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A day in the life of: Bruce

Once upon a time there was a man named Bruce Burgoyne, who harnessed mystical powers of graphic and website design.

As a guardian of a land known simply as “The Design Studio”, Bruce (and his fellow designers) created shapes from mere thought, splashed colour across all projects within his realm and built digital monuments to businesses of the age.

What of the man behind the reputation though? This month, we set out on a long and perilous journey (alright… from the Comms room to The Design Studio!) to find out more about the average day of Bruce Burgoyne, and see where man meets myth.

My day can start anywhere between 3:00am and 5:30am, depending on the time that either of my children decides that it’s time to get up.

Once I’m up and out of bed, I start my day by going and getting the boys their morning drink before getting myself prepared to go to work. This usually involves having a wash (you’re welcome!), having a look at the weather to see if I can cycle in, and feeding my vast and all consuming addiction for Rice Krispies. Having dealt with Rice Krispies withdrawal, I might then text Suzanne, our Graphic Designer at Mackman, to organise cycling in with her, or picking her up.

I often use my journeys to and from work as a wind-down session, and as general thinking time. More often than not I will come up with lots of ideas and solve problems as I cycle in, because my brain is more focussed on keeping my legs pedalling than obsessing over the details of each problem. I have entertained the thought of canoeing into work from Nayland, as the office is a very short walk from the River Stour, but I haven’t tested the theory yet – I suspect it might be further than I think and it might take longer than the actual days work!

Having reached work, I do a quick change out of my cycling Lycra, and get started on working out the priorities for the day. I often spend my mornings working on a mix of design projects; which can include anything from sketching up website wire frames to animating icons for client websites, website projects; which is often based around building site structure and fine tuning current web projects, and letting my mind mull over how the look, feel, language, style of imagery will affect the final outcome of client projects.

I usually end up working on a few projects at the same time to give my subconscious a chance to grind away at any problems I have encountered without wasting valuable working time in a state of deep meditation. I find that to be a much more productive approach than just sitting and staring at the screen until it all drops into place.

Eventually lunch will roll around and I make a trip to the local sandwich shop, which makes a mean sarnie! I don’t have any particular favourites, but I steer clear of sandwich-ruining ingredients like cucumber and sweetcorn. I then stroll back to the office, where I will often eat either outside, or at my desk while working on client projects.

The rest of my afternoon is usually dedicated to continuing work on the days projects, or to working out solutions to issues that have cropped up during the day. At the moment this usually includes issues around responsive web design, such as formatting issues or design choices. For more and more projects these days it’s a case of building for small screen and then scaling up to desktop, which I find to be a very natural way of working that keeps me on my toes.

Most recently, I have been involved in the design of a new website for Jonathan Lambert, which was constructed in exactly that way. That project was particularly enjoyable as we were able to create a very collaborative relationship with their team, allowing for much more involvement for them throughout the build process. This meant that we were able to quickly share updates to the site, so that every layer of the site was considered before adding the next.

When 5:00pm comes around, it’s a quick change back into the Lycra to cycle home, again using that time as a wind-down and general thinking period, as well as starting to put my mind to work on tomorrow’s projects. Recently, my cycling helped me to prepare for the Dunwich Dynamo ride, which is a 120 mile bike ride from Hackey – Dunwich that starts on a Saturday evening and continues throughout the night, arriving on the beach at 5am. It was the second time I had taken part in the event and although good fun and I survived (just), staying awake on Sunday was a challenge.

Having reached home, I have just enough time to grab a quick shower and then put the boys to bed, which is really nice to be able to do. Before having children I would often get home and open up my laptop, so in some ways it’s really nice to come home to a routine that doesn’t revolve around work or being on a computer.

Once the boys are in bed, I enjoy myself by getting things done around the house (which recently includes the construction of an outdoor studio), relaxing by cooking (I make good pasta!), going out and seeing friends if I have the chance, or going out and cycling for pleasure.

My day complete, I usually take myself off to bed at around 11:00pm/11:30pm and get ready to start the whole cycle again in the morning.

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