Monday, 4 April 2011

London Trip! (Part 1)

I spent most of last week in London with 4 others from my class and our tutor. It was so inspiring being in a different place and seeing how design companies work in the big city. All the advice we were given was very helpful and it is true what they say about portfolios being subjective as we were also given some very different advice aswell. So lets start with Monday...

Cosmopolitan is an international magazine and probably the most well known in Britain. I was really looking forward to this visit as I am very interested in Editorial Design (as you have probably guessed from previous posts) and hope to have a career at a magazine one day. One of the main problems with Editorial Design, as we found out at this visit, is that alot of magazine now are online or you can download as an app for you ipad/mac. However hopefully this shouldnt effect established magazines such as Cosmo too much. So here are the tips they gave us on creating a portfolio and getting that first job...

  • Tell a story with your editorial layouts
  • BE CONFIDENT! ( but not arrogant )
  • Email asking for placements and if you don't get a reply follow up with a phone call, make sure you know the name of who you're contacting and don't spell it wrong!
  • Apply for magazines you want to work for, there's no use working somewhere you don't want to be as you won't enjoy it
  • While on placement make yourself indispensable, ie. make cups of tea, do what you're asked, don't be too over-the-top/annoying
  • Push yourself - if asked to do a layout do several versions
  • Sometimes it's about being in the right place at the right time
  • Stick to any guidelines you have been given and ask before making any changes
  • Apply to as many placements as possible
  • Exaggerate a little on knowledge - you need to know InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop
  • Keep the covering letter short and simple, with a one page cv attached and several examples of work
  • Only put work on your cv that you are proud of and confident talking about. Make sure your personality comes through at an interview
  • Take a sketchbook to interviews to show the thought process
  • Know what to finish the interview, is the interviewer getting bored?
  • Don't go into detail when talking through work, just the brief, your basic idea and about the final is all that is needed
  • Take advice! - Don't take it to heart, it'll help you through your next interview  
At the end of our talk at Cosmopolitan I asked if it would be alright to give them a disc with my portfolio on and to my surprise the next day I got an email from them asking if I can come for a 4 week placement in September, so London here I come!!! Watch this space! :)

On our second day in London we went with the Advertising students to visit...


Oglivy is a worldwide advertising company with offices all over the world. The role of a graphic designer in an advertising company is more like an artworker as the copywriters tend to come up with the ideas and pass them onto the graphic designers to make them up. It was interesting to look round a huge company and how they work but I from my point of view it was too big and isn't particularly the sort of environment I would like to work in. However on a plus point we had a tour around their digital labs and it was amazing to see how advanced the ideas and technology is that they are working with...

This is an image of an augmented reality program they have where if for example you hold up a flat photo of a car it creates a 3D model of it on screen, pretty nifty!

On the Wednesday morning we went to the Design Museum to see the Wim Crouwel: A Graphic Odyssey exhibition. Wim Crouwel is a Dutch designer considered one of the leading designers of the 20th Century. He produced typographic designs that captured the essence of the emerging computer and space age of the early 60's and his designs are still timeless today. 

What I think is so amazing about Crouwel's work is that it looks very futuristic...even today. It has a quality that makes it timeless and is very inspirational. After looking at the exhibition I was full of all sorts of ideas to try throughout the summer.
While we were at the Design museum there was also an exhibition of the Brit Insurance Designers of the Year. There's some photos below of the pieces I found most interesting. ( I apologise for my photography skills )

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