Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Professional Development III//Design Trip to Manchester.

On Saturday 27th, myself, Kirsty Alderson, Claudia Griffin, and Bethany Yates (my friends and fellow BAGDers) took a day trip to Manchester to visit both The Manchester Print Fair and the 'Paper at the Cutting Edge' Exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery.
Having never been to Manchester before (only passing through in the past), it was great to visit the city and find out a little bit more about the retail environment and development of the area. 
Based in NQ22 (at The Northern Quarter), the Print Fair was located in a small, intimate venue with a range of printed design from Graphic and Illustrative designers (with a bit of a business card pillage for me!), and then moved on to the paper craft exhibition, which was really innovative and exciting to see a different design form in the context of a gallery.
A great day out, and wonderful to do something a little different, whilst still absorbing some design inspiration.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Professional Development III//Crafty Praxis Sale or Return.

After taking several items of retail stock to Crafty Praxis in the Bryam Arcade, Huddersfield, after contacting them re potentially stocking my work earlier in the month, I finally got round to filling in and sending them the sale or return form today after a busy weekend. Although familiar with sale or return policies due to selling in Nook & Cranny at The Bluecoat in Liverpool, it was good to have a really clear, and uniformed spreadsheet which was easily understandable and read, and something that I will take forward and use in the future for sending over stock orders to shops as an effective and direct form of costing and as a retail resource.

Professional Development III//Duke Studios Visit.

On Friday I was fortunate enough to attend a group visit to Duke Studios (which I had organised earlier on in the month) down by Leeds Gallery and the College of Music to see the open workspace facilities which the studio offers to designers.

The studio facilities, and owners, James and Laura were great, and James was kind enough to show us around the various spaces available, including a charming freelance picnic area, individual desks, laser cut and woodwork facilities, as well as an innovative system of cardboard-construction studios (flatpack wizardry). 

Perhaps my favourite area of the studios was the 'Not Bored Room', inspired by the character of the Duke, mahogany clad and Victoriana- inspired, as if we had just walked into Charles Darwin's study with a model of the solar system and a taxidermy parrot in the corner. Wonderfully eccentric.

The visit was really inspired, and I'm thoroughly glad I went. It's definitely given me an insight into more options post-graduation at a really affordable and desirable price. A definite consideration for the future career path.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Professional Development III//Contacting DED Studio.

This morning, along with The Lift Agency, I contacted DED in Sheffield in regards to another potential studio visit. Having recently discovered the company via twitter (and the happy coincidence of researching work that I later found was produced by their design studio), I really love their diverse range and mixture of both traditional branding and graphic design and illustration within their portfolio, and would love to get the opportunity to meet the established design team, and to potentially learn more about their place in the industry. 

Really excited about this studio, hopefully I'll receive some feedback or a reply in the near future. All development and contact will be blogged onto my Personal and Professional Development blog.

Professional Development III//Contacting The Lift Agency, Harrogate.


This morning, hoping to continue to strengthen my industry contacts, studio visits and networking both personally and throughout the PPD module, I contacted The Lift Agency in Harrogate in regards to potentially organising a studio visit.

The studio specialises within branding design, but has influence within the sports industry and digital design, which is certainly something a little different to the work I currently produce, and could prove to be a really interesting insight into that particular sector.

Anticipating a reply to potentially go and learn more about the studio, and, again, expand upon my experience of meeting industry professionals.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Professional Practice III//Stockist for Crafty Praxis.

After initially contacting homeware and design store, Crafty Praxis, in Huddersfield last week (after being introduced to the shop by my friend and fellow BAGDer, Lisa), I was, of course, naturally delighted that after a couple of emails back and forth with my design portfolio, and links to my online work, that the store are interested in stocking some of my work (as shown in the email above).

Hopefully, I'll get the opportunity within the next couple of weeks to go down and meet the girls (Elisa and Helena) and will continue to develop and strengthen my network of stores and stockists to increase my retail profile and future potential.

Really exciting stuff.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Personal Professional Development III//Folio Printers.

Earlier on today, I sent an email to Folio Printers in Devon after considering in the past few days about developing my professional practice and range of printed media available for retail outlets and to purchase in my online shop, looking at developing some of my personal Design a Day project works (see link here) for a repeat pattern wrapping paper design.

