Monday, 30 July 2012

Summer 2012//Industry Experience Contact.

Spending my morning sending out another batch of studio visit/placement opportunities emails, not attaching my updated CV and portfolio to studios in both Leeds and Newcastle, from having experienced such a great time at my time in Gateshead, and experiencing Newcastle properly for the first time (and having a wonderful time). Now I've been in touch with a few design studios, I certainly feel I am getting more into the swing of things in regards to contacting studios, and hopefully will continue to make an impression (hopefully a good one!). 

The studios contacted can be seen through both screenshots of the homepages and links to the web pages below.

Personal and Professional Development//Summer 2012//Updated portfolio.

The latest development of my design portfolio to send out to the new batch of design studios in Leeds and Newcastle, hoping to potentially gain a few more studio visits/placements before returning to Uni in the third week in September.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Summer 2012//Industry Placement//Glad Creative Diary.

Image above: Gladys the Glad Creative pigeon, swooping on by in the studio (well...ish).

Written below is my week-long diary entry from last week, and the time I spent at the design studio, Glad Creative in Gateshead on an industry placement, documenting the work I carried out and my thoughts at the time of the placement, both to act as a personal documentation as well as reference in regards to putting together my 7-10 minute presentation to deliver as I return to Uni in September to the rest of my year group and tutors.


Having completed my first day at Glad, my week- long design placement at Gateshead, more than anything, I feel very relieved. But, fortunately, not for relief for completing the day itself, but that, in my opinion, it went so well.

Arriving here on Saturday and living with my friend and BAGD student, Steph, of whom is also having a week-long placement in Newcastle, at her Dad’s house, we’d had a good opportunity to talk about what we were hoping to get out of the week, as well as providing one another with moral support. But along with this comes the fact that Steph and I are both self-diagnosed “fretters” and worry about the slightest things. So, naturally, this caused us both to worry about this morning… must of all over what to wear, of course.

Arriving at the studio at 9am (a minute or two before Dave, the Creative Director turned up!) I was shown on a quick tour of the building as I was lead to the studio space- literally just a solitary room in the Nothern Design Centre. Although modern, contemporary and a productive work space, it was a little different from what I was initially expecting, particularly on discovering that just three full-time staff worked there- Dave, Sam, and Andy… and both myself and Ben (a recent graduate from Northumberland) would be joining them for the week, or two in Ben’s case.

Immediately we started work, with both Ben and I presenting our portfolios, and, to my relief, the design team seemed quite pleased with what they saw, and share a similar love for Noma Bar, vector- based minimalism, and negative space. I think I’m going to enjoy it here.

Throughout the rest of the day (and, I expect for the majority of the rest of the week), I was set a live brief to work on, which Alice, last week’s work experience student was working on, for a Scottish clothing brand named ‘Reign’ (designers of Hunter/Barbour-style jackets) that wanted to communicate the British nature of the brand in a high-end, creative, and bold way, along with creating a brand manifesto for the company.

Although clothing brands aren’t something I’ve particularly worked with much in the past, especially in terms of creating the brand, I’ve really enjoyed the work today and seeing my ideas progress a great deal quicker than they have in the past, particularly without the extensive (but by no means unenjoyable) research process that is ordinarily carried out at Uni.

The studio itself, and the designers, were great. Really friendly, happy to offer help and advice, and made me feel like I was definitely part of the furniture, which was a real encouragement to relax and feel at ease, which is perhaps what I was most worried about.

I’m really looking forward to starting work again tomorrow, and am still developing ideas now- hopefully creating some new, strong concepts to progress with in the morning.


Definitely starting to settle in a little more at work now, and feeling far more confident in showing my work, giving and receiving feedback- all in just one day, I really hope it continues and strengthens- this is definitely something that I want to take back with me to Uni and hopefully use what I’ve learnt in both terms of design and confidence to my best advantage, which will hopefully stretch my capabilities much further.

Another day of working on the logo, this time with a little more direction and focus from Dave, as I think he could tell that I was coming to a bit of a dead end with generating new ideas (the best one I did turned out to be not too dissimilar from a logo that the studio made a couple of weeks ago…), so that’s really helped me to focus down.

Dave left early today as he wasn’t feeling great, but before he left, he told me that he’d like me to work on the studio’s Christmas cards, which I’m really excited about getting started on, and hope I can make a real effort and impression to hopefully result in the cards being the finalized, live, and used designs.

Another brilliant day, I’m feeling very lucky.


Today was another great day at the studio. I love coming out and feeling so happy, and that I’ve really achieved something out of my day. With each new day that I spend at the studio, I discover even more so why I love graphic design, and am finding myself falling for it more and more each day, to the point of which I can now, perhaps for the very first time, can say, I completely love what I’m doing, and can’t wait for my future design practice (whatever that may hold.

Dave was away from the office today, and whilst I felt I might get a little distracted, or perhaps slightly less motivated, I worked at the same pace, and felt that the logo development work showed the greatest improvement and progression today- especially thanks to the great feedback Sam and Ben provided in the studio, which I found incredibly helpful.

I’m hoping to get the logo to a more developed conclusion to show to Dave tomorrow when he’s in the office tomorrow and make a strong development towards starting the dot-to-dot and colour by numbers studio Christmas card/V&A cards which Dave has assigned to me (which I’m particularly excited about), which I have to have completed by Friday, with a total of six cards- finally, a deadline I’m enthusiastic about (and not dreading!).

I’m so, so, happy that I got the opportunity to work with Glad, with two days left I’m already feeling sad that it’ll come to an end. I feel so welcomed, and at home, and more inspired than I have ever been before. I really hope I can channel this enthusiasm through to Uni in September, and have already started visualizing some of the outcomes for my self initiated briefs as a result.


