Professional Practice

For the main part of our professional practice project we have to create our cv, portfolio and online portfolio. I first wanted to look at my ones from last year and see what I can improve on. I remember I didn’t feel that happy with them last year so I want to change that for this year.

Above is my cv. One of the clique I did get last year was that my typeface for my name should be more legible. This is the first thing I want to fix. I also want to add some colour to brighten it up a bit and to add some hierarchy. As for the content, it was alright. It needs to be reworded I think to sound better but I think most of the correct information is there.

For the portfolio it is much the same. I do however like the sleek feel this had. I also enjoy the enlarged views of my project, I will continue this to my new portfolio. I will also continue to have the blurb at the back which has my information and a bit about me. Its quite helpful if for some reason it went lost.

For my next portfolio I want a brighter and more fun feel. One that says I’m excited to work.

Final Thoughts on Afterlife

We have now finished our afterlife sessions, unfortunately earlier than planned. However, I want to gather up and talk about all the great advice I have learned and what I will take forward will me. The first thing is to take every opportunity given to us. There is nothing you can’t learn from. The same goes for internships, which all of the speakers highly encouraged. I can get some invaluable experience which is great for future jobs. I just need to make sure I get paid. I also need to make sure I am proactive with my job hunting in the future and don’t get disheartened straight away. It could take a while to get anywhere, it’s why it’s important to jump at any opportunity. It was also advised that we be owned minded about the jobs we apply for. I really agree. Both Laura and katherine had jobs I had never heard of before. It was quite inspirational to see these jobs I had never heard of. It opens so many doors for me. A few speakers also mentioned that living somewhere that inspiring you is important so don’t be afraid to move somewhere for a job. I don’t want to move because I love where I live. I find it inspiring in its own way. Even though I am not moving, it is important to think about where I want to work. I should consider my own ethics and what or who inspires me to work. Its important to say something with our work so I preferably I would want to say something I agree or support with. Another piece of advice which I thought was great is to not box yourself in. Its better to be a jack of all trades than to be the master of none. Its more desired by employers. Another thing that is good for employers is to have personal piece in our portfolio. It shows are own passions and drives. Also that we are creative outside of work which is important for employers to know. It shows inactive and drive. Overall, I have learnt a lot and feel more knowledgable going into the world of work.

Afterlife w/ Smörgåsbord

Today in our afterlife session we had Vicky Beech, the co-founder of Smörgåsbord, and designer Callum Richards, a previous graduate from our course, give us an insight into Smörgåsbord.

They first gave a short introduction to themselves. Vicky Beech, the co-founder of Smörgåsbord studied graphic communications at Loughborough university. However, she soon found after finishing university she couldn’t find a job. This is what motivated her to move to London in search of better opportunities. She stated that don’t be afraid to move away from home in search of a job that you are striving for. Moving to London allowed Vicky to take up many internships and gain lots of experience in the field. She said that this is something she would recommend to anyone, it gave her tons of invaluable experience. After gaining this experience she then moved to Wales where she started freelancing. In 2008 she was speaking to a friend in a cafe about their work and they decided to start their own company. This is where Smörgåsbord was born.

Callum Richards graduated in 2017 from our course and now works as a designer for Smörgåsbord. He had some invaluable advice for those of us graduating this year. He first said to firstly take all the opportunities given to you and to make the most of being at university and around your tutors. This is great advice and something I know I should work on as I tend to work from home a lot. He said, which I find very true, ‘if you don’t ask, you won’t get’. Something I can work on is asking for feedback and help more often, it will definitely help to improve my work. Similarly to Laura Sorvala, the last guest from afterlife, he said that he thinks its important to think about where you want to work. He said he loves living in Cardiff as it inspired him everyday. Callum stated that moving to Cardiff was great for him as living somewhere with so much inspiration motivates him in his creative work. He agreed with Vicky’s point, don’t be afraid to move away from home for work. Callum also mentioned that as a young designer you should be a jack of all trades and the master of none. As a young designer its important not to pigeonhole yourself, showing you have knowledge on most practices within graphic design is great for employers. Lastly, he said to aim to be a good designer not a well known one. If you’re a good designers opportunities will come to you.

Both Vicky and Callum also wanted to talk a bit about Smörgåsbord and what they do. The Welsh and Dutch creative studio doesn’t just do branding projects, Smörgåsbord works on a wide range of projects from all sorts of disciplines. Vicky said that the company has a big focus on ideas and concepts. She states that it can be easy to create a good looking design but what matters is the impact and what you are saying beyond that. Vicky advised us when thinking about a project to always think: why am I making this?, who is this for? and what’s the mission? Having a strategy for a project is the best way to create, and gives you a way forward. I agree, I think is so important for a successful project. Vicky brought up this beautiful project as an example. Smörgåsbord were asked to re-design the branding for Wales. I remember seeing this in an exhibition last year and remember it being so elegant looking. The designers on this project wanted to upgraded the classic dragon silhouette, using circles forms to create a sophisticated, more modern version. It still keeps that heritage that Wales has but modernises it for today. Smörgåsbord also created a new typeface for Welsh branding called Cymru Wales Sans & Serif. The typeface is based on an old Welsh typeface and was created with unique ligatures special for the Welsh language. It really is a beautiful project with thought behind every detail.

