We Are Randox | Secrets of a Graphic Design Team
Ever wondered what it’s like to be part of the Graphic Design team here at Randox? Well who better to ask than one of our Heads of Design, Caoimhin Magee!
From navigating Illustrator to finding inspiration, collaborating on projects to taking part in creative sessions, and following proofing systems to encouraging professional development, Caoimhin shares all the secrets of one of the most creative departments in our global healthcare company.
Here’s Caiomhin’s story.
When I’m telling people the story of how I came to be Head of Design for such a prestigious company as the sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National, I like to start by saying that there is no one way to become a Graphic Designer.
My background is actually in architecture, which I studied at Queen’s University in Belfast for four years. But I realised that it just wasn’t for me. Although there was a certain element of creativity in my architecture degree, there was also a very heavy focus on maths and physics, and it just wasn’t what I pictured myself doing. I started thinking about changing to a fine arts degree to give me a bit more freedom creatively, but instead of rushing in to making a decision, I took some time out to go travelling across Australia and some of South East Asia.
When I returned home I worked for some time in a printing business in Lurgan, designing and printing a range of stationery for local businesses, and menus for local bars and restaurants.
Then I heard about a Graphic Design course at Shillington College, a design school run by a guy called Andy Shillington. He has schools in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, London, Manchester and New York, and so I made my way over to the Manchester school to begin training to be a Graphic Designer.
Basically, it was the same as an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design…
…but squeezed into an intense three months. Everyone studying there had come from different backgrounds and career disciplines but we all started at the same point, learning everything you needed to know to work in the Graphic Design industry – perfecting different design techniques and getting to grips with a range of design software.
Then at the end we were each awarded a Certificate of Education, which is recognised by major design organisations, like Adobe. We all graduated and showcased our work at a Graduate Show in Shillington, which was attended by some really big names in the design community. London might be the most obvious city choice for a design career in the UK, but Manchester is very quickly catching up. There’s a real creative hub there and so on the night of my graduation there some really prestigious designers flicking through my portfolio. I was lucky enough to secure some great freelance work in Manchester and Liverpool after I graduated.
But then I heard about a design job with Randox and it allowed me the opportunity to move back home and to secure a fulltime job.
What’s so great about working here is that you go in, and effectively you’re just given your own brand to make as exciting as you can. You’re immediately given the responsibility and trust that you would only get after working in an agency for several years. Whether you work on the design for Randox Reagents, or Randox Biosciences, or Randox Toxicology, you can go in and put your own stamp on that division.
I always make sure therefore, when talking to designers who are considering coming to work for us, to highlight that there are no Junior Designers in Randox. Everyone works on an equal pegging and we all support each other.
When I moved up to Head of Design here in Randox there were a few new policies that I introduced to improve this sense of collaboration. Even though we each work on our own unique and independent Randox product division, I requested a redesign of the marketing and design office space, so that our designers were each paired off with each other.
Each designer therefore sits beside another designer and we can all keep track of each other’s work and projects, so that we keep a certain level of consistency under the parent brand of Randox. Working in this way also allows us to take inspiration from each other and help complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
For example, our Motion Graphics Designer Anthony obviously has a very particular skillset, so he’s helping me improve my talents in that area. In turn I’m helping him develop his abilities in our Illustrator software because that’s where my own strengths lie.
I’ve also introduced a Design Studio where the work of our designers is showcased for everyone to see. Not only does it instil a sense of pride in our work by using it to decorate the office, and showing it to our colleagues, but again it helps us keep track of what other designers are currently working on and makes sure we’re each using the correct typefaces and established colour schemes. It’s the final stage of the proofing system when we finally see the finished piece of artwork up on the wall for everyone to see.
In the Design Studio you can really see the eclectic mix of projects on which we get to work. It ranges from virtual reality video, to app design, to brochures for global events like AACC, the American Association of Clinical Chemistry. There is such variety in what we do and there’s always a new challenge to put your hand to. Randox is the perfect place to be if you want to grow your skillset.
Working here also provides us with the opportunity to develop key business skills in the design market. Relationship building with printers for example, is key, and we do that pretty much every day here. I honestly can’t think of anywhere else that offers the same level of professional development as Randox.
I’m very proud of the team we now have in place here. We all work really well together and are making such good progress in our own capabilities and confidence. We even have a Summer Placement Student, Katie, currently working with us, who is really impressing everybody with her ability and enthusiasm.
