Thursday, 3 December 2009


“This presentation contains foul language. It’s blunt, honest, opinionated, spoken in Yorkshire, wandering and, erm...”

What a delight! I couldn’t describe it better myself!!
He really was everything of the above; a truly honest designer who I felt knew my own insecurities and issues as he clearly had been through it himself. He spoke in language that was on our level, it was interesting and funny. Funny, in a certain way. We knew what he was saying. I remember him saying we bitched about the price of spray mount...and we do!! As he was only 24 years old he knew exactly what we were going through.
The talk was about 12 things he’s learnt outside uni, a basis of what’s to come and what we should expect. It was his opinion, we needed to remember that! Opinions on his experience. He wasn’t going to talk about his own work. He’s been working as a designer now for 3 years, first at the Chase and now Music. In doing this tour he gave us a booklet (a very funky sized booklet about the 12 things he’s learnt outside uni) I am not going to talk about this but the main points that gained my attention.
Firstly I need to understand what Graphic Design means to me, what is my personal view? When you strip away the words what does it mean? Emotional, logical? There is emotional design, it is something different, it appeals to us as humans. Then there is the logical, having meaning for what’s there. I need to choose what side I’m on, it will make it easier in the future. But I also need to be honest to myself, with what I’m good at. Take himself he couldn’t do web design, but he’d try to design the idea then pass it on; spoken as so beautifully “It’s like the fuckin dark arts to me”. Basically emphasizing, don’t bullshit, tell people what you can do and do it good!
Portfolios: you can’t please everyone. Make it clean and simple and relevant to what your showing. Good advice!

Some text he designed.

The front and back cover interact together.

This was for Manchester Evening News, he had about an hour to come up with ideas with other designers. This idea behind is that MEN were moving and how else better than to use the paper folded.

There were the booklets he gave us, a very interesting read.

Placements: in 2005 there were 15,500 graduates in the UK, that’s half of the European total! So don’t mess around, there will be many design graduates when I finish so make sure we are now getting placements. Do not let agencies take the piss of free labour, know when you’re getting the rough deal and move on. Do not let them feed you bullshit, if after 3 months you haven’t got a job move on!
Have a hit list. Know the agencies you want to work for, name your top 10 and aim for the sky. “Spell heir fucking name right”, know them and their work.
Some other advice: Admire and don’t hide ideas. As designers we cannot clock in or clock out, so it’s healthy to do other stuff outside of work, whether that’s taken pictures of type or whatever, we can’t stop being what we are. It’s like this, you’re a Graphic designer or you are a designer? I have decide. Example is Ben Kacey, the boss at The Chase who collected a visual diary for years, sticking 1 thing he did in each day...impressive!
Make mistakes, they are good for you.
He doesn’t ‘bum’ London, there are many great agencies working out of London, explore and know who they are.
His day consists of 20% design a day; the rest is going to meetings, meetings about meetings.
Work hard and be nice to people, make tea and communicate.
If you want it that much, you will get it.
Enjoy it and be honest with yourself.

Michael Bierut “The best thing about design is that it is almost always about something else”

Fantastic lecture and some sound advice. (I don’t think I’ve been so amused by a lecturer)
I felt so exhilarated after it, it sounded like just the life I wanted, well hopefully!?

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