I'm Lilla, and I'm enrolled in the Graphic and Media Design course at LCC. During my DPS year, I had a 5-month internship with a sustainable British menswear clothing company called Sirplus where I had experience in Branding, fashion photography, and illustration. I'm in the middle of securing my second internship, in the meantime, I worked on two separate creative briefs about sustainable green future with Selfridges, Project Earth, and Team London Bridge for an Augmented Reality project for Earth Day.
I will be writing about the important impacts on my professional and creative developments this year.
What is a graphic designer in the future? Is this role secure or is it going to shift with the media we use in the future?
The digital world of design lets us see other designers around the world to get inspired and learn but giving the pandemic this shifted to comparing oneself to others. Stepping into the creative industry feels far away from art students, and the university is supposed to be the time to find our style and ambitions.
This placement year made me see how other designers fixate on the thought of creating something new that can be called their own. The impostor syndrome "(IS) refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be." That we have to create something new over and over again. I read a few articles and books about the future of the creative industry. During the professional practice tutorials, we talked about the decolonisation of design that we learned a way to think, and now we have to learn to question it. The importance of a trend in design, or the rule that we learned from Swiss design, which typeface is in season at this moment. All these thoughts that we question daily and follow, but who exactly sets these rules? One of my fellow students mentioned that they grew up in Switzerland surrounded by great design. In comparison, I grew up in Hungary surrounded by "ugly design" which was the word I was thought. That eastern European graphic design is grey and not great like Swiss design.
Sustainable design learning is not really about sustainability but the way we learn things to develop our designs. Sustainable learning is about our design thinking that what New is not New. For example, copying an idea is not sustainable design thinking. Developing a new idea through inspiration from surroundings is creative even if the base of a project is inspired by something or someone else. Design is built on similar ideas, so creating a new idea is almost impossible. I started to read femme-type.com articles about female designers, and their creative thinking opened up my creative flow as well.
During the tutorial, we talked about understanding identity, power, and equity in design leadership. Last month my social media feed was fully posted with magazines/articles that talked about women in the power of their future that inclusive politics are changing the industry, and that powerful women can become influential. Creative posts that can inspire me without words. The last couple of weeks I felt pushed down but empowered by all these happenings.
Design Activism has become a powerful new tool of communication. There's this interesting Kickstarter crowdfunded book called notamuse- It's about new perspectives on women graphic designers with interviews of people in the industry to investigate this imbalance in Europe. In the creative field, there is a big lack of female role models. this book shares the work of 54 new female graphic designers.
Last two years I found my idealistic design team and the idea of women in power created by Jessica Walsh with the studio "& Walsh". A studio run by mostly women joins the 1% of creative agencies founded by women. She also created a global non-profit initiative called Ladies*, Wine** & Design. "Only .1% of creative agencies are founded by women & non-binary people, and the numbers are even smaller for women/non-binary BIPOC. Our mission is to see more diversity in the creative industry, especially within leadership roles." (Walsh,2015) I'm manifesting a future where I could visit this studio in New York because they gave me a reason to work for in the future. Even if women are a small percentage in the industry I'm angry but proud to be a woman, and I plan to work towards a change and not talking about women only.
The internship with Sirplus widened my view on environmental changes and sustainable fashion. Responsible design means more than being aware, but acting towards a goal to ensure the least impact possible on the planet. I think about everything I do now as a creative and a person. The 5 months helped me strengthen my communicational skills about expressing ideas and communicating visually in a professional environment.
1. making things happen: Reaching out to studios and designers is a less stressful act after all these months not like when I started this year.
2. Showcasing Abilities: Developing storytelling skills with illustration and Skillshare is a great tool for illustrational skills that I pushed aside for a while and now started a poster illustration series called “Plants are friends”.
3. Navigating change: The research process is important to acknowledge, explore and target the positive impact of design.
This year did not live up to my expectations of experiencing work in a creative studio with a design team where people could get to know my work and me in a professional environment but I’m confident now in the future of my practice, my place and to work towards my goal after graduation to work in the industry. How to sustain a new but not new viewpoint? I'll talk to my future self in this situation. Designers should work towards their goal and interest and stop questioning their worth as creatives. Every idea has a future even if it's shifted by modern tools in the future.
GMD - Graphic and Media design