I’m sure that the Graphic Design team at Randox will continue to grow and develop, and I can’t wait to see where the coming months and years will take us.
For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com
Pictured above: The Randox Graphic Design Team
Front row left to right: Anne Smith, Katie McLernon, Melissa Hull
Middle row left to right: Elizabeth Moran, Amy Fekkes, Anthony Heaney
Back row left to right: Niall McCafferty, Maxwell Brown, Colm Douglas, Caoimhin Magee
This week over 100 cows on a farm in New Zealand had to be put down after digesting fungus from an infected feed supply. The herd in the Southland and Otago regions was suffering from ergot toxicity. Randox Food Diagnostics have developed the only test for this fungus on the market, which can protect your animals from injury or death.
Ergot Alkaloids are a naturally occurring fungus most commonly found in grains and grasses. Produced by a group of fungi called the Claviceps species, they infect seed heads of plants during the flowering period. The fungus replaces the developing grain with toxic ergot. The dry summer and wet autumn this year provided the optimum growing conditions for the fungus.
Typically, it causes lameness and swelling of the fetlocks and hock joints but in the most severe cases animals can lose tips of their tails, or ears or even their hooves. As in this case, it can result in animals being put down.
While all animals are at risk of contracting ergot, it is most commonly found in cattle.
According to the report, VetSouth Winton veterinarian Hayden Dore confirmed four cases have been reported in Southland and South Otago with a large number of infected cows.
“Over time it effectively causes one or more of the limbs to become gangrenous. Signs of ergot toxicity generally start with a disinterest in feed, before moving to lameness in the limbs, which presented similarly to foot rot, but without the separation of the toes. Once the limbs go cold from lack of blood supply, it would take about a week before the limbs began to fall off,” he said.
“One herd with 900 milking cows had around 130 cows infected by the poisonous fungus, with subsequently 61 of them being put down.”
Testing for Ergot Alkaloids
Randox Food Diagnostics offer the only array on the market to test for Ergot Alkaloids. Validated for flour and seed, the ELISA test offers excellent limits of detection for the toxin Ergotamine at 1ppb.
With 111 years of events under its belt, the Antrim Agricultural Show is one of the longest running and most highly regarded of Northern Ireland’s regional agricultural shows.
Now in its 112th year, and with the backing of a new title sponsor in the form of Antrim-headquartered Randox Laboratories, the show has drawn in its largest crowd to date, with thousands of guests turning up for the Randox Antrim Show 2017, held in Shane’s Castle on Saturday 22nd July.
A special guest to this year’s event was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, visiting the Randox Antrim Show to show his support for the local farming community. During his visit to the popular agricultural show, Mr. Gove stopped by the Randox marquee to chat to Managing Director Dr. Peter FitzGerald, and Senior Manager Mark Campbell, about the company’s patented Biochip Array Technology.
With applications in human health, animal health, and food safety, the Biochip has revolutionised the diagnostics industry because it allows multiple tests to be carried out from a single sample on a single testing platform. Of particular interest to the Secretary of State and to the guests in attendance at this year’s Randox Antrim Show, was the Mycotoxin Biochip, capable of detecting all ten of the world’s most prevalent toxins in animal feed.
Stuart Penrose, Global Marketing Manager for the Randox Biochip, commented;
“Not only does the Randox Antrim Show offer us the opportunity to support the local community in which Randox has grown and flourished over the years, but through this partnership we can also offer that very same community the very latest in diagnostic technology to keep their livestock safe, happy, and importantly, healthy. What your animal eats plays a huge role in their health so with Randox Food Diagnostics you can rest assured that what you are giving your livestock is of the highest quality.”
Also on offer in the Randox marquee at the Randox Antrim Show was a free health analysis, conducted by the Randox Health team. Guests to the tent had the opportunity to find out their true body age – determined by weight, height, blood pressure, fat distribution and muscle distribution, among other measurements taken by a member of the team from Randox Health, the world’s most comprehensive and personalised health screening programme.
Designed to determine the status of your current health, but also to map out your future health, Randox Health constantly works to keep your body healthy. Unlike any other health care, Randox Health doesn’t wait until you are sick to make you better. Hundreds of guests at the Randox Antrim Show queued up in their droves to find out more, and so can you. Simply click here.