To my delight, they immediately called me and gave a rough estimation, details as shown below. Really excited by the prospect of getting my designs professionally printed and improving upon the standard of the printed outcomes, hopefully adding to my client base and standard of work produced... best wait until the loan comes in first, mind...



* Litho print
* 100GSM uncoated
* 500 x 700mm standard UK size
* Approx 94p per unit for 2 designs, 500 units= £470 order

Professional Development III//Contacting Crafty Praxis.

Yesterday, my friend and fellow BAGDer, Lisa, kindly lead me in the direction on 'Crafty Praxis', a store in Huddersfield which stocks handmade and craft items, along with work from the designer Helen Entwistle, known as 'Memo' of whom I have sold with at Reetsweet Craft Fairs along with being a retail stockist for the Kirkgate store, 'Bird's Yard', which prompted me to contact the store re potentially becoming a stockist myself, and expanding my freelance practice and retail experience further (see email below).
Looking forward to hopefully receiving a reply soon and getting the ball rolling in terms of expanding my client base and promoting my work to a wider audience.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Design Practice III//Computer Arts Graudate Showcase.

One of my real ambitions upon graduating is to be featured in a national design magazine, not only for the personal experience and process of seeing my design in print, and hopefully getting a widespread critique and feedback from my work, but, of course, to also publicise my design practice and to get myself a little more known as I embark on seeking employment in the design industry.

Past alumni such as Arthur Carey and Johnny Packham have successfully gone on to have their work in print in varying issues/online at Computer Arts, and it's definitely up there on my priorities for self promotional devices in early/mid 2013.

Personal & Professional Development III//Contacting Duke Studios.

This evening, I contacted Duke Studios in Leeds re a potential studio visit, primarily on behalf of myself, but after discussing the idea of visiting with a few of my peers on the course, we felt it would be a good idea to all potentially go down as a group.
I first found out about Duke Studios after they initially followed me on Twitter and we started talking with one another, leading me to find out a little bit more about them, including discovering that two of the graduates from the course last year also have gone on to hire a studio there for their new business. It would definitely be interesting to visit for a potential studio space, if the idea to set up my own design studio were ever to become a realised one, and, all in all, to get an overall sense of the studio and the-day-to-day working environment.

Really anticipating a reply and hoping we can organise something for the near future.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Personal & Professional Development III//D&AD Submission Form.

The submission proposal form for 2013's D&AD New Blood Submissions- documenting and reviewing the form in time for next year, and to combine with the consideration of my brief outcomes for a well-rounded and substantial project and project outcomes.

Realistically, at the moment, I'm not sure that my portfolio is strong enough to be chosen in comparison to other members of the Graphic Design tutor group, although I'm certainly not going to let this stop me, and this year I intend to do my upmost to get the most out of the year, and to make my portfolio to the highest professional and creative standard as possible.

OUGD303//Show Proposal Form.

Documenting the End of Year Show proposal form 2013, which I will be using at a later date for the proposal of my design presentation throughout the Graphic Design studios, and will be a useful resource at a later date, as well as being something for me to consider throughout my FMP and design practice module, considering the product outcomes and application of print/digital design throughout each brief.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

PPD III//Placement at Glad.

I'm delighted that today I've booked my accommodation in Newcastle from 28 October- 2nd November to pay another visit to Glad Creative in Gateshead, and work on a placement for the week.
I had a great time with them at the start of the summer, and I hope that returning will really help to build bridges with them, and potentially have long-term contact and a working relationship. Can't wait to get started on some more of their fantastic briefs- plus, staying up in the city on my own will give me a great opportunity to work on some of my dissertation in the evening... no excuses now!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

PPD III//Notes From Welcome Back Briefing.

Notes from the Welcome Back Briefing, as delivered by John and Andy, with an introduction and overview of the PPD module throughout the summer, along with a selection of short, written tasks, as shown at the bottom of the blog post.



- Potentially include amends in contact when working for clients (freelance).
- Write contracts as a freelancer.
- Printer bills client directly, financially far safer for a freelancer.
- Keep contact consistently going forwards and backwards.


Write 5 responses for each question


1. Things you know now that you didn't before.

-  Branding is so much more than just logo development- it's a real chance to have in depth, client interaction, to explore marketing, promotion, and all aspects of the design process, from conception to finalised printed design.

- My capabilities and design portfolio ARE good enough for a studio environment. I was lucky enough to feel motivated and focused enough at my design placements and experience which resulted in a good amount of work being produced, to a high standard, that has gone on to have been used in live briefs.

