What advice do our designers have for the class of 2019?

Degree Show season is in full swing for the next generation of designers. Back in the day, it heralded a raft of sleepless nights (aided by packets of ProPlus), dingy student bedrooms filled with Spray Mount fumes (the health & safety advice is only to use spray adhesives in an open, well ventilated work area) and a time when the owners of student bars wept into their bar towels as the optics remained untouched – but not for long!!

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve been busy responding to the highly creative private view invitations that have been flying through our letterbox. Quite literally! Have you ever met our postman?

Our team have been out talent-spotting at many of the local universities, particularly those with whom we enjoy a very close relationship. We’re often to be found supporting students in whatever way we can; conducting portfolio surgeries, offering placements and/or work experience and setting creative briefs. Degree show season is therefore an excellent opportunity for us to catch up with the students – to see the fruits of their labour, to spot who’s up and coming and to get some creative design inspiration of our own.

What advice do our designers have for the class of 2019?

Thankfully our designers are never backwards in coming forwards when it comes to offering their support to the next generation. For many, it only seems like yesterday (it probably was) since they were students themselves.

Abi Stones – Senior designer and croissant eater

“Do your research, only approach companies that you actually want to work for, companies that do work you like, have a culture you admire. Don’t just try and get a job anywhere, it’s very much a two-way thing, they need to be as right for you as you are for them.

“Also, only put work in your portfolio that you can speak confidently about, if you’ve got a project that you weren’t that happy with – revisit it, make those amends from your tutor feedback, turn it into something you’re proud of.”

Lee Moonan – Designer and motion graphics whiz-kid

“Show your process, you may have a beautifully designed product that can rival the likes of top designers, however most companies (including ours) really care about how you got there. They want to see everything. Include research images, sketch development, early models, rough prototypes, CAD models, 3D prints, user interviews, development, testing. Basically, show what you did to get to your final design as this will allow the employer to see how you will work in their team.”

Graham Bowes – director, star gazer and watch lover

“Try to get across your soft, interpersonal skills and any collaborative projects that demonstrate how you can work as part of a team.”

Keith Noble – director and owner of a dinosaur named Colin – don’t ask!

“Love the subject inside out and be prepared to commit to a career, not simply just a job.

“Remember that you don’t know it all yet – I don’t know if you ever get to a point when you do! You’re forever learning, and that process is about to start all over again. Be patient, be willing to work hard, be ego-free, smile, have fun and ENJOY. There’s no such thing as a ‘bad project’, it’s down to you to make it as good as you can.”

Jen Roocroft – artworker, sister of an ex. Mr. Universe and member of the Von Roocrofts (they’re a very musical family)

“Have as professional a folder as you can and practice presenting your work. Be engaged with the interviewers and research the company’s work before you get there.”

Last but not least – the most crucial bit of advice from senior designer Abi: “Bring cake. All designers love cake. FACT.”

Good luck everyone. Welcome to the world of design and creativity. We wish you many years of developing great ideas!

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