A letter to you – a collection

To fund our final shows in London we have to create a book; a collection to sell. This collection has to relate to who we are as individuals and it should reflect our work ethic or personality. I like reading letters, especially those with emotion as I think in today’s society it’s rather taboo to show your emotions, especially when writing them down as it becomes quite the reality rather swiftly. But that’s what I want this collection to focus on; true and raw emotion. I’m asking you to write a letter – the first person who came to mind when you read the title. Write to them in short and send it to me.

What am I looking for?

WHO? Anybody. Your significant other, a sibling, your parents, your best friend, a missed opportunity, somebody who passed away, a pet, an ex, an old boss / colleague or a complete stranger. It’s completely up to you.

WHAT? The contents of the letter is also subjective. It could be a thank you letter, a letter to congratulate, a letter of condolence, a love letter, etc. It doesn’t specifically matter what you write, as long as it’s honest.

WHERE? You can send it  here,  or email me personally alettertoyoucollection@outlook.com – I’m not too fussy.

INCLUDE? All you need to include is the recipients age and name, but it doesn’t have to be accurate, you can change it if you want to be completely anonymous.

If there are enough submissions then I could possibly made a range of these books, but we’ll see how well the first book goes first.

Thank you in advance.

Inductions

I wish I could write that I had a positive experience during our inductions, but the painful truth is that I don’t remember any information from a single induction at the fab lab. Whilst here we were talked at with numbers and formulas which I don’t learn from. In my opinion we should have been hands on learning, the tutor showing us how to use the machine whilst actually using it, not him metaphorically walking us through it whilst teaching the mechanics behind it as, after all, we don’t really care how it was made, we care how to use the machine.

In addition to this, after the inductions we were basically told that if we did want to use the machinery, we would have to book a session and still have a 1-1 with a member of the fab lab team assisting us. This made me question the point of the induction in the first place as, what was the point in us having a group one? I would have rather spent my time developing my work in other aspects rather than wasting it in a place where I didn’t necessarily need to be.

Again, the individual whom gave us our tour spoke that he wished the fab lab had a stronger rapport with graphic design as this was a sector in which they didn’t have much clientele with. But, after these inductions, I didn’t feel comfortable in confidently going there on my own and working with a member of their team. I feel as though had I gone back, it would have very much been a repeat of the statistics I had already been told rather than actually using the machinery, and this obstructed my potential in developing some of my modules further. I know I have the resources to do so, but it’s a question of me feeling comfortable there and I know that a lot of other individuals also questioned this.

How it could change:

The inductions could be done in smaller groups and before going down there they should prepare something in which they would like to either laser cut or 3d print. I think this would be a much better use of our time as we could firstly learn how to actually use the machinery and then apply this knowledge to current briefs without actually realising how helpful that would be. This would encourage us as students to go back and develop other modules using the same process, I also believe it would develop our confidence there.

I think that the fab lab team should run their workshops baring in mind that we are students whom aren’t studying a degree in engineering so us knowing how the machine was put together isn’t necessarily a useful session. The fab lab is something we would use to develop our existing work and take it to that next level. A lot of us don’t respond well to being talked at with no visual guide, it’s very boring and quite frankly it feels like a little bit of a waste of time walking out of an induction with no artefact.

The Studio

We were set a pitch and present task where we had to create our own studio in teams. I worked in a team of four; myself, Katie, Fiona and Kevin. The general consensus was to sell our studio to our classmates where we then had to vote and decide who won.

We began looking at our skills as individuals and what we could bring to the studio, including both traditional and contemporary skillsets. We concluded that to have a successful studio you need a range of creative skills and interests which individually we all had.

We devised a list to organise ourselves accordingly and figure out our strengths:

  • Discuss our team skills
  • What services could we offer?
  • What resources do we need?
  • Will we each have job roles?
  • What is your identity?
  • Where will we be based?
  • How will we promote the studio?

 

After discussing each bullet point we realised that these were our team strengths:

  • Comedy
  • Logo Design
  • Strong connection to the music industry
  • Industry knowledge
  • 3D design
  • Game knowledge
  • Contemporary and Traditional skills
  • Links to London, Bournemouth, Plymouth, Manchester and Leeds
  • Film & TV experience
  • Advertising
  • Social Media understanding
  • Articulate
  • Special FX Make-up
  • Politics
  • Aware of the current world
  • Interest in fashion
  • Drivers licences
  • Photography

We then focused on the actual space. What resources would we need/would we need to outsource for anything? 

