Young graphic artist launches business

  • Starting out: Zoe Lopes of ZL Graphics (Photograph supplied)

    Starting out: Zoe Lopes of ZL Graphics (Photograph supplied)

  • ZL branding (Photograph supplied)

    ZL branding (Photograph supplied)

  • Examples of Zoe Lopes’ graphic design work (Photograph supplied)

    Examples of Zoe Lopes’ graphic design work (Photograph supplied)

  • Webpages designed by Zoe Lopes (Photograph supplied)

    Webpages designed by Zoe Lopes (Photograph supplied)

Zoe Lopes always intended to start her own graphic arts business, but not right after university.

Instead, after graduating from Solent University in Southampton England earlier this year, she had a summer internship lined up in London.

“It was very exciting,” the 21-year-old said. “It was with Free the Birds. They have done work for Marks&Spencer and Olay.”

But the internship was cancelled when London went into lockdown.

“I was really disappointed,” she said. “But they did say that when things were better and everyone was working in the office again that I could do the internship.”

She moved back to Bermuda earlier this year.

Ms Lopes spent the last three summers working for a shop in Dockyard, but that was also closed due to the coronavirus.

“I said I might as well try to do some graphic jobs on the side to see if anyone is interested,” she said.

ZL Graphics was born.

“Once I put myself out there, quite a few people reached out to me,” she said.

She has been designing posters, logos and websites for companies such as Premier Distributors, Island Outfitters and Yard Barbers.

For now she is working with clients in Bermuda, but she may branch out eventually.

When it comes to style, she enjoys experimenting.

“I go between using a lot of colour to using just black and one colour,” Ms Lopes said. “I like to try new styles. I like a clean look, but it depends on what the customer wants.”

At first she found running ZL Graphics a little daunting.

“In university we weren’t taught how to freelance,” she said. “It was assumed we’d work for a company.”

And she had to teach herself how to run a business. Luckily, her mother, Andrea Lopes was already in business.

“She was able to guide me and help me out,” Ms Lopes said. “She taught me what to charge and how to do things. From there I started getting clients.”

Ms Lopes started out with more of an interest in fine arts.

“I went to the Berkeley Institute and also the Bermuda College,” she said. “I did the dual enrolment programme.”

She loved her professors at the Bermuda College, and her art classes, but she really took to her graphic design course.

“They only had one graphic design class,” she said. “I wish they had more, or the one they had had been longer. I graduated from the Bermuda College with an associates in art and design.

“In England, normally you have to do a foundation year first, but because I’d got my associates at the Bermuda College I was allowed to transition right into the programme at Solent.”

She enjoyed her three years in England and developed an interest in film.

“I have been learning how to edit video,” she said.

She also found she enjoyed social media marketing.

“Eventually I’d like to offer a full service graphic design studio,” she said.

But in the meantime she would like to find a job or internship with a local graphic design company, just for the experience.

“That is something I will look into soon,” she said. “If no one is rehiring right now I can just continue with the clients I have and the work I am doing for now.”

She is now working for a retail store in town three days a week to earn a little extra money.

Ms Lopes said sometimes it is challenging to work all day in the store and then return home to do graphic design work well into the evening.

“Even though I am tired when I get home, I still have to push through and work at night,” she said. “I have two days off to do graphics,” she said.

What she loves about graphic design is seeing the clients get excited when they receive the completed work.

“It is great when the client enjoys what they see,” she said. “It’s great when they say ‘I love it’.”

For more information see her on Instagram @ZoeLopes_ or e-mail

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Published Oct 5, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 5, 2020 at 6:03 pm)

Young graphic artist launches business

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