Wednesday, 20 May 2009
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to make up some invites for a friends mums 50th birthday party. This was one of the first briefs I have had which included dealing with a client on a one to one basis and also dealing with the printers. Besides getting the cost slightly wrong, the client was happy with the finished outcome. The amount I learnt through out this process was definitely rewarding and I thrive upon more freelance briefs in the near future.
As the summer is here, I have found the spare time a little frustrating. I have decided to make up the time by doing my own briefs and challenging myself in area's I feel I lack a little in. Over the past couple of months, I have always been intrigued to see what its like to explore screen printing. I have always been fascinated by typography and wanted the opportunity to make my own t-shirts. I plan on doing this within the next few weeks. I have noted down some of the funny things, which have come up in conversation with my friends and family this past week. I have also made a similar design to which I saw on a t-shirt in a shop in Manchester.
Over the past few weeks, I have been in contact with Craig Oldham. Craig is a designer from graphic studio Music and had recently come along for a talk to discuss what to expect when leaving university. This was definitely helpful so I decided to send my work to Craig for his opinion. As the weeks went by, Craig’s busy schedule had got in the way but he was kind enough to keep me up to date and when he finds time to see my work, he would let me know. I definitely appreciated his honesty and also the fact he didn’t forget my e-mails. I was finally lucky to have an in-depth analysis of my work by Craig this past week. His opinion was different from the other practitioners I had in the past. Craig was happy to talk in detail about how I could improve each piece in my portfolio for them to work the strongest. He repeatedly stated this was not criticism but more of his opinions, nothing right or wrong. I feel his advice was definitely worth the wait and I plan to make some changes to what Craig has said and maybe get another opinion in the future.
Friday, 8 May 2009
I recently received an e - mail from Tom Greaves who I made a phone call regarding a possible visit to his studio while I was down in London. As we spoke on the phone, Tom was happy to speak about talking through my work, giving me some useful advise regarding the industry and also tips on how to stand out in the crowd when applying for jobs. As we ended the call, Tom asked me to send him some work so he could have a rough idea what type of designer. I sent the e – mail straight awaiting his reply. As the days passed, I didn’t receive a reply. I contacted the studio numerous of times and was unable to get any contact with Tom. In all honesty, I assumed I would not hear back but this past week, I received an e – mail apologising the delay. As the studio is at it’s busiest time of year, I was unable to arrange a visit but was pleased to read Tom was impressed with my work.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
This past week, Yvan Martinez and Joshua Trees came along to hold a lecture discussing sound and its different variations you can do with it. They are an independent graphic design company that focuses on cultural contexts (exhibitions, games, social media, websites, and workshops) who call themselves Fake ID. There talk didn’t cover much of there work in all honesty, but the message they were telling us what we can do, what we think and how we react to the motion of sound. Joshua explained ‘’ you cant close your ears to it’’ which I felt was quite a clever fact. He also touched on the big brands we depend on via advertising press ads and he said they are starting to realise sound as a commercial.
Fake ID began in Los Angeles when the Internet arrived around ten years ago and they have had MTV, Nike, Sony and Urban Outfitters (plus many more) as ongoing clients. It was unfortunate Fake ID didn’t show any work which is on there website as some of the stuff is very inspiring. Evan and James met had in a performance art group where the two had opposite backgrounds. Evan learnt mathematics where James was taught graphic design. They both chose to look towards another fields and met paths while doing a fine art course.
The day before the talk, we had the opportunity to work with Fake ID with a one-day brief workshop. We were paired in two’s and were given an image to analyse and write a script in the form of speech. We then later had to record this in front of the class, which was very fun to do. We had a choice of the script being a story, song, monologue, dialogue, translation etc. I was paired up with Jack Fowler and we had some great fun doing the brief. The aim of the project was experiment with how language and sound can guide, challenge or change how an image is read by developing characters through visual information alone.
We decided to choose a story, which we had a positive and funny response to. All though Fake ID didn’t show any work, there thinking and no how of design shown me that there are all aspects of design to work with and sound is definitely a growing concept to work on.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
On my final day in London, I decided to do some sightseeing. I was lucky to find the landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street and Buckingham Plaice. I was overwhelmed with the size and structure of the buildings but I was more interested in the street art I walked into. As I turned the corner, I noticed crowds of people surrounding three different areas near the National Portrait Gallery. As I looked closer, I saw a number of artists painting some interesting illustrations similar to the one’s I found in Manchester not to long ago. I also noticed the witty comments written at the sides of the paintings, which made me laugh.
