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:

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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:

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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.

 

The Job

In our brief it mentions that we must include a cover letter to a job that we would apply for. I wanted to take this one step further; I’ve decided to focus my cover letter, conventional and unconventional CV’s all on the same job as I believe in the long run this will help me more.

When applying to a job you are supposed to edit your CV down to suit said job, helping your chances at being successful. Baring this in mind, I know that I want to go into magazine editorial design, ideally for a high market fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle. I began searching the web for a job in which I would apply for after my degree and as luck had it I found this: Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 13.01.46.png

A daily editing job at Vogue. Knowing what I know about the industry and how most individuals work their way up, I thought this would be a good starting point, at least I would be applying for the company in which I’m aiming for.

This isn’t a graphic design job, but it is a editing job. Writing this blog has unleashed a whole new side to me that I’ve never seen before, one that actually enjoys writing. However, the job isn’t the issue, the identification between my CV and the job is. I have to cater both of my CVs to this job; create something that Vogue would take second look at and that’s where I have my work cut out for me.

Where do I want to go?

The further into my degree I get, the more I realise that I want to branch off into the fashion world. Not as a fashion designer as I’m not the best dressed, but in the sense of editorial design. Layout and structure are two things I always look at when reading a magazine, and I’ve come to realise that they are two of the fundamental approaches in my work.

Layout is the first thing I look at, and is something that always catches my eye on Instagram, billboards, magazines, apps, Pinterest, etc. and it’s something I want to focus more on and develop. I like the openness of layout and all of the potential routes one can undertake.

Structure is important to me. If I don’t have structure I tend to lose track, and that is something that routes from childhood. It’s imperative to plan out what you’re going to do and when so that you have plenty of time to go back and critically analyse your work. I found that not only does this make me a better designer in the long run, but it allows me to work ahead of time and achieve the best that I can.

Fashion is something that I never identified with as a child, probably because I was a chavvy and overweight, but that can’t be proven. But as I’ve grown older, and slimmer, it’s something that is evermore appealing to me. A lot like graphic design, each piece of clothing tells a different story and the amount of work that goes into each piece is remarkable. It truly is a craftsmanship and to be able to match that with a sleek, modern double page spread is where I see myself in the future. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be creating DBS for the likes of Vogue and Elle? But for now I’ll focus on university and see where the opportunities here take me.

What job opportunities exist?

Graphic design is an umbrella term, if you will. There are endless opportunities for jobs within the sector, not all of them will stem just from graphics alone. Now, when I have my degree, there are some jobs that are directly related which I could pursue. For example, I could go into theatre production, illustration, printmaking, animation, product design, etc. the possibilities are endless as a lot of jobs in the creative field are based on a knowledge of software, it’s how you develop on them that decides your career path.

Jobs within the graphic design field include logo designers, advertisement designers, web designers, photograph editors, book sleeve designers, book layout artists, magazine layout artists, illustrators, art directors, product designers and that’s just to name a few. It’s a very broad and open field, and that’s what I like about it in particular. As long as you are of a creative mindset, you can flourish in whatever field you throw yourself into.

When it comes to jobs as a graphic designer within the industry, there is somewhat of a hierarchy. You would begin in a design company as a junior designer (or a graduate) and you would then begin to work your way up, depending on how committed you are. The next step is a middle-weight designer which means a little more responsibility and money.

Now, I did a blog post on how much you should expect to be paid depending on the design work you’re doing which I will link here. It’s useful to know, especially if you’re planning to work freelance in the future, like myself.

At the end of the day, it’s all about personal taste and where you see yourself in the future. I mean, I see myself being over the top rich, living in New Zealand and working with some of the biggest names in the industry. Will it happen? Who knows. But I want it to, so I’ll strive for it. You make your own opportunities, especially in this world, you can’t sit and wait for somebody to come to you. You’ll be waiting forever.

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