We Are Randox | Meet our award-winning Costume Designer, Monika!
At Randox we pride ourselves on being a global company with an international team of over 1400 people from 145 different countries.
Our dedicated workforce have a range of talents and skills that they bring with them to Randox each day. But the commitment and dedication of our hard-working workforce doesn’t end when they leave the office. Randox employees have a wide range of hobbies and interesting talents and we are delighted to be able to share some of these with you through our We Are Randox series.
Recently Monika, one of our valued Manufacturing and Despatch Operatives at Randox took the time to tell us about her passion for designing and creating unique handmade costumes for Festivals found throughout Northern Ireland.
Here is Monika’s story:
“I joined Randox in Northern Ireland roughly about 5 months ago as a Manufacturing and Despatch Operative in our Mivan site based in Crumlin. I was really happy to land a job within an international organisation that employed a wide range of people from different cultures and different backgrounds.
Back in Poland, where I am originally from, I studied full time for 6 years in the OSSP Art School. For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in arts and crafts so it came naturally to me when I first started to design costumes.
I prefer to design my own original work and not copy anyone else’s designs. My favourite type of costumes to design are ancient religious characters from past centuries and eras. As there is no proof or documentation which illustrates what they ‘should’ look like, it gives me free reign to be as creative as I want to be. Nobody is able to say whether your design is right or wrong, you can only imagine what it is supposed to look like.
There are a variety of different festivals and competitions that I am able to enter including the MCM Comic Con and the Show Master competition. The first competition that I entered here in Northern Ireland was the MCM Comic Con in 2015 which takes place every year in Belfast. It takes me roughly around 100 hours to make one costume as they are all handmade so it takes a lot of time, effort and dedication. This festival attracts about 16,000 people each time so I was thrilled to win first place the first time that I entered!
The winning design I created was an old European folklore costume that the judges loved. This encouraged me to enter the summer MCM Comic competition which took place in July. I designed an Aztec God costume for this entry and ended up coming in at first place again which was a great achievement. I was presented with a trophy and money voucher when I won both of these competitions which was great.
The next competition that I hope to enter is the 2017 MCM Comic Con competition which is set to take place in March. For the March competition I am designing a Witch Doctor outfit and I am intrigued to see what way the final design will turn out.
I’m a fully qualified artist and every costume I design I can sell on under my brand name – Eliot Von Valentino – but they are all quite expensive.
Everything I create is handmade using materials such as leather which is extremely costly. I had to skin my leather sofa once to get the amount of leather that I needed to create my design!
I also use natural gem stones which are all individually sewed on. I take a lot of pride in my designs and I finance them all myself which is sometimes difficult as the materials needed to complete my designs are so expensive and hard to come by.
In the future I have high aspirations to enter the bigger competitions that take place in London. They draw in crowds of 120,000 so it would be a good opportunity to showcase my work to such a large scale audience.”
We look forward to seeing Monika’s latest design this coming March for her next competition. Good Luck Monika!
If you are interested in joining the multi-talented and passionate team we have here at Randox please visit our careers page for current vacancies.
As a global company with over 1400 employees of 44 different nationalities, we know that the key to success is having a diverse and multi-talented team.
We’re passionate about celebrating the talent and creativity of our Randox employees who make Randox as great as it is today, and who each have their own unique and interesting story to tell.
This week, we had a quick Q&A session with our Lead Graphic Designer, Anne Smith, to hear about her role in Team Randox and what makes her job so exciting.
Spoiler Alert: She’s designed the logo for the world’s greatest race…
Anne, tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be Lead Graphic Designer at Randox.
I studied Art for GCSE and A-Level before choosing to study Graphic Design and Illustration at Ulster University’s Belfast Campus. My course was really interesting and it allowed me to get to grips with using digital design software, including the key Adobe software packages; Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. I particularly enjoyed studying the more niche design areas of Typography and Illustration, and learning these new skills instilled in me the ambition to work in a fast-paced, international company with a wide range of different design projects on offer. I wanted to not only utilise my current design skills, but also have the opportunity to learn new ones. So that’s what motivated me to apply for a job at Randox when I graduated!
How did you originally find out about roles in Graphic Design at Randox?
I found out about opportunities in Graphic Design at Randox through the Job Centre NI. Randox has always been a name that people in Northern Ireland know as a key business and employer, but I never really thought about there being Graphic Design jobs in a diagnostics company! I suppose most people think of Graphic Design jobs being in Design or Marketing Agencies, but it’s important to know that many major companies have their own in-house Design Teams. Randox is one such company and has provided me with an incredibly dynamic, exciting job because there’s always something new going on here.
What are the different Graphic Design roles across the company?
We currently have a team of seven Graphic Designers here at Randox and we work across a range of our product divisions. We each have a dedicated product group which we look after – so that could be Randox Quality Control, Randox Biosciences, Randox Health, Corporate Events, or anything in between. As the company grows and the demand for more design material increases, we will want to expand the Graphic Design Team even further.
What does being a designer at Randox involve on a daily basis?
Graphic Design is so varied – one minute I could be designing brochures for a new Randox product, and the next presenting a storyboard concept to our Marketing Managers for a new corporate video. Within each product group we work on producing promotional material such as brochures, pop-up stands, social media graphics, and newsletters. I also look after corporate design such as employee business cards and recruitment adverts.
What has been your proudest achievement while working with Randox?
That would definitely have to be when my design for the Randox Health Grand National logo was officially finalised and released to the public! A lot of hard work and creativity went in to designing the new logo for the world’s greatest race and I’m proud to say that it’s my design.
How did the opportunity come about to design the Randox Health Grand National logo?
We’re very proud of the fact that at Randox we have such fantastic talent in our Marketing teams, and as such we like to keep all elements of our Marketing in-house. When Randox Health and our partners at The Jockey Club decided to create a new logo to accompany the new sponsorship, our Graphic Design Team were given the opportunity to come up with our ideas for the new logo. The final decision was then a two-step process – we presented our logo ideas to our Randox Marketing Managers, and The Jockey Club Team, and we also let all Randox employees vote for their favourite logo. I was delighted when my design was chosen!
What’s the creative process involved in coming up with a new design?
Every piece of design is different but in this instance there were a lot of key messages we wanted to get across with the Randox Health Grand National logo. When we’re asked to produce a new design we’re usually given a brief with the key messages, and in this case it was the speed, agility and excitement of horse racing. So I went away and came up with a few different concepts that I felt portrayed this speed and excitement, and after much consideration chose my final design!
What does it feel like knowing your design will be seen by 600,000,000 people across the world during the Randox Health Grand National?
Really exciting! Our team went to the Grand National 2016 in April, and the site is incredible. The racecourse and the surrounding site is so expansive, and to think that my logo will be displayed across it, and therefore seen by the world, is just amazing.
Between now and April when the Randox Health Grand National takes place, what artwork will you be creating?
There’s a lot of branding that needs to be done – for the racecourse, the Aintree site, the Liverpool area, and additionally lots of adverts, editorials and online branding such as for our website and social media. We won’t be short of work to do!
Do you have any advice for people considering a job in Graphic Design?
There are many challenges that come with working in Graphic Design. Quite often the creation of a new design can be a lengthy process, as you will have to make several changes and amendments to a design before a final concept is chosen. However, it is important to appreciate the huge amount of thought and consideration put in to each and every element of a new design, and to know that all the hard work will be worth it in the end! There is no prouder feeling than seeing your hard work going to print. I never thought that I would be the Designer for the Official Randox Health Grand National logo, but here I am, and I couldn’t be prouder.
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