Work Placement Report Joseph Hughes
Contents 3 Introduction
5 Leviâ€™s competiton
8 This is why we meet
12 Cinema Paradiso
15 Freshly Squeezed magazine
The PDD assignment over summer 2009 was to apply and undertake a ten day work placement in a professional design related environment. To gain experience necessary to bridge the gap between university and industry. My first application for a placement was with the department store - Liberty. I was invited for an interview but did not secure a placement. This was my first interview for a design internship, and I had a vague idea of what Liberty is, I was not asked to bring along a portfolio and didnâ€™t have the experience or initiative to do so. Big mistake. I have learnt from this and in retrospect I could have done a lot more to prepare myself. This first bad experience has not put me off applying but encouraged me to for fill the requirements expected from a possible candidate. During spring and summer I applied to several internships including, Hudson Powell, Laurence King, Air side, Concrete Hermit and Village green studios to name a few. I found this process discouraging, as from the several studios mentioned above I received no offer of a placement. I had well written cover letters, a strong portfolio, and had done my research on each particular company, tailoring my portfolio as needed. I came to the conclusion that due to the current economic climate, coupled with an over saturation of students applying it was going to be difficult finding a placement. despite numerous failed applications however I did manage to find a few varying roles of experience within the design industry.
Levi’s - Live unbuttoned competition 27th February - 4th May 2009 During the start of summer my attention was drawn to a competition instigated by Dazed & Confused magazine in co-operation with Levi’s. Their brief was to submit a window design proposal for Levi’s flagship store in Carnaby Street. The only restrictions were to include denim in some way and to express the tag line ‘Levi’s live & unbuttoned.’ This competition was based online, with public voting for all entries. The first and second prize would Judged and awarded by a panel of selected judges and the runner up would be decided by the public votes. The Winner would be interviewed for an article in the July edition of Dazed & Confused, as well as installing and showcasing the design in Carnaby Street for three weeks in September. This was a great opportunity for any designer to get their work and name showcased, aided by two wellrecognised companies within the creative industries. After anaylsing the loosely set brief I began to research and compile ideas for the display. I knew I wanted it to be functional, bold, colourful & accessible to the many tourists that visit Carnaby Street every day. I visited the store to find the dimensions I was working with and to photograph the storefront for my design proposal. I believe the main attraction of a window display was to invite the public into the store; I wanted to do this while also implementing a sense of interactivity and fun. I decided that I would create a London / carry on film, influenced line up of seaside cut outs, each wearing a pair of Levi’s jeans. There were over 140 entries in this competition and as I watched the public voting over a month period. I saw my votes rise significantly, which led me to believe I might win. But as I was not contacted by the deadline date I soon realised that I had not. Although this might prove disheartening, I feel it is about taking part and producing and effective piece of design. Winning the competition would have been a step in the right direction, but I guess the lesson learnt here is to be persistent and hopeful. Keeping in touch with new briefs, projects and competitions is an essential part of design. Being aware of what is happening in the industry and showcasing your work helps networking and making contacts that might lead to collaborations or other opportunities. How ever the ethics of public design competitions has come in to question. Are they good for the profession, or are they a form of free pitching? They offer a chance for recent graduates or students to gain important exposure and they provide opportunity to aid their career.
On the other hand competitions can be seen as a form of free pitching, putting hundreds of initial designs forward for the judges to pick a few to succeed seems unfair, as you wouldnâ€™t ask a couple of plasterers to come round to your house and plaster a wall for free to then choose who you want to complete the work. I believe that competitions are aimed at specific demographic in the design industry, students, graduates and young professionals looking for career development. It seems to me that these are the people who can afford to offer their work for free. Essentially it is the idea behind the design that plays the significant role when entering a competition that will put you in good stead to win. The experience of entering this competition was exciting and challenging and I went at it whole-heartedly. The competitive drive in entering any competition is valuable experience. Regularly entering competitions is a brilliant way to get your work seen, and helps establish you as a practitioner within the design community. Within a freelancing context it is a viable way to promote yourself. <http://dazeddigital.com/projects/Live-Unbuttoned/Submit.aspx> <http://www.designweek.co.uk/news/opinion-is-split-over-the-ethics-ofpublic-design-competitions/1141283.article> <http://digitaleskimo.net/blog/2009/04/21/would-you-choose-your-partnerin-a-beauty-pageant>
Sea side cut out display for Leviâ€™s.