As I was preparing for my London trip, I decided (at the very last minute) to take the opportunity of e mailing The Chase. I had originally e mailed a designer called Oliver Maltby asking him for some spare time while I was down in London. He responded fairly quickly explaining I needed to contact Chris Challinor. I decided to contact Chris with the same e mail and was patiently waiting for his response. As the day moved on, I still had no response from Chris so I decided to call the studio to see a conversation may lead. I managed to speak Chris and explain whom I was and that I was in London for that particular weekend. He remembered my e mail and apologised he had not responded. He said if sent him three samples of my work he would have a brief look at it and contact me back.
I decided to send the Ringo Starr poster, English tea box, the Observer magazine and the Guggenheim end sting. Chris e mailed me back minutes later saying he or a college called Rebecca Low would spend some time with me Tuesday afternoon. As I finally located the studio, I walked up the stairs to find all the staff at work. I introduced myself and Rebecca was happy to give me some advice on my work and how to make good start towards the industry. Rebecca sat me down while I went through my portfolio with her. She said the standard of work at my level was good. In all honesty, this made me feel great. As we got to the end, she said the best way to present your work is A3 size in a black box, folder or ring binder. She explained the bigger size would show more of the work and make it stand out more.
Rebecca also advised to be more positive about my work. Being slightly negative is a bad impression towards a client or if you are in an interview as this shows a slight doubt that you believe in yourself. Always being happy with the work what goes in your portfolio is a defining factor. Having something in your portfolio without your true care or full passion can show in your body language when presenting this. Rebecca also said when explaining your work, you should keep it minimal. The description should be strong and clear enough on the page so you don’t have to explain verbally in detail that much as the chances of ‘’waffling’’ can be easily done.
Finally, Rebecca urged me to stay positive. Getting placements is vital as this will give you experience and teach you things you will not learn in class. I did ask how she had become a graphic designer for The Chase. She said she had a number of placements to show that she had an experience in different studios. Contacting agency’s similar to how I followed up a call from my e mail to organise the visit is the best thing to do when wanting to speak to someone. Getting the receptionists name is always a good tip as you have something to reference when speaking to other people in that company.
While I arrived in London on my visit, I was lucky enough to have a place to stay for the weekend. I have some friends who live in Dorking near Surry so as soon as they were happy for me to travel down, I was eager to arrange a portfolio visit with a studio near by. I made a few phone calls and contacted an agency called Phoenix. I spoke to a lady called Clare Metheven who advised me that they were more of a freelance studio but I should get in contact with there former creative director Pete Hammond. Clare e mailed me his contact details so I decided to send an e mail asking for a possible visit. Pete got back to me after that weekend and was happy to spend some time with me. His studio was called FBH Incite. The website didn’t have a great deal of information regarding his work of background but I was more than happy to go down.
As I arrived at the studio, the location was in a series of other offices. This surprised me, as Music, who I had visited no to long ago, was located in an alley tucked away. As I introduced myself, Pete was happy to sit down with me and have an in detail talk about the industry and some vital pointers regarding portfolio’s, interviews and how the thinking process behind a brief is one of the most important things. Pete advised my description should be more in-depth so whoever is looking at my work, would not need to ask many questions. ‘’If you show your thinking skills at it’s strongest level, the Pearson reading it will notice this and understand the work more clearly’’.
Pete also explained how beneficial working for different agencies throughout your carer is useful as all studios work differently. He explained the more varied background you had regarding the different agency’s you have worked for shows you can adapt to the way to deal with briefs and clients. He also pointed out this would make the possibilities of starting your own studio out a success as you would seen the flaws in the industry. We had a brief talk over pitching and what you do if you don’t get the job. Pete explained to be confidant in your work, as you need to be to survive in the industry.
Being confidant in your work will keep you motivated and give you the desire you need to carry on. A few other pointers were not to give your ideas out straight away. Always take the time given on the brief as having something you know will work and taking it to the client earlier than the deadline may give them the impression of little effort. Pete was happy for me to keep in touch and I was very grateful for his time. I feel his advice was rewarding and definitely helpful. He was happy with my work.
This past weekend, I arranged a trip to London to see the differences on a design cultural aspect in relation to Manchester. I had never been into the London area before and I was very unaware with the tube and how to travel around the busy centre area. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the busy, mad rush pace the train station had. It was a fast pace atmosphere which I didn’t like. As I approached the centre, the roads and crowds of people were like from the movies, driving and walking at a lightning pace.
I was lucky to capture some interesting poster designs while I was there. The regarding safety for railway employers caught my attention with the typography and thinking behind the message they were putting out. I also noticed a channel 4 program ad on the floor. It was promoting a TV series about children who are put in care homes. The idea of the children being sucked from the ground was a good way to get the message across. Overall, London was definitely an experience I will never forget. It’s a beautiful city and has a strong, if not strongest area for design in Europe.