For more information about the Randox Antrim Show, please contact Randox PR: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 9442 2413.
Following the launch of its new Chinese market expansion programme in December 2016, global healthcare diagnostics company Randox Laboratories has made significant strides in its business with China, successfully increasing its exports and enabling new business opportunities within the country.
The firm has just returned from a business trip to China to meet new distributors and customers acquired over the last six months, and to train this recently acquired distributor network on Randox’s latest healthcare technologies, with a key focus on the company’s RIQAS programme, the world’s largest External Quality Assessment scheme for laboratories.
Ying Zhu, Sales Manager for Randox Laboratories in China, commented on the success Randox has seen in China over the last six months;
“China is one of our key markets and although our world-leading diagnostic products have been sold there for more than 20 years, we continue to increase our business presence there thanks to increased output from our innovative R&D programmes, and enhanced manufacturing capabilities, including new facilities at the Randox Science Park, our new headquarters in County Antrim. These infrastructural developments have resulted in an increasing range of products which we can now offer to growing and dynamic markets such as China. This increasing range of products coupled with a growing market presence has significantly increased our business penetration and subsequent support to customers.”
Since the launch of the market expansion programme last year Randox has successfully secured distributors across four of the largest provinces of China and has partnered with key hospitals in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Wuhan.
Margaret Fick, RIQAS Scientist added;
“At our most recent training conference in China, in addition to the educational seminars I conducted with my colleagues, we were also delighted to be able to host several of our newly acquired hospital partners, who presented to our audience of current and potential customers on how their laboratories have benefited from our Randox Quality Control products. The use of testimonials from high profile individuals who have experienced the quality, efficiency and reliability of our products is accelerating our growth across China and this is set to continue over the coming months and years.”
For further information about Randox in China please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com
One of the best things about our We Are Randox series of staff stories is that we get to find out all sorts of interesting things about our colleagues. We love getting to hear about what they get up to outside of work, to find out what really makes them tick and to be able to celebrate their special talents and skills!
So you’ll not be surprised to hear that we were really excited to find out that our Finance Placement Student, Sarah Cunningham, was recently in the Miss Northern Ireland competition 2017, after having won her heat in Cookstown.
We sat down with Sarah to find out a bit more about what really goes on behind the scenes of Miss Northern Ireland, and about how the competition helped her develop her self-confidence.
Here’s Sarah’s story.
I really stumbled upon the Miss Northern Ireland competition by chance, as I was looking for a new challenge and my friend simply said “Why not give that a shot?”
I didn’t necessarily know what I was getting myself into other than that it looked quite fun and my friends were really supportive so I just wanted to give it a chance and see how it went.
So I actually entered for the first time last year, and although I’m from Ballyclare I entered a heat in Enniskillen because I was advised to enter a heat in a small area where there’s fewer applicants. Then you have more of a chance of progressing!
So I went to the heats in Enniskillen and what I was most surprised to find is that the Miss Northern Ireland pageant is so heavily focused on your personality. Every girl that enters is really glamorous, with beautiful hair, makeup and clothes, so everyone is on a level pegging in that regard. But they want more than just a girl who’s into her looks. What really sets you apart is making sure to get your personality across.
When last year’s competition ended I knew that I wasn’t ready for the excitement of the experience to be over just yet, so I chose to do it again in 2017.
In my heat in Cookstown this year the judging panel was made up of a mix of sponsors including Donnelly Group and Insanity Tan, and then when I moved up to the finals, last year’s Miss Northern Ireland was also on the judging panel.
In the final there’s 2 winners from each heat. So from Cookstown there was myself – I was Miss Cookstown – and there was also Miss Sense (a nightclub in Cookstown which sponsored the other winner and also hosted our heat). There were 12 heats in total so there were 24 girls in the final, held in the Europa Hotel in Belfast.
Between the time of the heats and the final itself there were a few promo opportunities which we got the opportunity to attend, like photo shoots and also a boot camp.
The boot camp was really intense – one day was just a really full-on session of training on what was expected of us, so from 9-5 we sat listening to and absorbing a lot of information – quite a lot of which was new to so many of us.
The final, which was in May of this year, began on a Saturday morning, even though the event wasn’t until the Monday night! We stayed in the Europa Hotel during that time and had 10-12 hours of rehearsals each day leading up to the event.
