Graphic Design student on a meteoric rise towards international recognition

Just five months after beginning her studies at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), one graphic design student has enjoyed a hugely successful start to her career as a designer.


With international and domestic clients, a job at Barkers Estate Agents, and a willingness to help out her friends, Ellen Kerbey has an awful lot in her diary before she even factors in her studies as a first year student at DMU.

Ellen began to make a name for herself when she got involved with Wire DMU, the university’s enterprise society, for who she has produced designs, and has benefitted from their networking channels as she has gone on to make many useful contacts which ultimately led to her finding a job as a Marketing Assistant for Barkers Estate Agents.

She now manages to find time to balance this with her studies on top of an ever-increasing number of freelance jobs that she does through her own website,

Ellen said: “I’ve had quite a few clients already including a lot of start-up clients wanting logos and letterheads for their businesses.

“I’m starting to now get international clients as well including one from America, Sandra Downie, a massive cosmetics firm. I was really surprised when they contacted me because they really are a big company. I designed a product for her and she was really happy with what I did for her and I even got a bonus for my turnaround time.

“I tend to prioritise a lot of the freelance work that I do which is a probably a bad thing to say but when I have deadlines coming up at university I make sure I make them!

“The work I’ve been getting has just really taken off since I started five months ago. It’s all about promotion which is where being involved with Wire has really helped me because of their social networking platform. With that and the events that they do it really helps you to engage with people.

“Then there’s the Graphic Design course here which has really opened up the range of areas of graphic design to me and I definitely have a broader knowledge of the overall subject because of it.”

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Oli Bass, Managing Director of Wire DMU, said: “Ellen's had a get-go spirit from day one, I've never seen anyone who's so on it in terms of freelance in their first year.

“I asked her if she'd like to do a little designing for someone I knew, which links to the point of Wire, connecting people, and from that she's got herself secondary contacts and work just because she said yes, and had such a quick turn around on the work.

 “She also just does odd bits for friends to help them out when she can, so her ethic is just fantastic, but sooner or later I'm assuming she'll start to charge them!”

Posted on Tuesday 31st March 2015

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