Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Personal Development III//Job Interview at Elle Decoration

Very excited that after applying for a position as a Junior Designer at Elle Decoration Magazine (part of the Hearst Magazine company in the City of Westminster, London), I have been invited along for an interview on Thursday afternoon.

At this point, I'm just really excited to show my portfolio and hopefully meet some really inspiring and influential members of the industry on my trip, possibly to even gain an internship or industry experience, if not the job itself.

Can't wait! 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Personal Development III//Design Submission to To Dry For.

Really excited today to have been forwarded an email through from staff at the University (always a great privilege to get all the work done for you...!) for a design competition from tea towel producers, 'To Dry For', which sell unique and beautifully illustrated tea towel designs for contemporary homes.

During the end of the first year, whilst working on developing a nutritional design project, I used To Dry For as a contextual source of inspiration as I went on to develop my own tea towel designs, and have been a great fan of them ever since, selling work of designers I also really admire and first got me into designing, such as Julia Pott, Gemma Correll and Rob Ryan.

I've submitted with a sweet but simple typographic design (seen above), playing on the food themes that are quite consistent in their retail portfolio, as well as mixing up the colours to represent neopolitan ice cream for a fun splash of colour, but, again, keeping it quite simple to be easily, and commercially screenprinted.

Really pleased to submit, even if they just become familiar with my work and practice, which could potentially lead on to a working relationship at a later point in my freelance career.

Personal Development III//Re-joining LinkedIn

After my PPD and tutorial crit last week, and a good discussion with tutor John about preparing for my future and employment, and decided to re-join LinkedIn.

At this crucial stage of my education, and as I go on to look for jobs, and developing my career, I feel it's important to build a network and connections with as many active members of the design industry as possible, as, of course, more often than not, it's about WHO you know. Also, I feel that developing a communication and conversation with members of the industry will only help in building my confidence when talking with others, particularly about design, and, hopefully, will put me in the best frame of mind when (hopefully!) I start having interviews and call backs for job applications.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Personal Development III//Behance Student Competition

This evening I was sent a direct email from the team at Behance to suggest that I submit work for the Talent Search: Student Edition, which, of course, I was really enthusiastic to enter (any opportunity to promote both my work and myself personally is really great at this crucial point in my degree). After reading the terms and conditions, I decided to enter my design work for this year's YCN and UK Greetings awards, feeling that it, at this stage, potentially has the most design development and consideration for branding, colour palette and typographic layout, as well as commercial strength.

There's some great projects submitted so far, and I feel very pleased to be one of them. Looking forward to hearing the results soon!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Professional Development III//Agent 18 Licensing Deal.

Over the past couple of days I have been in touch with US comapny, Agent 18. After initially being contacted through my Flickr account, we have developed a working relationship, and, very excitingly for me, I have set up a licensing agreement for some of my existing print and pattern work (from my 'Design a Day' archive) to be used and commercially printed for the company as iPhone covers. 

I'm really excited to see my work available to purchase online, particularly in such a unique and, to me, completely new way, and, hopefully a few freebies while I'm at it too!


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Personal Development III//Portfolio To - Do.

After two portfolio reviews from the past couple of weeks (and an edit in - between), the first with Ben Haworth of The Beautiful Meme, and the second with Tayburn in Edinburgh, I feel as though I have been given some really constructive and useful advice and feedback as I move forward with my project and design development, and, hopefully, to create the best possible portfolio outcome as I graduate and seek employment over the next few months.

Written below are important notes and a portfolio 'to do' list before graduation.



* Contextualise all work - especially logos.
* Design a Day is an unnecessary project to include.
* Show photography is context. Clearly skilled (composition / appreciation for colour) - demonstrate all most effectively.
* Around 10 briefs would be best.
* Work on the photographing / photoshopping of my work for presentation.
* Think about the "bigger picture" of my concepts. Brand logos aren't the "be all and end all".
* Take out 'Write About Love' brief (logo issue... argh).
* Showcase Jessie's photography in her brief outcomes more effectively.

