After graduating in the summer I knew finding a job would be difficult. The statistics they remind us of every day with over 1 million 18 — 24 year olds unemployed doesn’t help. It especially doesn’t help if you are looking for a graduate job in design when the only thing they actually want is experience. Little did I know that this was the case while I naively sailed through university thinking that all I really needed was a degree. But after leaving university, which I now refer to as a dreamland, I have realised how different work actually is.
I decided after graduating that time off was the top of my list, and somehow summer seemed to speed by and September approached. I caught up with friends, enjoyed life and relaxed, but then the time I would of been receiving my student loan came and my bank account was very much empty, at this point I felt that the time to look for a job came. I also realised that in 9 months time the next generation would be graduating, looking for jobs in the same situation as me, not helping my own chances.
A friend of mine was in the same position and so we decided that for one day a week we would get together and look for jobs together. I needed the motivation just as much as her. After much looking I finally got a response from the director of Baseline magazine, offering me a trial week in October and if it all goes well then a further placement of 4 — 6 weeks would be a possibility. This was a big step for me, especially with going straight in without an interview. I was very grateful for the opportunity and the experience as it was the starting point I needed. The trial week went well and I followed with a further 6 weeks during November and December.
During my time at Baseline magazine I learnt a lot, about the working world and about myself. I also learnt that what I had been taught during university wasn’t right, it was a matter of opinion being put across to us, influencing our styles. A lot that I felt was right during my course, was done completely differently during my placement. White boarders were left on prints, there was an option in InDesign for kerning, text could form it’s own shape as long as it was readable and big type is good if it works. I feel that what I’ve learnt will help me in my own style, rather than adapting someone else’s style. Good design and bad design exist, as long as there’s a place in the market for it and it fulfills the purpose it’s intended to.
While on my placement I applied for jobs as well, using a range of websites but one I was told to steer clear of was reed.co.uk as it was known that a lot of recruiters advertised and only approached people with the best CVs. However, out of the 20 odd jobs I applied to during my job search, one got back to me from reed.co.uk. After two interviews, I was offered a Junior Designer position in the advertising department for Leaders, this commences on the 5th January and although I was sad to leave my placement, I am also very ready to move on and start something new.
Now, this is my regular blog updates obviously, two a year? I really need to change this so potentially I will now have the time to blog. Three years later and I have finished my degree, also my website is now live so I’m officially ready for the big wide world. After a hectic few years I’m planning to have a few weeks off, in that time I’ll be able to sort my CV out and figure out where I want to apply to jobs. Also it’ll be a good time to catch up with friends who have also completed design degrees as it would be good to see their final shows.
So in the past year I’ve thought more about which area of Graphic design I wish to focus on, and this happens to be editorial design within food magazines. I love baking and taking photographs so I feel this would be perfect working in the food magazine field. I would love to create editorial design in whatever way possible as I enjoy all areas, and I don’t want to be too specific too early on as there is still so much for me to learn and experience.
So, back to my final year. I have just finished my final major project where I designed an Afternoon Tea magazine called Three Tiers, which you can see in the portfolio page. I wanted to focus on afternoon tea as I find it’s not as popular as it once was many years ago. I found that afternoon tea is expensive if you wish to go for it in a restaurant or hotel, and also we don’t seem to have the time to stop and enjoy a tea party with friends. Throughout the magazine I have focused on money saving options and time saving tips, also ideas for hosting your own tea party even if you were to celebrate a birthday I thought a tea party would be a nice way to spend the day.
The idea of the magazine was to have more of a design layout rather than a food magazine layout and so I designed the whole magazine, wrote all the content myself and cooked and photographed all the cakes myself. I even designed the invitations and doilies inside myself, by using Adobe Illustrator for this. The project took me overall 15 weeks to design and make the whole thing. I had the magazine perfect bound and printed professionally, therefore it would be of a high quality and would be bound as you would expect. The magazine I designed was a first edition to a new magazine and therefore to make it special I ‘varnished’ a doily on the cover, by laser cutting the doily out of vinyl and placing it on the cover. With the magazine I included handmade invitations for the reader to use when inviting their guests.
To display my work in the University show I chose 6 of my favourite layouts to display and mounted these onto A3 foam board. I also had a small table under my board which I screen printed doilies onto the tablecloth for my magazine and tea cups to be displayed on. Overall I was very happy with the outcome of the magazine and felt I met my brief requirements well.
Now this is all over, I am currently displaying my work at my University for the next week, while I create my CV to begin applying for jobs in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.
I really need to start blogging. I always forget as I tweet quite a bit, never about anything useful but I still tweet.. kinda. So third year of University and in the final semester which is scary as in four months I need to start actually looking for a job. I like the comfort of being a student, but it’s definitely a lot different in the real world and being in a real job where instead of pleasing your tutor, you’re pleasing clients. But enough about that, I just want to enjoy being a student for a little bit longer.
