Graphic & Media Design
Design in the 21stcentury has evolved far greatly in the past 19 years than it ever has done before our time, a practice that relied solely on the use of practical and physical work now can be done at the touch of few swipes on the trackpad of our laptops (or even mobile phones!) – devices unknown to the world before the digital age. In our current climate, design is a vital part of marketing that attracts audiences into consuming a product, imagine you’re going to purchase a pair of shoes on the web, if the imagery on the website is weak and the website as a whole looks cheap and hard to navigate, this is more than likely to deter your interest in the product and your trust in the company as a whole as opposed to clean, well photographed images that are consistent throughout the site and a sleek navigation system that will allow you to find the product of your choice.
Before starting my placement year I was struggling to find what my practice might be within the industry, many companies were looking for multi-disciplined students that had skills in moving image, proficiency in top video editing programmes, and the means to work for free whilst living in the most expensive city in the UK – this was alien territory for myself, whose graphic design strengths excel in the static image and coming from a low-income family, it seemed that no company would have the space, time or money to support a placement student like myself.
I knew what I was good at, so I searched for jobs that were looking for retouchers, designers proficient in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, image-makers with an eye for detail, and a lot of these jobs were working for fashion companies and becoming apart of their in-house design team, this was perfect for me as on top of my interest in design, I love fashion also. I managed to secure a phone interview with a luxury golf shoes brand called ‘Royal Albartross’ based in Vauxhall – the phone interview was a success and I was soon called in for a face-to-face interview in their office, the interview went well and ultimately the choice came down to myself and one other person whom was a bit more experienced than I, they decided to go with the other. I was disheartened to say the least, but I knew that it was just down to experience that gave the other candidate a better chance.
Weeks had passed and I was struggling to secure any type of interview, missed opportunities were constantly ending up in my Junk Mail folder (always check!) and I was almost ready to give up on my placement year. Then by chance, the content-creator from Royal Albartross had given me a call to say the other candidate had left them and offered me a year-long placement starting the following Monday! I was over the moon! This was perfect!
For my first day, I had a 7am call time in which we were travelling on location to ‘The Wisley’ in Sussex where I would take part in assisting with a photoshoot for their most recent campaign. My roles included: Taking behind-the-scenes images for their social medias, assisting with styling of the models, helping out with lighting, and chiming in with any opinions I had that could help the shoot go smoothly. It was the perfect first day, getting to meet the team that I’ll be working closely with for the next year and getting a real taste on what it’s like to work for a fashion brand on their design team.
Since my first day, I have learnt so much about my practice and have really been able to work on my skills that will help make me more marketable in the future thanks to the training I have received from my manager, I now have started being able to create moving image graphics that are absolutely gorgeous and work perfectly for the brand – those areas no longer seem completely alien to me, I still have a long way to go but right now this is the perfect starting point for the rest of my working career.