* Take out Wes Anderson brief - not necessarily ambitious enough / too personal.
* Bring separate folder for tactile print materials, no to- ing and fro- ing with pages.
* Take out all portfolio pages not needed.
* Showcase my developing interest in type and editorial design throughout a project in my portfolio.
* Start portfolio with a WOW... with a really bold and high - impact project.
* Don't excuse myself or projects (revealing when the projects were carried out, etc.)
* Tell a story when presenting my brief - the journey of the design and how the deliverables came to be.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Personal Development III//Trip to Tayburn, Edinburgh.

Earlier today, I was in the very privaleged position of being able to attend a personal portfolio review with Tayburn in Edinburgh, after planning the trip to see one of my favourite design studios quite some time ago (and, of course, the beautiful city of Edinburgh).

In the review I was lucky enough to discuss my portfolio with both Catriona, a Senior Designer at Tayburn, and with Malcolm Stewart, the Creative Director. Spending an hour showcasing both my portfolio, and being shown the studio, I gained some really insightful and constructive feedback (to be posted, in detail, at a later point) which I am sure will really help me develop the strongest portfolio possible, and put me in really good stead for securing a good job upon graduation.

A great visit, and one I would certainly like to do again (particularly after being asked to keep in touch), a very exciting time.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Personal Development III//Talent Spot Leeds & Warehouse Design Submission

This afternoon I took time out to submit work through to the Warehouse Talent Spot Leeds competition, whereupon selected designers, filmmakers and writers will have the opportunity to showcase their work at the new Leeds Trinity store over the opening month- providing a great chance to introduce my work to a larger audience, as well as, potentially to industry professionals.

Submitting work that I feel reflects my own personal style and design direction (as well as being eye-catching for a busy, retail environment), I am not entirely sure this will be what the company is looking for (they may well go for a more fashion- orientated route), however, I really felt it was too good an opportunity to miss, and look forward to potentially hearing back from the event organisers in the near future.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Personal Development III//Contacting The Chase.


This evening I contacted design agency, The Chase, in both their London and Manchester offices with the potential of going to meet with the designers for a possible studio visit and/or placement.

Although being well aware of their portfolio for quite some time (particularly being a fan of the D&AD project, as shown below), I wasn't actually aware of the studio that created the work, so it was a delight to find them quite by chance.

This time of the year is particularly important as I go on to graduate and seek employment to make those all - important contacts, and, hopefully, can start to go on to actively apply for graphic design job vacancies and become an active designer within the industry.

Personal Development III//Job Hunting.

Just applied to my first Graphic Design job today (scary stuff!), after being tipped off with a potential job vacancy working within marketing and print.

At this stage, I think it's really important for me to start actively looking for employment. Come July, I will have nowhere to live, and no student loan to depend on, so, ideally, I want to have secured a job before finishing Uni. This way, I hope that I can also learn a lot from the inevitable rejection feedback, and hopefully be at my full potential come summer- ready and eager to become an active member of the Graphic Design industry.

Personal Development III//Re - Designed Portfolio.

This afternoon I spent some time making some quick changes to my portfolio, in reflection from my time spent with Ben Haworth, of The Beautiful Meme, in my portfolio surgery last week, in order to reprint tomorrow before my trip to Tayburn in Edinburgh at the end of the week.

Only a few small changes made- cutting down on body copy a little (but still being clear and concise, should I need to send my portfolio for studio visits, etc.) and promoting and contextualising my briefs a little more- particularly highlighting my branding and logo design with confidence, as this is the discipline and field I want to specialise in.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Personal Development III//BAGD Yearbook.

This evening I spent some time completing the information and feedback for my own personal page content for the BAGD 2013 Yearbook, to be designed by Matt Tucker, Dom Rugman, Oli Cassell and James Flanagan. 