Overall, this session of afterlife was really inspiring. Seeing the amazing work from Smörgåsbord is motivating to see. Vicky and Callum also had some invaluable advise for us which I will take forward with me.

Sources Used:

(accessed 3rd March 2020)

Afterlife w/ Laura Sorvala

In todays afterlife session we had the pleasure of hearing from Laura Sorvala, who just like our previous quest, is also a prior graduate from our course. Laura now works as a freelance illustrator focusing on scribing for events.

Laura started of by explaining what it is that she does, as compared to previous afterlife guested who all work in the graphic design world, she does something very different. Laura creates sketch notes or graphic recordings for certain events. This helps those present to better understand and intake the information. Scribing can also help with memory retention so are good for places where a lot of information is being talked about, for instance conferences and idea talks. I had never heard of this type of work before so I thought it was really interesting. Through afterlife I am learning about different jobs within the industry, its pretty inspiring to see. It makes me hopeful for my future too.

Laura then wanted to give some advice and speak about her journey from university to work. Laura actually started out on our graphic design course and said she experimented a lot while she was here. She said that it was really beneficial to her and it helped her to grow and improve with trial and error. However, when leaving university she didn’t really have a portfolio to show employers. She said that even though experimenting in university was fun and beneficial to her growth it also didn’t help much when getting a job. To get into the industry Laura did a lot of work placements which at that time weren’t paid. She did however gain that practical experience that she needed for her portfolio and this did help her to get her first job. Her first job was at a graphic design company and she said that even though it was a good job she just wasn’t happy. Laura wanted something different, something that could make a positive change in peoples lives so she quit her job. While looking around Laura found a club called the Social Design Club which was voluntary and helped with local issues. For instance at the time almost all the arcade shops in Cardiff were empty as people weren’t visiting, so they made a branding campaign to drum up business for Cardiff high-street and the surrounding shops. Through working with the Social Design Club Laura spoke to a lot of people and gained a lot of contacts with other people in the industry. This then led her to her job now.

Laura says that making those connections with people was so important in finding this job. It also is imperative to keeping it as she says all her commissions are from word of mouth rather than a company finding her website. She says that she is so much happier in her job now that she works to benefit people and situations positivity. She said that you should consider in the futre where you want to work and who for because what you want to do with your creativity should matter to you. Laura also goes on to say that freelance is perfect for her as she has never liked heisrachy, it also gives her the chance to work with clients she wants to. Laura says that it may be stressful at times but it is totally worth it to her and you should try and find a work place that suits you.

I found Laura’s talk really interesting. I was excited to hear about a freelance perspective when it comes to the design world. I have considered it so it was good to hear from someone who enjoys it. Some advice I am going to take away is to one make sure I have a good portfolio before I leave university. She mentioned it is great to experiment but make sure you have an actual portfolio for when you leave. It will put me in a better sted for finding a job when I leave. Like the previous guests to afterlife, Laura mentioned that work placements were great for practical experience. I know I definitely will apply for some before I leave university as it will help me gain experience and grow. Something else that Laura mentioned a few times was that talking to people can really benefit you. It allows you to make connections with others in the industry and you never know what opportunities may come up in the future. Lastly, Laura spoke quite passionately about being happy in your job which can be so important to your overall happiness. She suggested really thinking about where and who you might want to work for. I will definitely consider this in the future when looking for jobs myself. Overall, I found this to be very beneficial and I am looking forward to the next afterlife talk.

Sources Used:

(accessed 26th February 2020)

Afterlife w/ Katherine Crean

In our second afterlife of this year, we were fortunate to have a previous student come and talk to us about her experience during and after university. Our speaker was Katherine Crean who graduated 2 years ago. She now works in London for a social media marketing agency called Wilderness.

Katherine first said that she wanted to give some advise for fully utilising university. She had the same advice as Martin Grual, in the previous afterlife, that university is the best time to experiment with your design process. She said that it’s a great chance to be different in each and every project you can do as it’s sometimes easy to slip in to a comfort zone. It’s also great for your portfolio as clients will love to see variety in your work. Katherine also mentioned that it’s so important to use your lecturers, ask them about anything even if you think it’s stupid. She said that in the working work she rarely gets feedback so its important to take advantage of that while we can.