That’s what I like to get across when I’m telling people about this experience. It’s not just standing up there and looking pretty. It’s really intense and the event organisers like to use the rehearsal time to see who puts the hard work in and who really wants it the most. It’s easy to identify those who can’t really be bothered, and those who want it so much that they’re pushing on in spite of their sheer exhaustion. At the finals the event starts off with a big opening dance so much of our rehearsal time was spent learning and perfecting that routine.
On the Monday afternoon you also have an interview with 12 different judges and I can genuinely say it was the most daunting thing I have ever experienced! They really do grill you! I think I can say with confidence that this is the stage when the judges actually make their decision – even before the event itself – because it’s when they really get to know you properly and find out lots about you.
I think that’s actually a good thing because by the time the event comes around that night then you’re not really worried or stressed anymore. You know that the judges have already made their decision and the evening won’t change that, so you might as well relax and have a really fun and enjoyable night.
I suppose they might have their top three in mind and then whoever shines on the night will be their eventual winner but it certainly does lift a certain amount of the pressure knowing that the interview – the scariest part – is over.
After the dance routine there’s a number of different rounds to display different aspects of the competition. There’s a runway section for example, a fashion show and then we put on some really beautiful ballgowns.
Following that then the presenters introduce each individual to the audience based on the answers you gave during your interview earlier on in the day. This year it was Q Radio and Zoe Salmon who presented on the night of the final. When introducing me for example they would say; “This is Sarah Cunningham. She studies Business Studies and is currently on a placement with Randox Laboratories.”
After that the judges then cut down the entries to their Top 10, and each girl within the Top 10 has to fit in to a particular category. So for example they’ll choose “Miss Sport,” or “Miss Talent” or “Miss Social Media.” The talent category is optional – I think about 10 out of the 24 girls this year chose to perform a particular talent of theirs. Those 10 girls performed for the judges on the Sunday morning and the winner performed at the final on the Monday night.
I got “Miss Promotional Model.” It sounds silly but it basically means that based on my personality they saw that I would be good at going out and chatting to people so I must come across as quite persuasive. I might make a good salesperson!
Then at this stage there’s more questions for the girls who make it in to the Top 10 – focused on what you would do if you won at the Miss World finals, which are being held in China later on this year. They asked me a lot about what I would bring to China and how I would showcase Northern Ireland to the rest of the world.
It was Miss Anchor (a bar in Portstewart) who won this year’s Miss Northern Ireland – a girl called Anna Henry who has just finished graduated with an engineering degree and is currently on a gap year before she starts work.
Her new role as Miss Northern Ireland 2017 involves a lot of appearances because many of the well-known businesses organisations in Northern Ireland like having her involved in their events throughout the year. At the end of this year she will go to China for an entire month for Miss World, and when she returns, the process to find Miss Northern Ireland 2018 will begin. Anna will sit on the judging panel for the 2018 heats, which will go on for about 8 weeks.
I think I have one more go at Miss Northern Ireland in me, but I’m going to wait one or two years before I have another go. I have until I’m 24 to enter, so I think I’ll take a few years out to focus on my work and university degree.
I think beauty pageants sometimes get a bad rep for being “a bad example” for younger girls but I totally disagree with that premise. All of us who were involved in Miss Northern Ireland 2017 are now such good friends and we got on so well during the whole process. We really were like one big family and if anybody was to make a negative or demeaning comment about somebody the rest of us would stand up and put a stop to it. That’s not what we were there for – we were there to support each other and we all understood that only one person would ultimately win so we might as well enjoy it and have a good laugh together as friends.
I made life-long friendships and I really enjoyed the whole networking aspect of the event – meeting new people and making new contacts. I’ve also learnt that I really enjoy modelling and although I won’t be pursuing it full-time because I’m studying Business Studies, I think it will be a really fun hobby for me and I’ll definitely do some jobs here and there if they come up.
And the whole process has really helped me develop my self-confidence. A year ago I wouldn’t even have been able to give this interview because I was so timid and shy but the experience has really brought me out of my shell.
I was involved in a STEM challenge event with Randox a few weeks ago in which I hosted a Mathematics challenge for students from Victoria College and the Girls’ Model Belfast and I don’t think I would have been able to do it if it weren’t for Miss Northern Ireland. It’s a great experience and I truly believe it helps girls with their self-confidence. I have nothing but admiration for the whole process and I look forward to seeing who will win next year.
