by Rita Desport (GMD)
I came back to London from my summer holidays on the 26th of September truly excited for the year ahead. I had managed to secure an internship for October in the beginning of the summer which meant the next couple of months were surprisingly carefree. When I came back, however, all the stress avoided during those relaxed months came crashing down at once.
The studio I had been talking to had to hire some freelancers due to an unexpected heavy flow of work. This meant that the place that was once available for me, wasn’t anymore. I was incredibly frustrated as I was left with nothing. Panicked, I spent the next couple of days sending emails to studios, graphic designers and creative directors, some of which I didn’t think I had the courage (and confidence) to send my portfolio. But well, you know what they say, “desperate times call for desperate measures”.
A week after, I had 4 interviews scheduled, one of which with SPIN. I got there with no expectations at all, quite nervous and sweaty because of the big box I had brought.. I was interviewed by Tony Brook and two other graphic designers and asked to show every piece of work I had brought in my portfolio box. To be honest, I was almost sure I wouldn’t get it because I thought it was way out of my league. Next thing I know, they are introducing me to the studio members, showing me around and asking me if I could start on Monday.
It’s been 10 weeks since then and honestly the best couple of months I could have asked for. Everyone is incredibly welcoming and make me feel at home (quite literally as they just moved in to Trish and Tony’s home). I’m still astonished by the quality of work but, at the same time, I feel part of it.
Looking back to the beginning of my DPS year, I never thought I’d be in the fascinating position I’m now. I realise the incredible progress I’ve made as a designer but most of all as a “soon to be” professional in the creative industry. I’ve been lucky enough to work side by side with one of my personal idols, Tony Brook, who is by far one of the best people I’ve ever met. Also, being an intern at Spin means working in parallel with Unit Editions and understanding how a publishing business works. This partnership between both companies has given me the chance to meet different people from different industries and develop a wide range of skills with which I wouldn’t be in contact with if I was interning in a normal design studio set up.
We're 6: Tony (creative director), Claudia (design director), Jonathan (designer), Trish (managing director), Edie (project manager) and me! Being the only intern in such a small team comes with a lot of responsibilities, though. Over the weeks, I’ve definitely gained the trust of the designers and managers and I’ve seen my work acknowledged by them. A few weeks ago, for instance, Ian Anderson came over to discuss the new book Unit Editions is publishing about The Designers Republic and most of the presentation included my work in photography and editorial design. Tony Brook, being the kind and honest professional he is, made sure to introduce me to Ian highlighting the fact that I’ve been working very hard on his book.
Working in such a renowned yet small studio also gives me the opportunity to meet and talk to great professionals of this industry. Creatives like Paula Scher, Adrian Shaughnessy, Mark Sinclair and Domenic Lippa are regulars at the studio and incredibly friendly and easy going!
The best moments so far have been:
- meeting Paula Scher
- cooking for the team (each of us make turns cooking for everyone on friday)
- the Spit (Spin+Unit) Christmas party
- being hugged by Tony
- seeing my work acknowledged by a client
- designing a new book for Unit Editions
- having my photographs of books/posters called the "sexy photos"
- receiving a poster designed by Tony
- reading parts of some great Unit books over lunch
- extending my internship for 6 months
Overall, it’s been a really challenging experience but completely worth the long daily commute to Clapham Junction. I’ve been enjoying every second of it and trying to absorb as much as possible. Let’s see what the next few months at SPIN hold for me! Wish me luck x