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by lohit arora  |  July 20, 2023

Creativity Without Boundaries: Exploring Laurenne’s Chosen Path to Design Freedom

Meet Laurenne Dorgan, an independent graphic designer with a remarkable journey. With a wealth of education and expertise in design, Laurenne has honed her skills through diverse experiences in various companies. However, it is her independent ventures that have truly allowed her to shine, as she established her own agency and took on projects with exceptional success. For Laurenne, since 2002, QuarkXPress has been her “trusted and preferred platform.”

Smart Content In this Q&A, we delve into Laurenne’s timeline, pivotal moments, favorite project, and invaluable advice for aspiring early graphic designers. Join us as we explore this inspiring journey which starts at a time when desktop publishing software and QuarkXPress had just started to emerge.

So how did you get started in the world of graphic design? Can you tell us a little bit more about your journey?

Okay, so I studied art and design, as well as photography over 40 years ago when software like QuarkXPress didn’t exist. It was the early days of desktop publishing, when there were tools like PageMaker.

My very first job was working for Christie’s, an auctioneer in South Kensington in London. I was creating all their brochures for their artwork sales.

And then after that, I got headhunted by Shell International. They wanted me to set up and run their very first desktop publishing department. After doing this for them, I was headhunted again by one of the largest property development companies floating on the stock exchange. Again, creating all their brochures, reporting accounts and organizing all their printing.

graphic design

And then I worked as a print and production manager, where I took the company through two rebrands, making sure all their brochures were on brand.

In 2002, I decided it was time to start my own business. My first big client was Porsche Club UK. They wanted advertising revenue, so I worked on redesigning their monthly magazines, and in the end, their monthly revenue skyrocketed. And this I did using QuarkXPress!

From here, I just continued to land other great jobs. One was The Crown Plaza, where I designed their brochures, billboard advertisements and ‘Do Not Disturb’ door handles. In fact, all the design collateral they needed at the time came from me!

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You’ve already shared some impressive accomplishments from your career. Is there a particular project from the last 12 months that you take special pride in and would like to tell us about?

graphic design

Oh yes! I worked for the leading helicopter academy, servicing 12 different helicopters companies under one umbrella. I did all their design and all their social media. Again, I did everything in QuarkXPress.

What actually inspired your decision to leave the corporate world and start your own agency?

So, as the years went by, I began to observe the presence of politics within companies, and that became a major motivation for me to start my own business. Personally, I am not inclined towards engaging in political games, I prefer to focus on getting things done. So, I established my own agency to avoid having to participate in that dynamic to get ahead.

I must emphasize that QuarkXPress is an incredibly powerful software. It excels in every aspect, from its intuitive interface to its exceptional capabilities in handling kerning and leading with precision.

Can you tell us why you love using QuarkXPress and how it differs from other software?

Since 2002, QuarkXPress has been my trusted and preferred platform for all my design work. It has consistently served as my go-to tool. The only time I venture outside is when I need to create logos or illustrations. However, once I craft them using other tools, I then seamlessly import them into QuarkXPress to incorporate them into various materials like business card layouts, calendars, letterheads and tri-fold folders.

graphic design

I must emphasize that QuarkXPress is an incredibly powerful software. It excels in every aspect, from its intuitive interface to its exceptional capabilities in handling kerning and leading with precision.

Having been a loyal customer for over two decades, it would be great to hear your perspective on how QuarkXPress has evolved over time.

Certainly, QuarkXPress has made advancements in various aspects. Manipulating and importing PDFs and other file types has significantly improved. The way it talks to other applications and integrates with them is seamless. I also like the way it does little add-ons, such as link generator. I suppose if I were to describe the platform to someone, I’ll describe it as a filing cabinet, efficiently organizing and managing design assets.

Manipulating and importing PDFs and other file types has significantly improved.

What advice would you offer somebody who is very early in their design and digital publishing career?

Networking is key in this industry, so I’m constantly in front of people who say they are designers, but they use applications that do everything for them. Education is key! So, avoid relying on giveaway applications and opt for robust options that will advance your design skills, like QuarkXPress. Then learn how to use the nicely designed piece of software!

Avoid relying on giveaway applications and opt for robust options that will advance your design skills, like QuarkXPress.

Thanks for reading! You can find and connect with Laurenne on LinkedIn. We’d love to hear from you, so let us know what you liked or what you would like to read more of in this series? And, if you would like to be featured in an upcoming post, get in touch! Contact us at qxpsales@quark.com

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