So final year, final briefs. First brief of the year was 10 weeks, which was the first 10 week brief we’ve had and so they decided to test it out on us in third year.. smart move. Well, for most people it wasn’t a smart move but I kind of preferred it. It was based on a place called Dungeness which really has nothing in it, you have to look a bit deeper to find the beauty of it. I thought I’d incorporate something into the project which I enjoyed and after recently getting into cooking I thought it was a good chance to include it. I asked the residents if they could post me recipes which they home cook and then I would publish them. So, I designed a cookbook, made the food, took the photographs and created the layouts myself, printed at a printers, then bound with a hardback cover and a sleeve with an embossed title by myself. Very pleased with the final result.
After this we had a less demanding brief while we wrote our dissertations, so it was time for a live brief. We had to choose a brief which was written for D&AD and whoever produced the best projects were entered into the actual competition. I chose to work in a group with two of my friends and we worked on the Diesel music brief, we wanted to attempt a project we hadn’t before so decided to create a stop motion and so focused on the songs White Blank Page and Roll Away your Stone by Mumford and Sons. I don’t currently have any final photographs but it was alright in the end, entered into D&AD so all good.
Currently working on the final major project, still in researching stages of what to do and I’m going to create a magazine which I think I’m going to focus on afternoon tea for. My tutor said to me about doing another ‘food’ based project but I said I wanted to go into that sort of work, editorial design but involving cookbook designs etc. I much prefer that to all Graphic Design based work and so it would be good if I could get a job within this type of work.
I think I may have out blogged myself tonight. Hope to see you soon..
Well, it’s the end of the Research brief. But the beginning of work experience. Scary.
The research project went alright in the end, created a design which was screen printed with silver ink onto card, paper and tracing paper. Plum card with silver ink looks so good! This was one side of the broadsheet, then on the other side I did a basic grid design with a bit of type in it. After having a book binding workshop, I saddle stitched my pages and made a hard back cover with one of my screen prints. The hardcover went ok, but the rest of the book was a disaster! Baring in mind it’s my first book.. four pages were upside down, the spine was too thick, the thread broke, there’s excess thread on one of the pages and I butchered the bottom of the book by trying to ‘even it out’ pffft! However, from the outside it looks really nice and I’m happy with it from that aspect.
Now onto work experience.. So for the next month we have to do some form of work experience. So I’m doing two weeks freelance rebranding a toyshop, working in a printers for one week then with my dad doing architecture stufffs for the last week, ready for a presentation on the 29th March! Pretty exciting stuff..
For now, I’m going to relax after having my hand in this morning
I’m starting to enjoy the brief now, since it’s been changed anyway. We were originally going to create a digital piece about ourselves but that’s been taken out. So instead we are focusing more on the broadsheet design and a really nice book. Book binding workshop on friday, cant wait I really wish they’d taught us it last year but hey ho. Screen printing for this project too? Me thinks so.
I’ve been doing research into designs I’m loving which is the content for one side of the broadsheet. But it’s going to be A2 double sided and on the other side it’s got to be ‘information graphics’ but something to do with us which we enjoy. I’ve chosen to look at the concerts I go to because that’s the most exciting thing I feel I do..? So my friend looked into the same thing and I said to my tutor bout us doing a joint project so we are but like.. starting with the first concerts we went to being Steps/All saints. I saw All Saints obviously, much cooler than Amy clearly! Ha. Then we’re seeing Lady Gaga in March so then we’ll meet up somewhere on our ‘timeline’ thing which is quite cool.
We’re both wanting to do something with hand rendered type, layers, screen printing, silverrr something etc etc so could be quite exciting. And like, having the price, date, venue sort of included as well as the band. But yeahhh, starting to get more into the brief. Just gotta do the designing stage now..
Apart from brief-ness, planning on going to the Decode Exhibition at the V&A next week which is quite exciting since I haven’t been to an exhibition for quite a while.
That’s all for now, ta ta.
It’s been quite some time since I last had a blog, well one I updated anyway, so this will be interesting to get back into the swing of things. I’ve started a reflective journal as well for taking notes in lessons and to document my thoughts when out and about or when I get ideas during projects.
Current brief at university is about finding out about ourselves and researching research. Which is more difficult than you would expect.. The final outcome is to produce a film about ourselves and an A2 broadsheet. Baffled?! Yep! I’ve been doing research on things I feel are appropriate. Bought Dazed & Confused and took out some books from the library. What is Graphic design? Being the most appropriate for this brief.. but I also found books on information graphics, visual literacy and handmade graphics. Trying to do a bit more research now, but not so easy babysitting a four year old who wants you to help her make a crown..
As well as the Research project, been looking for work experience. I’ve found a few places I like so will hopefully get round to applying soon.
Off to make a crown then..