  • Studio space
  • 4 Macs (at least)
  • Adobe suite systems
  • Links to a printer
  • In house printers capable for book publication
  • Cameras
  • Photography space ( Cove/Infinity wall/Green screen/Blue screen)
  • Lights
  • Office furnishings
  • Set up on social medias.

We then set out job roles for the studio, baring in mind our individual strengths and how we would work best in the team. 

Me- Creative director

Kevin – 3D and game design

Fiona – Merchandising/branding/music

Katie – Advertising, communications and social media

What is our Identity?

Forward thinking, Innovative and cultured brand.

Where are we based? 

We plan to have multiple studios in major cities across the country; Reading, Bristol, Manchester and Brighton.

Promotion: 

  • Social media
  • Word of mouth
  • Networking events
  • Business cards
  • Industry websites
  • Competitions
  • Collaborating through other studios

But, is it design? A conclusion

Overall, I feel like this has been an interesting brief, but it has been catered to self employment rather than the creative industry itself. The lectures we had catered to things like invoices and pricing structures, and although this is was interesting to learn about, I feel as though this didn’t cater to my needs.

As I’ve developed as I designer I have come to realise that I would rather go into the creative industry under an already existing company rather than being independent. I catered my cover letter and both of my CVs towards a job that I would actually be interested in rather than one I just did for the brief. This was a concept I struggled with as I debating catering it for the brief, or sticking to who I am as an individual and applying my CVs to where I want to go after my degree. I decided on the latter as I feel the brief is what YOU make it and it’s all about your journey in the work place.

My cover letter and both my CVs are aimed towards a job I would apply for after my degree; an editorial job at a high market fashion magazine. My design process was somewhat tricky because, again, I struggled with the idea of designing for the sake of being creative, or designing for an actual job application. Again, I decided the latter would suit me better and I could design for purpose rather than for the sake of it, but I was unsure if I was answering the brief in the best way?

The job I found was a daily editorial job at Vogue, somewhere I could easily find myself in the future. My CV and cover letter were easily edited to this as I needed to portray a clean, modern structure and I attained this using grids and guides. I even expanded my margins to allow for more space. However, I hit a wall when it came to the unconventional CV as my original idea of a never ending booklet didn’t work due to digital processes. I then had to scrap this idea and wonder how I could still work with the same medium, but then I realised that origami was already been created by somebody else and I wanted to be completely original.

I had the idea of a risograph printed zine as this would show my strengths in the editorial side of the job applications, and I could voice my fondness for writing within the zine. I created it using InDesign with grids and guides but after completing it I decided that it didn’t speak professionally and for a high market magazine, it wouldn’t be considered. I then developed a A5 document where I wanted to expand on my original CV and add more detail, convincing the employer why I should actually be considered and the skills I have. I searched Pinterest for editorial layouts inspirations and came up with a grid that suited me. Using both pictures and words I successfully described myself and portrayed who am I both as an individual and as a designer. This is something I would send to professional jobs in the future, maybe developed upon a little further. In addition to this, I could create a portfolio using the same grids and layouts, furthering my design work.

Overall, all of my professional mediums are printed and they have a corporate look. I think that they describe me as a designer and obtain a professional yet personal touch. If I was to receive this I would very much so consider the applicant and that is an important aspect to look at.

Cover letters

A cover letter is something you sent in alongside your CV explaining your interest in the job you’re applying for. In this you should express your passions and your hobbies then relate them to the job specifications. A good cover letter needs to catch the eye within 30 seconds, so you have to make it good.

You should do some research regarding the company before you start writing. What they do, whom their competitors are, what their workplace standard is like, what they’re like as a company and so on. This gives you the best chance of writing an in-depth cover letter than suits both their company specifications whilst also applying details about yourself.

When writing a cover letter you should always address the letter to the person handling job applications. Usually listened on the job advert, but if  it is not don’t be afraid to email or call the company to find out the name, not only does this show initiative but it also expresses your interest. However, if you cannot find name, Dear Sir / Madam will suffice.

Ensure you use a legible and readable font that employers can read. A good cover letter does not need to be more than one side of A4 so keep it brief and to the point.