I'm really looking forward to seeing the finalised design, and hopefully having something to go away with, not only to act as a means of communication and an addition for a networking portfolio, but also to have a memorable source of design and biographies of the course, and the people (and designers) I shared my time at Uni with.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Personal Development III//The Democratic Lecture.

Notes from today's Democratic Lecture, as delivered by designer, Craig Oldham of Music (Manchester).

The democratic lecture promotes audience interaction, creatively allowing the audience to vote for the subject matters discussed throughout the lecture, with an overall "majority rules" result.
All opinions and notes taken are opinions of Craig Oldham alone.

A fantastic and inspiring talk, this has certainly made me consider who I want to be as a designer, and how I'm going to set about doing it.



* Craig Oldham : Graduated from Falmouth in 2006. First design job was at The Chase in Manchester, now at Music.

* Themes to discuss : | A & B : The Two Kinds of Designer | Brand Spanking | Design Is Not Your Job | Please Don't Be a Twat. Get a Placement | A Portfolio is for Life, Not Just an Interview.

* What is Graphic Design? This is becoming a redundant term... designers use so many approaches to communicate it is now rarely 'Graphic'.
* Design is LOGICAL and EMOTIONAL.
* A : Logical / Rational... FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION (Appeals to Head)
* B : Emotional... THE BIG IDEA BUNCH (Appeals to Heart)
* A's Swiss/clean approach... "Enough white space to keep a Polar Bear happy".
* Think about what appeals to you, and what kind of a designer you want to be.
* This will help define which industry / studio to work for, and have the same interests in. DO WORK YOU LOVE. It's a lifestyle, not a job.

* Branding is ubiquitous (and bullshit...).
* Branding, as a term, is now used too much by people who don't know what it means.
* Understand the context of branding... what does it mean in the specific context?
* The deeper you dig, the higher you rise.

* Portfolios are SO subjective... "The monkey that sits on your back for the rest of your life..."
* If you're not happy with photos use design / art work.
* WHAT is it that you want people to know?
* Let your portfolio do the work for you. Be minimal, be clear.
* Don't design to trends, they date easily. Design for you.

* Try your hardest. Always. The industry is competitive, and as a result, you need to be too.
* Make a placement hit list. Research EVERYTHING about the company. Talk to people who have been through the same experience.

* Be punctual. Be enthusiastic. Be yourself.
* ALWAYS be honest.

* Design is not your job, only around 20% of your day. Design is about PEOPLE. WORK HARD AND RESPECT ONE ANOTHER.... THAT is your job.

Personal Development III | Portfolio review with Ben Haworth

Yesterday I had the opportunity to have a portfolio surgery/review sesssion with Ben Haworth of The Beautiful Meme, which offered me some really invaluable and constructive advice in regards to my portfolio. Below, are notes and comments from the session, and possible considerations for the development of both my work and portfolio.

I really enjoyed talking with Ben, and feel like the feedback was really valuable.
Over the weekend I hope to make the necessary edits and amendments to my portfolio to hopefully reprint it before my trip to Tayburn in Edinburgh next week for a studio visit and portfolio review.



- Don't need so much body copy. Most of the time I will be there to talk through my portfolio anyway, so it's not necessary. Be short and sweet.
- Photography work is really strong, bring this into work more and contextualise.
- All logos should be contextualised- only add the strongest work.
- Really like the 'Paul Danks Property Development' logo, conceptual and clever. Contextualise this and produce brand stationary for an additional brief throughout the Final Major Project to add to my portfolio upon graduation and seeking employment.
- Layout good- clear, strong. Obviously skilled at using type.
- Make more of the brands and brand identities within my work- show off details within my work- don't  wash them out.
- Strong photography, keep it up- but make sure you document clear, high- impact details.
- Don't be afraid to use more than one page to show off your work/briefs. Create a pitch- like design... logo boldly on one page, more print details/collateral on the next.
- Contextualise design a day images or they don't mean a great deal.
- Keep collaborating and working with others, this will set me in good stead for a career in branding and brand development.
- Be confident with work and how it's presented- sell the hard work and skills.