Sunday, 16 February 2014

Portfolio surgery with Matt Button

Matt Button from DSE.Digital LLP & Active Branding came in this week to do some portfolio surgeries. I took this opportunity to show someone from industry my work. I was pleased with my feedback as he seemed impressed with what he saw as he believed I had a good standard of work that could get me a job. The main thing he was impressed about was the quality of my presentation of work, which was great to hear, as I really enjoy photography and art direction.

Here are the main pieces of work that I showed him.



Nada is no doubt my strongest piece of work so I showed it to him first. He was impressed with the project as there was a broad range of things that made the project a success for example the custom type face, pattern, photography and the packaging.

His main feedback would be to push it further and produce a advertising campaign for the product that could range from displays to bill boards. He also said this is my strongest piece of work and it should go at the beginning of my portfolio.


Matt also enjoyed this project and believed it to be a good research project. He encouraged me to send it out to people as I could get some positive attention from it. He also highlighted that I must take this book along with me to an interview in physical form, as employers enjoy something physical to hold.

Mind Mash

Matt again liked my use of colour and pattern design. He told me that designers who are skilled in these areas make a great impact on a studio as not all designers know how to use colour efficiently.

Print Pro Manual

I went on to show him my print manual which proved to be again positive. He said it is important for young designers to understand print processes. He said I must take this book along with me to an interview in physical form, as employers enjoy something physical to hold.


Matt enjoyed the concept of this project and believed it to be quite original. He said that these sorts of ideas could be great to keep hold of, especially for future opportunities. The likes of Jamie Oliver would be a great client to pitch to.

One piece of feedback would be to make the stock of paper more consistent as I have quite a bit of printed ephemera. For example the newspaper and booklet look odd when laid next to each other, I pointed this out to him and he said I could quite easily fix this problem on Photoshop.

Native symbols

This is quite an old piece of work now however I still feel proud of what I achieved therefore I showed Matt and we discussed how in many internships, young designers are given the task to produce icons. It is an important skill to have therefore I think it is work keeping in my portfolio.


Finally I showed Matt BUKA as it was one of the only pieces of work that I had on my portfolio site that was for a client. He liked the mock up I produced below as his studio made something similar for a project they did for Trinity in Leeds. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Rabbit Hole : Job studio visit

About : Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole is a small creative studio made up of graphic designers, art directors, photographers, developers and illustrators. We predominantly work for the music, arts & culture sectors.

We strive to make memorable and engaging design across a multitude of media platforms. Our end goal is to always create interesting and valuable dialogue with the people who view our work. We offer services in branding & identity, digital design & development, mobile application, print & literature, image making, illustration, copywriting, film and photography.

Visit / job interview

The studio visit to Rabbit Hole kind of came out of the blue, as it wasn't me who approached them (which is quite exciting) I follow the studio that is based in Duke studio's on twitter and saw that they were advertising for a junior design job, however I didn't apply due to my commitments to my studies. Regardless Tim Dee, the creative director or Rabbit Hole emailed via my Behance account inviting me to the studio for a chat about possible opportunities.



Studio visit

The studio visit went very well. There was a friendly atmosphere within the hustle bustle of Duke Studios. During my visit, I was taken into the board room which to put it simply was a job interview for the position that was being advertised. 


The interview went quite well. However due to being interviewed out of the blue I was quite unprepared which in hindsight looked bad on my part. I had no printed portfolio or business card to show so I was interviewed over an iPad - browsing my Behance Page.

This was not a great experience as I had no control over the iPad, therefore I could not show off my work in any running order or more importantly my best work. What I mean by this is that my Behance page still hosts a few old projects of mine, dating back to first year. Work that you don't want a potential employer to see.

Apart from being out of control of how my work was displayed, I felt that I answered their questions pretty well and articulated my views on design / own work to a good standard. I also highlighted that I often go to Duke Studio events as well as exhibitions down in the gallery. Including this I often see the guys from Rabbit Hole at local gigs I go to so I made it clear that I could fit into their studio environment.

The only criticism I can recall is them discussing a few typeface choices (again annoyingly old work)
They said that there was a pieces that lack concept as they expect concept driven design at Rabbit Hole.


Projects that took my interest

The City Talking 

The City Talking is a network of more than 60000 young people sharing news and views about life in Leeds; online, on mobile and in print.

As well as coming up with their identity, we design and manage the print side in the form of a free monthly feature-led newspaper. Each issue centers on a different theme and, although still in it's infancy, The City Talking has made a real impact in the city of Leeds.

Collection of logos

The pigeon detectives 

Size records

PPP : My Manifesto

My Manifesto February 2014

Today I presented my manifesto to half the year group with fead back from John and Brain. Looking back on past presentations I have presented very formal / cleanly laid out slides which made me decide to change things up a little.

A manifesto is meant to be quite personal, there I put together my slides based on a hand drawn list I photographed on note paper from my personal note book on some vibrant orange paper. In affect the presentation looked like a short stop motion as I flicked through the slides and elaborated further on each of my points.

Below are some quick photos I took & used in my presentation.

My Manifesto

1. Whatever you think you are, be a person first

2. Get out of your bubble

3. Be genuine - People know when your faking it 

4. Keep and open mind

5. Make friends, not contacts

6. Get involved

7. Make plans

8. Reward, compensate and credit your collaborators 

9. Approach people, if you don't ask you don't get

10. Reply to emails, even if just to acknowledge having read and appreciated it

11. The internet is both fleeting and permanent so watch out

12. Embrace technology - it is great aid.

13. Don't be afraid to fail - embrace mistakes

14. Don't be too serious - our job is meant to be fun

15. Dyslexia is not a disadvantage - It has it's quirks

16. Progress! Revive! Look forward at techy savy advancements however it is important to look back and renewal past traditions to add humanity and authenticity to work - FranklinTill

17. Design is a reference based practice

18. Don't pressure yourself to be original

19. You are always a child of your time - you can't step out of that. 
- Wim Crouwel

20. KNOW YOUR WORTH - People can take advantage

21. Work hard and be nice to people - Anthony Burrell