- The 9-5 routine of a working day helps me to remain focused in a studio environment. Often, I feel that the University environment isn't a particularly productive one for me, but I know that is because I will often let myself get distracted, and I really need to have a more define set of ambitions and planning throughout Level 06 to ensure I get as much as possible out of my time in the studio.

- For me, branding and brand identity is certainly a route I am hoping to pursue in my personal design practice, as it provides a way for me to combine my particular interests and skills within photography, image for purpose and typographic design into a contextualised and structured manner, as well as ensuring I get to work with clients directly, which is something I particularly enjoy.

- I have a real ambition and motivation to succeed in my design practice and future career. I'm not usually a very competitive person, but throughout the summer, I've learnt that I'm highly competitive... with myself.


2. Things you would address differently that you did this summer.

- Contact studios more strategically  Although you make thing there's no harm in contacting around ten at a time, assuming that, at most, half will get back to you, you might be surprised... and inundated with emails/offers for industry experience that you can't commit to.

- Try to be more persistant with designers/studios local to Leeds. Although I loved the industry experience I gained in the North East, due to travelling away from where I live, it resulted in quite a costly experience, and may evidently affect my work and project outcomes later on in the year.

- As opposed to just contacting designers/studios in regards to visits or industry experience, ask for feedback too. Often enough, I was lucky that the designers/studios did this without question in email replies, but I could have specifically asked for this, and perhaps gained a developed insight and reflection upon my own design portfolio at a much earlier stage in the summer.

- Set myself more self-initiated briefs and tasks with significant, contextualised projects to develop and strengthen my portfolio, as well as to ensure that my skills are kept up to date and my mind and concept development as active as possible. 

- Throughout the summer, I would've liked the opportunity to develop my self branding and promotion to a much higher level, not having the time, unfortunately, by the end of the summer to develop my own personal website, which is something I now hope to achieve by the time I graduate in the summer of 2013.


3. Specific things you will address this semester that should be useful.

- I will actively remain in contact with the design studios that I have worked at, potentially offering to create design work for them, as well as hopefully returning for more industry experience at a later date for potential experience/job opportunities upon graduation.

- I will consistently ask for feedback from both my peers, tutors and industry professionals. Often, I feel that I "become to involved" with my work, and another pair of unbiased eyes can be very helpful in terms of the effective means of concept development translation and visual communication to the client/consumer.

- I will aim to promote myself to a much great extent, readily networking with potential clients and industry professionals on a weekly, if not daily, to get my portfolio seen, and for my name to be recognised, and associated with design, as much as possible before I graduate.

- Throughout this semester I hope to work on some live, substantial briefs, which, when posted online and publicised  if successful, should hopefully, once again, promote myself to a much wider and design-orientated audience.

- This semester, I will try to engage with studios and industry professionals in regards to what they look for in a graduate/junior design, and to hopefully receive some feedback in regards to what I can do to make an effective and substantial interview design portfolio.


4. Things you feel we could address as a group?

- Potentially learn more about the accountancy of being either a freelance designer or setting up your own design studio, talking to finance managers/accountants about how to realistically go about gaining funding, or from the viewpoint of visiting professionals who have gone through this experience successfully in the past.

- Discuss effective means of self promotion and branding, and the most appropriate ways to promote yourself to contemporary design studios.

- Necessary means of contact and how to be persistent with design studios/etiquette, is it appropriate? Is it necessary?

- Explore the various design outlets within the design industry, and how to effectively choose the most appropriate avenue of design/practice for you.


5. Things you feel we have not looked at in PPD you personally would like to know more about with reference to professionalism?

- Have more visiting professionals from more varied locations, perhaps from studios overseas, or throughout the United Kingdom to gain more insight about the industry on both a national and global level, as opposed to purely within Leeds and the closely surrounding cities.

- Discuss effective portfolio designs and how to sell your work as successfully as possible.

- To meet design professionals, and to ask what qualities and work (design portfolio) they would personally look for in a junior designer, from a range of design studios/freelances around the UK and overseas.

- Meet past alumni/students of the degree to discuss their time since University, studios/clients they are working for now, and giving a realistic overview of time after the course, how long it took for them to become employed, and so on.

- Potentially discuss business/interview techniques, and effective ways to win over Creative Directives not only with your design portfolio, but also from your demeanour, personality,etc.