For more We Are Randox stories make sure to follow #WeAreRandox on our social media channels.
If you are interested in joining our global team make sure that you check out the Randox careers website to see what new opportunities we have for you.
The Department of Clinical Biochemistry in the Royal Free Hospital in London has recently completed a major HIV/AIDS study into the cause of lipodystrophy, with the help of the Randox Evidence Investigator.
Lipodystrophy is a disorder in which the body’s distribution of fat undergoes serious changes. People with lipodystrophy can suffer from the build-up, the loss, or the redistribution of body fat and HIV/AIDS patients often suffer from the disorder.
The exact reason for its cause and progression is not completely understood, but it is thought that it can sometimes be triggered by an infection within the body.
The Department of Clinical Biochemistry in the Royal Free Hospital, alongside the Department of Pharmacology, The Institute of Biomedical Statistics and Infectious and Tropical Diseases, all at the University of Belgrade in Serbia, therefore launched a study to determine the relationship between levels of interleukins in HIV/AIDS patients and the presence or lack of lipodystrophy. Interleukins are produced by white blood cells to stimulate the immune response.
The Randox Evidence Investigator, a semi-automated benchtop analyser, which is capable of processing up to 2376 tests per hour, was used to measure interleukins IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10, in 66 HIV/AIDS patients. The results demonstrated that lower levels of IL-4 and IL-10 influenced lipodystrophy in those people.
Significantly lower levels of IL-4 and IL-10 were observed in patients suffering from lipodystrophy compared to those who did not suffer from lipodystrophy. The interleukin levels were measured using the Cytokine Array I that utilises Randox’s Biochip Array Technology and enabled all of the tests to be performed simultaneously on the patient sample.
These results show for the first time a significant correlation between IL-4 levels and lipodystrophy in HIV/AIDS patients, making the study a significant breakthrough in understanding the development of the condition and potential therapy.
You can find more information about the study on PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28189545
After several years of dedicated R&D, Randox Food Diagnostics are pleased to announce that the industry’s leading body, the AOAC, has granted its Performance TestedSM certification to the company’s Antimicrobial Array I Ultra Kit (License Number 051705).
AOAC standards are used globally to facilitate public health and safety and promote trade, and the rigorous three year certification process was completed in conjunction with the US Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine validation protocol. In addition to internal validation studies and reporting to the AOAC Research Institute, an external independent expert laboratory was required to evaluate the methodology.
Achieving the AOAC Performance TestedSM certification sends a strong statement to the industry about RFD’s commitment to support food producers by providing the highest quality diagnostic tests.
The widespread use of antibacterial agents in veterinary practice, as bacteriostatic agents as well as to promote growth, has increased the concern about the levels of contamination of food products that can be consumed by the public. To protect both the consumer and the industry, regulatory authorities have specified maximum residue limits.
The Antimicrobial Array I Ultra Kit tests for 13 antibacterial agents: for consumer protection, the presence of these compounds in the food supply is highly regulated or banned. This Biochip based kit uses a multi-analytical approach, and therefore maximises detection capability which will improve food safety.
Head of Randox Food Diagnostics, David Ferguson, said:
“This is a major achievement for our team and we are delighted to receive this certification from AOAC. One of our central goals is to be a catalyst for improving food safety, which is why we invested so much into tackling the widely-reported dangers of antibacterial residue in food.
“There’s a growing awareness among consumers and producers about the critical issue of food safety. The Antimicrobial Array I Ultra Kit will meet the increasing demand for highly accurate diagnostic tests.”
The test kit is exclusively available on Randox’s proprietary Biochip Array Technology.
For more information please contact email@example.com
The AOAC Research Institute (AOAC-RI) was incorporated in 1991 as a wholly owned subsidiary of AOAC INTERNATIONAL. The AOAC-RI serves as an independent, third-party, nongovernment administrator of AOAC conformity assessment programs including the AOAC Performance Tested MethodsSM (PTM) and Official Methods of AnalysisSM (OMA) programs for alternative and sole source methods.
For more information, visit www.aoac.org.
Staff Newsletter May / June 2017 Edition
We are delighted to be able to share with you the May / June 2017 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!
Click on the image for a range of company and staff news from the past two months – including The Great Randox Bake Off, our Placement Students of the Year 2017, and a bunch of exciting staff weddings and engagements!
** Please note that image links work most efficiently in your Google Chrome browser**