At Octopus Energy, we're quite unusual in that all aspects of design are done in-house.
That means everything you see, from our website to our ads, is dreamed up and built by a small group of committed, creative people.
I recently had the privilege of chatting with the newest member of our design team Meg, to find out what led her to Octopus and what makes design at Octopus so special.
Samsam: What do you do at Octopus?
Meg: I'm a marketing and product designer. It’s a broad description but my job is super varied and exciting. I work on different projects everyday, and the approach is always to find the best way to use design to solve the problem at hand. Mostly I work on new products, coming up with cool ways to engage with customers, design campaigns, or awesome one-off projects like designing the turbine that went up at Glastonbury this year.
Samsam: What are you currently working on?
Meg: I just wrapped up a project, where we rented a boat in Grimsby and took some of our team and customers to an offshore wind farm we’ve invested in. It was a lot of work to organise, but was a blast and the feedback's been fantastic.
I am also doing some work decorating the Octopus offices, alongside Pete which I’m absolutely loving. I started off with the London office, and more recently I’ve been working on Brighton and Germany. In Munich, we want to incorporate German fairytales to blend culture and functionality and create a unique Octopus Germany look. Working with Pete's awesome, he's all for trying new things. We'd spend ages bouncing fun ideas off each other - that’s how we ended up with the funky dinosaur walls!
Samsam: So cool! Any other standout projects you’ve worked on?
Meg: So many! One that comes to mind is during the energy crisis last year, we crafted a green energy email as an opportunity to celebrate some of the successes that our customers were having, despite the crisis. The email showed exactly how much co2 customers had saved in terms of flights across the world and trees planted. We designed it to be really pretty, and it felt good because as a company, we didn’t gain anything from that. But we did it to spread positivity and share something nice with our customers. I also loved that it involved data analysis, web design, and animation.
Meg's selfie with the funky boat in Grimsby
Samsam: How was it working on the Glastonbury project?
Meg: The Glasto wind turbine was a fun challenge. Wrapping vinyl around the middle pillar took some creative solutions. I crafted a mini paper model of the pillar, printed out vinyl stickers to scale, and did a DIY wrap to visualise how it'd look. It was a fun little arts and crafts experiment and turned out beautifully. Monica and some others helped so it was a real collaborative effort.
Samsam: Awesome! What drew you to Octopus?
Meg: I've always wanted a purpose-driven career. After I finished University, I wanted to use my creativity in a job that aligned with my values. My first graduate role was with a sustainable architecture firm, but it lacked room to grow so I shifted to a graphic design agency, focusing on sustainability and social impact.
I saw an ad for Octopus, I just knew it was the perfect opportunity to work for a company that had everything I was looking for.
Samsam: Cool! Can you tell me a little about your journey to Octopus?
Meg: Absolutely! Originally, I was headed towards politics and international relations. I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to pursue an art design foundation diploma at my local community college, which I absolutely loved. Creativity has always been my forte, so I decided to study design at University. The course taught me how to use design to drive ideas forward, and to think outside the box - it really prepared me for Octopus.
Samsam: Were you always creative?
Meg: Absolutely! Creativity's in my genes. My grandma baked and drew amazingly well. Plus, my mom and aunt are super artistic - it’s a bit of a family trait.
Samsam: What drives the design team?
Meg: For us, the centre is customer experience and accessibility. We're all about sharing the Octopus love, keeping customers and good designs in focus. Injecting character and fun is also key - that’s what makes the experience enjoyable for users
Samsam: What skills did you bring from your BA, and what did you learn here?
Meg: My skills were kind of offbeat – non-traditional graphics and illustration. Now I often use Adobe suite, Figma and not to mention: pencil and paper; simple yet effective.
I had a little software experience but at Octopus, I dug deeper and took an HTML and CSS course to navigate the web design realm. Monica taught me animation and how to add a sprinkle of fun to apps and the website for customer journeys. My first animation, the ITV sponsorship ad, is now on TV. I’ve learnt so much - it’s been quite a journey!
Samsam: Any advice for budding upcoming designers?
Meg: Absorb like a sponge and have fun. This field is amazing so keep your creative spirit alive. Also, independence and self-learning are key. Uni is one way, but there are a lot of different pathways to grow and learn!
Quick Fire Round
Miley Cyrus - wrecking ball.
Haim, they brought Taylor Swift out as a guest!
The Offbeat Saari at the Design Museum.
Favourite Greg story?
When he ripped his trousers going to see the King haha.
London, every day of the week!
Favourite trip you've taken?
Mount Olympus in Greece.
Spotlight on... the Octopus Design Team
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