Friday, December 28

New Years Resolutions

The festivities of Christmas are gone and now people are beginning to look towards New Years Eve and with that comes new years resolutions. Resolutions are the promises we make to ourselves at the start of the new year to ensure success, happiness, health and wealth in the following twelve months. With new years nearly here I have been thinking about my own resolutions, specifically career related ones. So here they are...

From Here

1. Get a job.

I talk about getting a job a lot, but more specifically I want to get an awesome job. Gaining experience on placements shows I am willing to learn, better myself and allows me to be more aware of career choices. 2013 will be the year I land a fantastic job because I will work hard, research, learn and get there.

2. Use LinkedIn effectively.

Today I have been busily updating my profile on LinkedIn, connecting with relevant individuals and joining groups. I believe it is important to be up to date with LinkedIn because it allows you to broadcast yourself to the "right people" and meet like minded designers you admire and see how they achieved what they have. In 2013 I will be regularly updating my LinkedIn profile, to be witness to this you can connect with me here.

3. Use my SLR more

I've had my SLR for about two and a half years and in that time it has been primarily used to photograph work for my portfolio. My new years resolution is to learn more about photography, and produce great quality shots. I love the fantastic vibrancy of the photos from the camera so in 2013 I will be more snap happy.

4. Visit more exhibitions, museums and galleries

I have the V&A and The Tate on twitter and regularly hear about the fantastic exhibitions they have on yet rarely go. In 2013 I will make more effort to visit exhibitions, design related or not, in order to inspire myself and experience new things. In January I am hoping to go down to London and definitely want to visit The Natural History Museum and the V&A Ballgowns exhibition.

5. Be successful and have fun

If you have these two factors in your career you can't be doing too badly, so in 2013 I will be aiming for both.

Sunday, December 23

Pinterest Picks

I love Pinterest; It's a great way to collate a digital mood board of inspirations and interests that can be simply updated, edited and shared. Many times I have been lacking ideas and turned to Pinterest for much needed inspiration, plus it can link you back to the original source, which is generally very useful. 

I am a big fan of typography, hand rendered type and anything remotely retro, which is shown in my Pinterest picks below. If you want to see any of these pins and other similar images follow my "Inspiration" board here.

Possibly one of my favourite pins to date, this simple design showcases type and photography together in a lovely nostalgic way. Although cheesy, I think the message within is also useful to remember.

Similar to the design above, this image touches on the "Hipster Branding" fashion with beautifully constructed type and simple vector shapes.

This image has a Nike feel about it to me, I like the offset effect used to suggest this has been screen printed or similar.

I so wish I was talented at hand rendered type like this image above. I like seeing the pens and paper scattered around the side of the page which shows that great design is not always reliant on digital methods.

I just like the simplicity of this hand painted sign and the angle of the shot.

Placement Reflection

Image via French Knot

I've just completed my four week placement at Big Communications in Leicester interning as a junior designer. I had a great time, got some fantastic real life experience and met a whole host of lovely people. During my time on placement I learnt a great deal and it helped me clarify some of my thoughts and ideas about employment.

I'm a real worrier; anyone that knows me on a personal level will know that I worry about everything and will endlessly contemplate the smallest details. My advice to myself for the future and other graduates is just don't. Don't waste your energy and brain power on worry - it's unnecessary. At times I found myself worrying about timings and tried to work on projects as fast as I could when, in some instances, time and reflection were required to achieve the desired result. If you are concerned, ask! I did and was reassured to know I was working at a good pace, which leads me on to my next point...

I enjoy getting feedback, it helps me to understand where I may be going wrong or right in order to improve and it's also nice to hear positive words about work you have done. During the placement I tried to get feedback wherever possible but still wish I had got more. In future I would take every opportunity possible to get some constructive criticism from those around you in order to better yourself as a creative.

Be interested in everything. Generally I ask a lot of questions, about everything, to anyone, on any topic. Because of this I learnt a lot of several things I previously had little knowledge of; internships, advertising, copywriting and digital, for example. Because of this I have a clearer idea of what I want from future internships and jobs and am excited by the prospect of diversifying into new areas.

I'm really thankful for the knowledge I gained in Leicester because it has helped me clarify what I want. Internships are part and parcel of this industry and it can be frustrating not to walk in to a job straight away but it is so worthwhile when you better understand and come away with invaluable knowledge.

Next up is finding my new creative endeavour, watch this space.

Monday, December 3

Digital Christmas Card

Now that we are entering December everyone is beginning to feel festive; putting up the Christmas tree, wrapping presents and sending christmas cards.

This Christmas I wanted to do something different and send cards I have designed digitally through email. I suspect most of you are like me and have far more of your friends' emails than home addresses, which makes the process of emailing your card much easier plus it's free.

Please feel free to send your family, friends and colleagues my digital Christmas card by copying the code in the box below into an email and follow the simple instructions.

All you have to do is:

-Paste the code from the box below into the email while it is in HTML mode, this is very important or it won't work

- You can usually you can change from "Rich Text" mode to "Edit in HTML" at the top of the page while writing your email.

- Be sure to change back to "Rich Text" when finishing off your message.

-Write a festive message and send to spread some festive cheer

Merry Christmas :)

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Saturday, December 1

Placement Update

This past week I have been enjoying my first week of placement as Big Communications in Leicester as a graphic designer. My previous blog posts had charted my application and interview so it seems only right that I post a quick update on how my placement has been going so far...

This week I have been working on emailers, livery, print work and branding so it has been a really varied few days but great for experiencing a whole range of tasks in a short space of time. I think I have been keeping up with the fast paced work place well and loved that I was working on real life campaigns that might actually be used!

I hadn't had a great deal of real studio experience beforehand so it was a steep learning curve the first few days as to how the studio functioned. Many of the people in the creative team work in pairs of copywriter and art director; something I was aware of but had never experienced first hand before so took the opportunity to quiz an interning copywriter and art director on their experiences. I was interested to find that both had studied graphic design (as I had) but diversified into their new roles. It made me feel positive about the various opportunities I could expand into in the future if I wanted.

In general I have had a productive, educational, creative and fun week. Being on placement has really taught me so much in such a short space of time and it's really satisfying to do a job that I have been trained for and working towards for 3 years, especially with such a respected and successful agency.

One of the benefits aside from the actual creative work is meeting like minded creatives and being able to have a fun work environment as well as a creative and interesting job.

N.B I didn't wan't to shove an SLR in peoples' faces on my first few days so decided to include this quote from one of my favourite designers, Saul Bass (from here) that I think is quite apt.

The poster is taken from my Pinterest board "Inspiration" which you can follow for typographic and design based pins.