are designed, we continue to maintain them, update the content and refresh the design periodically. This is impossible to do without an internet connection.

So, naturally I would turn to other forms of design, but even then, I am restricted. The lack of internet makes it more difficult to research and find inspiration, source images, upload animations and email clients or colleagues.

Most of our files are stored in the cloud, so if I needed something that I don’t have synced to my computer, I wouldn’t be able to access it.

My computer’s frozen!

If I am deprived of internet access, there is still plenty for me to do, including designing brochures, magazines, leaflets, branding and animation. I can also write blogs for our website – like this one.

However, without a computer I would struggle to do any of these. I could still sketch out designs by hand and draw storyboards for animations, but I wouldn’t be able to produce finished designs.

Don’t be a Mac Monkey

Being a designer isn’t just about being good in Photoshop, it’s about knowing how to use it to bring your creative visions to life. We use technology to help us realise the vision that is in our minds.

While computer skills are essential for designers these days, it’s also important for us to have other skills beyond the computer. Things like illustration, photography and painting are also useful and can add an extra edge to design service offerings if you can do them in-house.

For example, when working on a new website for a client, they needed nice photographs of their products, but didn’t want the hassle of hiring a professional. We offered to take the photos for them - using our camera, lighting equipment and a revolving platform we’d recently purchased – which saved the client time and money.

We’ve also used illustration skills to make our animations more bespoke for the client. One construction firm wanted to show their construction site and offices as accurately as possible, so we drew the buildings and vehicles that were used in the animation.

Which is why, every now and then, I like to turn the computer off and go out to photograph things, paint a picture or visit a gallery. Not for too long though – there’s always work to do!