Today was perhaps the first day I felt a little bit of pressure in terms of my design work at the studio, but, of course, as the past has shown in my design practice, the pressure was completely put on by myself as opposed to Dave, or any other member of the Glad design team, and now, in hindsight, I feel that I still need to perhaps relax a little more in terms of my workload, and realize that it’s okay to take a break, and I’ll probably be more productive at the end of the day in terms of my workload if I relax a little more, and this is something I definitely hope to take with me into third year (perhaps the time to be least stressed of all…).

Reflecting on this today, I still realized how much I was enjoying working on the briefs, and still felt that I was getting a lot out of the tasks and projects I was given, and hopefully will have something more finalized and resolved to present to Dave, Sam and Ben tomorrow.


Today, although actually quite sad (sad to leave the studio after such a fantastic week!), was a genuinely brilliant day. As well as finalizing and coming to a near close of some of the tasks I had been working on throughout the week (working on some idea generation and visualizations for the Reign logo brief, as well as creating a couple of dot-to-dot designs for the Glad Christmas cards, to be submitted to the V&A), Dave was kind enough to take Ben, Sam, and I out to a local bistro restaurant bar (next to Gateshead College, just across the road) where we discussed my progress throughout the week, how I felt, and giving mutual feedback to one another.

I told them, of course, how much I’d enjoyed and gained for the experience, and appreciated how kind, welcoming and humble they are as a design studio- with no evidence whatsoever of an ego, or a feeling of superiority, which made me feel really relaxed in the studio environment, and, of course, made everyone so easy to get on with. And, to my surprise, really, perhaps from a slight lack of confidence/unsure about the abilities, was really delighted when all of the feedback about my progress at the studio was completely positive, saying that I had a great attitude and motivation towards my work as well as working at a very good pace, which will serve me very well in the future- as well as inviting me back to the studio at any time for another placement, suggesting possibly even October reading week, and asking me to keep in touch upon graduation- all sounding, amazingly, really positive. I was so, so delighted!

Also, Ben and I discussed with Dave and Sam about new ideas to promote Glad and to raise the profile, which resulted in creating the first student placement profile interview- which I now proudly grimace (I never did like my photo being taken…) upon on the Glad Creative Facebook page (

Working at Glad Creative has been such a wonderful experience, and my only wish would be that it would have gone on for longer! I felt as though in just a short space of time, I learnt a great deal about the process of branding, working in a studio environment, and about my own personal design practice, which I hope to take with me to September as I start the third year in Uni, and can use this experience to my best advantage in terms of developing and strengthening my branding portfolio, and my personal and professional design practice as a whole.

Visits//Bradford Media Museum.

Yesterday, my partner and I went along to the Bradford Media Museum, after a long time of saying "we have to go", and, thankfully, neither of us were disappointed. The museum itself was really interesting, and something completely different to my other exhibition/museum experiences, perhaps due to the contemporary building and nature of the subject matter, with both traditional and modern artefacts, objects and items of interest.
I think the area that I was most interested in within the building's displays was the Kodak room of photographic contents- particularly enjoying the packaging and traditional, hand rendered, typographic design items that really took my interest from a Graphic Design perspective, and have inspired me once more to experiment with type and explore this area of design to a further extent both throughout the summer and through my next academic year within my personal and professional design practice.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Industry Experience//Glad Creative Presentation.

The presentation delivered to Glad Creative, Gateshead, on the first day of my placement, Monday 14th July (last week), showcasing a brief summary of my portfolio of work, along with inspiration for my design, influence and where I aspire to be in the future, as requested by the creative director of the studio, Dave Burdon. More information and a diary account of my work experience/industry placement will be uploaded as soon as possible.

Personal and Professional Development//Updated Creative CV July 2012.

A slightly amended, updated creative CV, adding additional projects, freelance work notes and also my work experience with Glad Creative last week (which will be blogged shortly!) to  send out to the next batch of studios I will be contacting- this time looking specifically at the Newcastle/Gateshead area of the UK after having such a great time there last week, and hopefully giving me the opportunity to explore the city a little more.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Freelance Opportunities//3 Desk.

Earlier in the week I was contacted in regards to setting up my own freelance profile on the site '3 Desk', which effectively works as a promotional site for both freelance designers and clients, helping to create a direct link to services and commissions. 

I thought the service sounded really great (particularly as it's free of charge!) and definitely something I'd be interested in doing to potentially help boost up my portfolio, online presence and potentially to build future design/client relationships. Looking forward to seeing where this may potentially lead me in the future!

Interview Feature//Business Boom Collective.

Today I finally got round to checking a feature shown on the site 'Business Boom Collective', which is owned, designed and managed by a young man named Jared, who initially I got talking to on Twitter; again, proving the effectiveness of networking and marketing, helping once more to spread the word and get my design work into the public eye, hopefully building my design profile and potential for future possibilities. 

Monday, 2 July 2012

Freelance Work//Image Zoo//Licensing Royalty Free Stock Illustration.

A couple of days ago, I was contacted by Rosy, a team member at Vancouver-based royalty free stock illustration licensing site, Image Zoo, asking if I would be interested in getting involved and becoming one of their represented illustrative designers- selling the rights to my images to the site for an exclusivity deal for a minimum of five years, and gaining a percentage of the money made from selling the images on to direct clients, retail, catalog sales, etc. 

Reading through all of their terms and agreements, it was definitely something that I would be interested in getting involved with, having already set up a licensing agreement with Getty Images in regards to some old photography work available on my Flickr portfolio site.

I've sent through a selection of low resolution JPEG images for the team to review and potentially choose from to publish on the site, and I look forward to hopefully bonding a close-knit working relationship with them in the future.