Katherine then went on to speak about her process after university, and how it was finding a job. This is something I am particularly interested in as its something I really worry when thinking about leaving university. After finishing university, Katherine decided to take the summer off to enjoy her (most likely) last summer holiday. When September came around she started the job search. Katherine stated that her friends found it really easy to find jobs after university and some started straight away so she thought it would be easy. However, it didn’t go that way and Katherine applied for many jobs with out any luck. She said she felt miserable and disheartened. Katherine stated that even thought friends were telling her she’s get a job eventually, she didn’t believe them and felt embarrassed to talk to them about it. When January rolled around she decided to move to Dubai, to live with her friend if she didn’t find a job within the month. The next day 3 jobs came back to her and now she works for Wilderness in London. She says that she’s really happy with her job and is so glad she stuck it out. One thing she regrets is getting so disheartening by the job hunting. Some advise she gave was to not let the rejection get to you and to try and stay passionate about design. If you try hard enough there will be a job for you. She said that on her time off she worked on personal projects which clients love to see in portfolios. It shows drive and passion for design. Some advice about looking for jobs was to think about where you want to work. She stated that its important to apply for jobs that you want to work at, however still keep an open mind. In the description for her current job it said ‘digital designer’ which Katherine wasn’t that excited about, however, she loves her new job and is glad she pushed herself to work with something different. Actually the job she has now started out as an internship which she fully endorses and recommends. She says that it allowed her room to learn and make mistakes. Just be sure to get paid.

Katherine is currently part of the creative team at Wilderness, which to summarise takes over clients social media accounts in order to boost engagement. The company works with the likes of HBO, Sky, Discovery and Ellesse. I had never heard a social media marketing agency before but it sounds really interesting and a fun place to work at. I am starting to learn more and more about new design jobs areas and it is exiting to think about the future.

Overall, I found Katherine’s talk really insightful and inspiring. It’s great knowing she graduated from Cardiff and is thriving in London now. There is a lot of advise I am going to take away from this for instance to experiment, which I am doing in my ongoing project for Criticality. My outcome is much different to what I usually create and I am really enjoying it. I am also going to start using my lecturers more and ask for their options. I usually have my critiques and leave but I will activity try and ask for their feedback when around university. Some great job hunting advise she gave was to try not get disheartening and keep pushing because you will find a job eventually. Furthermore, in my upcoming summer break I will definitely be creating my own personal project for my portfolio. I think that is such great advise and one that will be insightful for clients. Lastly, is to stay opened minded while looking for jobs and don’t be afraid to apply for jobs you want too. I have nothing to loose right? Katherine left us on one last statement which was to just enjoy the ride. I think it’s such great advise as I know I often get caught up in work and stress myself out a lot. I should learn to enjoy the process of learning and personal development.

Sources Used:

(accessed 11th February 2020)

Afterlife w/ Martin Grugel

Today sets the start of our Afterlife presentations conducted by successful designers in the field. These sessions will be interesting for us as it gives us a chance to speak to real designers and be able to ask questions on how they work and navigate the world of design. I will also be interested in finding out how they were able to get into the field after education as this is something that I definitely do worry about after finishing university.

Our first speaker is Martin Grugel who works at GolleySlater in Cardiff. Martin starts of the presentation beginning with his childhood. He states that he enjoyed art as a kid and would draw images from local newspaper articles in his spare time. His parents saw his creativity and supported him in his endeavour to pursue art and design. After school, Martin was accepted to London university. He spoke about the course being incredibly experimental and concept based which he thoroughly enjoyed and allowed him to create some unique things. Martin said that its good to experiment and fail as its all a learning process which you can improve from. He went on to say that when creating a piece of deign, we as designers need to say something more than just have a good looking piece. It’s our job as designers to think laterally and to mean something with our design work.

After university Martin had a few jobs working for agencies, however he didn’t feel as though he was being pushed creatively. He searched for new jobs and found his current job at GolleySlater which he says he thoroughly enjoys. He then showed us some of his recent work including this branding piece for The Museum of Military Medicine.

Martin spoke about the project being a really enjoyable one and felt pleased with the outcome. However, he did speak about some things to consider when dealing with clients. For instance for the logo design, Martin had two previous logos he worked really hard on and had a lot of thought behind them. They were conceptually really clever and timeless, which he was really proud of. He goes on to say that when presenting to the client they picked out a logo which conceptually was very simple and not as elegant as the previous two he had been working hard on. Martin continues that it may be disappointing for a client to not pick a design that you are passionate about but it is important in this job to stay flexible and to meet the clients needs. You may not always be creating design work that you personally like, however, this is part of the job. Nevertheless, I do think the outcome was still incredibly successful. The logo is clear to the subject. It’s still elegance and timeless, and these bright pops of colour are great for bringing in a new younger audience.

One of the last things Martin spoke about is to always create for pleasure. He says that he personally enjoys having some down time to create something real and work with his hands. Martin has some beautiful portraits that he creates. He says its important to get back to the basics and enjoy what you’re doing. On his long commutes home, Martin says he likes to play around with different software and experiment with design. He states that it’s important to always have a creative mind at work with whatever you do, whether it be something simple like doodling. Just create art to create art and enjoy doing it.

I found this session of Afterlife really inspiring and I will take away a lot from it. Some of the things I will start to do will be to experiment more, I know I sometimes stick to what I know so for this coming project I hope to experiment more with media and design. I will also continue to think creativity and always have this creative brain on. A pretty piece of work is nothing without a solid meaning behind it. I will also take into consideration flexibility when working with a client, hopefully in the future. Lastly, when asked by a peer, Martin advise for getting into the industry was to be proactive. Walk into the design agency that you would like to work at and start up a conversation. They may have many applicants and little time, so it’s important to get noticed. You have nothing to loose.

Sources Used:

(accessed 6th February 2020)