Opening paragraph:

The opening paragraph should be short,  to the point and explain why it is that you’re writing. Including where you found the advertisement i.e. on Vogue’s website.

Second paragraph:

Why are you suitable for the job? Briefly specific skills mentioned on their application and relate them to your skills. Briefly describe your professional and academic background/qualifications that are relevant to ensure your the best chance.

Third paragraph:

This is the opportunity to emphasise what you can do for the company. Outline your career goal and expand on important points in your CV. This is the personal paragraph.

Fourth paragraph:

Why you would be the right fit for the role. Reiterate your interest in the role and the company.

Conclusion:

Sign off your cover letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ and your name. I’m going to add my signature as a personal touch.

 

 

Unconventional CV

I’ve had a lot of trouble with this CV. From failed attempts to new concepts, it’s been very stressful. I had originally planned to create a never ending folding piece of paper modelled after this video  but after trail and tribulation I realised that it just wouldn’t work. Having square piece of paper cut into two and then stuck on top of the design just wasn’t going to work as the design doesn’t account for printed versions.

Sticking with the folding paper idea, I looked into origami structures and wondered if the would work in my favour. However, I realised that I was applying for a highly regarded magazine and if I sent them a folded piece of paper they would more than likely just throw it in the bin, and that’s not what I wanted.

My final idea was a zine, but not the conventional one. Usually a zine is a non-conforming magazine, I wrote a blog post about it here. They are usually DIY and very rough, but for the sake of my career and my sanity, I decided to make a printed version. The first outcome was going to be a printed zine that folded like a traditional one; printed on an A3 piece of paper and folded in to 8 sections. It would be printed via risograph meaning it was low cost and fast printed.  I could also follow up with a zine portfolio had I had time. This was the outcome:

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.23.48.png

But, this didn’t sit right with me so after the design process I scrapped it and started again. I wanted something that was designed properly and would be seriously considered. Something that described me as a designer and portrayed me creatively.

I started a new page on InDesign, lowered my margins and created a very small grid that would allow for just the right adjustments. I sat at my computer for 12 hours straight and designed until I had a headache. This was the idea that I would take forward and complete. some would argue that it isn’t a traditional zine, or if it is a zine at all, but it’s roots stem from a zine and who am I to call it anything else? This was my new, updated, digital zine that I think reflects me as a designer and is also edited to suit the job specifications set out in the advert on Vogue’s website:

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.26.08Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.26.15Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.26.52Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.26.27Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.26.34Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.26.47Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.26.40Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.27.02Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.27.12

Overall, this 16 page zine describes me as an individual including both images and text. It’s an elongated version of my conventional CV that really allows the reader to engage and understand me on a deeper level. I’m extremely happy with how this turned out, especially with all the failed attempts previously made.

Printing:

Before university I went to the art side and bought 3 A2 sheets of glossy card stock which I cut down into individual A4 pages. I hoped that this would show the employer that I took the time, effort and consideration to apply myself and go that extra bit further in my design process. It is a subtle, yet important technique.

 

CV research

Before I began researching I knew that I wanted a modern, sleek and professional CV and now that I’m applying for an editorial role that’s even more so prominent. I created a new mood board on Pinterest to manage all of my ideas and inspirations into one place:Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 22.02.04.png

Black and white CV’s are boing and outdated. Yet, I wanted this CV to be minimalistic compared to the one I was to develop later, this would be an expansion upon my smaller CV. Conventional CV’s cram a lot of information into one space, meaning you have to edit down a lot of your information to get it all on there. This will be difficult but I think I can make it work. I have a bad habit of over-compensating when I don’t need to, so this will help me limit myself and put a small amount of the right information into one place instead of waffling.

Colour scheme:

As for colour scheme I want to go rather feminine as the fashion industry is predominately woman based. A pale pink and white colour scheme would be rather fitting as usually I work with dark colours and I want to experiment a little with my design instead of doing what seems comfortable. This is the brief to expand my ‘brand’ and see what works for me.

Font:

I want to use a sans serif font as they are modern and sleek rather than the traditional serif. I found an aesthetically pleasing font on FontSpace called Kirvy that I think will work well as a heading font. As far as body type goes I was debating between IT Franklin Gothic and Gill Sans. Then I discovered that my Mac does not come equipped with IT Franklin Gothic meaning I will have to use Gill sans which, in reflection, works a lot better with my header font.