Sunday, 27 March 2011

Last day at Studio Precept

Well yesterday was my last day at Studio Precept. The past 5 weeks have just flown by, it feels like I only just started there. I mainly worked on the brand management side of the company which included writing and sending press releases, updating clients social media platforms and writing monthly updates. I also did a bit of design work (mainly logos), thinking of taglines and working on brand launches. I think it was good working in a different area of a company rather then just design and opened my eyes to what other opportunities are out there. Everyone that works at Studio Precept are past pupils from my course and are all very easy to get on with, so it had a very relaxed atmosphere. I have been told that I am welcome to come back after my next placement if I don't have too much work for college, so watch this space....

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Why You?

So this morning at 9am Dave McDonald from local agency Infinite came in to talk to our class about how to get your first job and what life as a designer is like.

Dave left the college in 1996 and went straight to work in London at 2 leading agencies, but hated it, and to be honest I don't particularly want to work in London either so it was a relief to hear that it's not all it's made up to be. He left and went home where he was unemployed for a year and got a lucky break when he started a 9 year stint at Infinite. He left Infinite but because he loved it so much he ended up going back as Design Director. He's worked on big projects including Dance City, Metro, One North East and The Futureheads however he always makes sure he still does alot of personal work to keep the creativity flowing as sometimes it can influence his professional work and vice versa.

The most important tip he gave us about interviews is BE YOURSELF! if you try and be someone else it'll be seen right through. You don't have to have the most amazing portfolio but show that you are passionate and have potential to be a influential designer. The pointers he gave us fell under three headings:

  • Personality - Be relaxed, professional and honest! Always be punctual!
  • Portfolio - Be genuine, confident and receptive
  • Passion - Be brave, committed and positive
Make sure that you take any criticism on board, but also be confident in what you have in your portfolio. Show your personality and make sure you are completely honest about what part you had in creating the work you are showing, you will get found out if you lie!

All in all I really enjoyed Dave's presentation and it was refreshing to talk to such a positive person who highlighted all the good parts of working in the industry rather then talking about how hard it will be to get a job in this recession.

3rd Year Interviews

So I had both of my interviews for 3rd year this week, Sunderland on Tuesday and Newcastle College yesterday. Before going to Sunderland I had all intentions just to continue at the college as there is alot of placement opportunities there, however as soon as we were shown around Sunderland Uni I changed my mind straight away. I've been at the college for 4 years now and I think going to Sunderland will give me a fresh perspective and will be a nice change, aswell as it having really good print facilities and seeming a more creative course rather then the college which seems more essay based. I think both interviews went well and were relaxed and I got alot of good feedback about my portfolio. However around 50 students applied for the top-up year at Sunderland and there is less then 20 places available so the competition is high, but fingers crossed!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Negotiated Project

So we handed in our negotiated projects a couple of weeks ago, but I've only just got round to uploaded the finals on here with being so busy at placement. I created my own brief for this module, which was to name and brand a business class airline then design the front cover, a double page spread and follow on page and a single page article for the inflight magazine. My finals are just below...

Front Cover of Inflight magazine
Double page spread
Follow on page and letterhead design
Business card and compliments slip, single page article

I really enjoyed this module as it gave me the freedom to choose a brief I was interested in. I'm very happy with my final outcomes although I would have liked to design a few more of the spreads for the magazine.

Friday, 4 March 2011

4 Companies I would love to work for

I would love to work in editorial design therefore most the companies I would love to work for are magazines rather then graphic studios.

Elle UK

Elle is a worldwide women's magazine that focuses on fashion, beauty, health and entertainment. It is the world's largest fashion magazine and was founded by Pierre Lazareff and his wife Helene Gordon in 1945. The UK edition of Elle has won many awards including Art Director of the year (2010, 2008), Yellow pencil in magazine and newspaper design and best designed front cover (2008).

I would love to work for the UK edition of Elle because I think theiir design is sophisticated without being boring, especially in the bi-annual Elle Collection issues as this is where the Art Directors creativity is really expressed. They always use artistic photographers in their spreads and I would grab the chance to even go on a placement their so I could learn from their experience.

Contact: Elle Features - Natalie Evans-Harding, Elle Art - Lisa Rahman


NARC. is a tabloid sized free monthly music magazine, that is available across the North East. It focuses primarily on the music scene in the region, featuring international to local level bands, artists and DJ's. NARC. also provides reviews on the wider arts including film and literature, featuring original writing and photography throughout. It also offers a stamp of originality and credibility to any brand associated with the magazine.

I have already been offered a two week placement at NARC. which starts on the 4th April. I'm looking forward to combining two of my passions, music and design, at this placement. The layout for NARC. is quite contemporary with alot of white space and arty photographs. I will hopefully learn alot in my two weeks and can't wait to start!



Wallpaper is a monthly magazine focusing on travel, design, entertainment, fashion and media. It was launched in 1996 in London. Apart from publishing a monthly magazine, Wallpaper also publishes travel guide books with over 80 different cities currently available. This magazine always has striking covers that burst out from it's competition. The page layouts are very modern and quite experimental but kept sophisticated and readable.

I would love to work at Wallpaper as I always find it a pleasure to read and I think it works well how it has a contemporary look without being too creative and over the top. I can imagine it being a very creative environment and a pleasure to work at.

Contact: contact@wallpaper


Cosmopolitan is an international magazine for women. It was first published in 1886 in the United States as a family magazine and eventually became a women's magazine in the late 1960's. It's current content includes articles on relationships, health, careers, self-improvement, celebrities, aswell as fashion and beauty. It now has 58 international editions in 34 languages and is distributed in more then 100 countries. Although Cosmopolitan has a very commercial layout I think it works well for it's target audience and it makes it more lively and fun to read, rather then just being a straight forward boring layout.

I have previously applied for placements at Cosmopolitan but unfortunately these get booked up about a year in advance and I was unsuccessful, however I would like to try again once I have graduated and improved my portfolio. I think Cosmopolitan would be a very fun atmosphere to work in although stressful at times and I could learn alot from working at an international magazine.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Good News :)

I'm currently on my placement at Studio Precept which is going great at the minute, I'm doing alot of the brand management work but it's giving me an insight into how a company looks after it's clients.
Also I found out today that although my NARC. cover didn't win it was shortlisted so there will be a thumbnail of it, along with several others, inside the magazine. So make sure you all go out and grab one in April. I had an interview with NARC. for a placement a while ago and I start at in April for 2 weeks, it's going to be a busy few months!