‘This is why we meet’ 13th - 20th July 2009 Through meeting and befriending Jimmy and Joe during several workshops in the first year I was invited to assist them with a project called ‘This is why we meet’. It was a six weeklong exhibition in collaboration with Wieden & Kennedy. Pat & Trevor (James Morris and Joe Coppard) are independent curators and artists. Since 2004 they have organised events and exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Whitechapel Gallery and Tate Britain. They were invited to propose a window display experiment by Laura Vent who works as a creative assistant for Wieden & Kennedy, one of London’s biggest and best creatively driven advertising agencies. Each week a selected 4 students from each college within the university of the arts came together to become part of the collaborative experiment. They worked intensively for one week to come up with an idea for a window display and then had to create and install it in to the window space. It started with Chelsea College of Art and Design and finished with Central St. Martins. My involvement with this project began at the University of the Arts end of year degree shows as an ambassador of ‘this is why we meet’. This involved attending all the degree shows and liaising with possible candidates for the selection process. Answering questions from the students and exchanging information detailing the project. I found this was a practical education in social interaction, required in most aspects of design. It was great to be ‘hands on’ and I felt part of something, obviously more than sitting in an office sending emails to prospective students. After Jimmy and Joe had selected their chosen applicants I was invited back for the first week to help facilitate the first team of students from Chelsea College. Guided under Jimmy, Joe and Laura my role was a general assistant for the team and the students. My responsibilities during this week were varying and it kept me busy and entertained. I was sent on errands to find and purchase particular items from hardware stores, art and craft shops, and markets for the construction of the window display. I also helped research any information needed, liaising on the phone with various people, directly and indirectly involved with the project. I was also given the opportunity to get more involved with the experiment by documenting the daily progress of the students. At the end of each day I uploaded my pictures and movies and recordings to the ‘This is why we meet’ blog. I was on hand to assist practically by painting, cutting, moving
and arranging their display. I was involved with the contribution of ideas and offered advice on certain aspects within the design process. My role also consisted of menial tasks to help facilitate the running of the experiment these included; tidying waste at the end of the each day and buying food and refreshments for the students while they worked. At the end of the week after the group had finished the installation I helped organize the private view for the window display. Setting up a make shift bar and inviting people to come view the unveiling of the first experiment. During my weeklong placement I learnt to establish connections with the people around me as part of a team. I experienced first hand the process of establishing and producing an exhibition. It was very interesting and inspiring to be involved with this juxtaposition of artists / curators and one of London’s prolific advertising agencies. From the conception of the window display idea to the private view 7 days later I gained a lot of practical understanding and insight. It was a unique experience of collaboration between art and industry, and showed me how these two disciplines can be forged to create something new and exciting. The relevance of this in my career I am uncertain about, but the lessons learnt of self promotion will be of more significance if I decide to choose a career in freelance design or curating. “Joe Hughes’ involvement in This Is Why We Meet was very helpful indeed. Throughout the week he was with us Joe was always on hand to support the production and co-ordination of the project. It was an intensive and high profile multi-media arts production to which Joe’s attitude and skills we’re a great asset. Many thanks from Pat And Trevor.” - Joe Coppard - 3 January 2010 21:30:04 GMT <http://www.itsnicethat.com/user/pat-and-trevor> <http://www.thisiswhywemeet.com/index.php?/teams/chelsea-college-ofart--design/>
Setting up window 2.
Panaramic view of the Chelsea private view.
Cinema Paradiso 9th July - 17th August 2009 In July I was approached by a school friend to design 8 web based promotional banners for his company Cinema Paradiso. Cinema Paradiso is an online DVD rental service offering a wide range of movies and free home delivery. This was to be my first experience of paid freelance work for an established company. The brief was to create 8 animated GIF banners, (Sizes below.) Incorporating company colours and promotion of their brand. As these were small banners they needed to be simple and direct a short message. I also had to follow the Google guidelines for advertising banners. 468 x 60 Banner 728 x 90 Leaderboard 250 x 250 Square 200 x 200 Small Square 336 x 280 Large Rectangle 300 x 250 Medium Rectangle 120 x 600 Skyscraper 160 x 600 Wide Skyscraper My responsibilities were to create the designs for the GIF banners, including colours, illustrations, fonts and slogans. I had to research the Cinema Paradiso brand and work out what colour schemes they had in place to use within the design of the banners. I liaised with several people during the design process and had to be coherent and respond rapidly to emails and queries. The designs where completely computer based ultimately this was a very corporate brief, creating promotional material for the brand. â€œWorking with Joe was a pleasant experience, as he would generally make any required alterations in haste. This was appreciated as it allowed us to review the changes and get feedback on them from other members of the team in a speedy manner. Joe was good at adapting to changes in requirements, most notably the added requirement for some of the banners to be in animated GIF format instead of static JPGs. This was a good decision and one that Joe handled very well. Over the 7 or so iterations of these designs, we had arrived at what we felt was best for us. Joe kindly sent us the source documents for the banners for use in future, as well as the final banners in their respective formats and sizes. We at Cinema Paradiso are happy with the outcome and pleased to have worked with Joe on this project.â€? Stevan Litobac 08 January at 12:16
I found this experience quite forced and very controlled. It was not an organic process of design and I found working purely on the computer quite suffocating. This was my first taste of designing commercially. I did feel like a ‘Mac monkey’ for filling a need and ticking the boxes required to ‘sign off’ the job. Through out the process at times I did get quite frustrated, but I remained calm and professional through out. Being able to take on and complete a commercial job such as this can be creatively stifling due to the restrictions implimented by the company. This was beneficial experience within a freelance context; I learned some valuable skills in communication and built upon my knowledge of programs such as Illustrator and Photoshop. I am happy with the banners that I produced and having never done anything like that before. I thought that I performed the task relatively well, and inside the set time frame. <http://cinemaparadiso.co.uk/> <https://www.google.com/adsense/static/en_US/AdFormats. html?gsessionid=LN7TyodqA5M-7scVzA8q1g>
Freshly Squeezed magazine 19th – 23rd August 2009 After sending emails back and forth to the art director of SU magazine I offered to do some free illustrations for UAL’s Students Union magazine ‘Freshly squeezed’. The brief was to create a set of sports illustrations for each activity. (Men’s hockey, women’s hockey, rugby, football, surfing, ultimate Frisbee, netball, cheerleading, basketball, ski and snowboarding.) The size and space for the illustrations was restricted to 3cm by 4cm to fit in with the content and layout of the page. Other that I had free range on the design. I decided to take each sport and illustrate them as simply as possible. They needed to represent the sport clearly and easily for the viewer. I drew each one and then coloured them in using the computer. The illustrations were printed and published in full colour for the first issue, available free to all students of the University of the Arts. This experience has enabled me to better understand the role of an illustrator. Designing for a magazine had its restrictions and found the challenge of working around and within these restrictions very creative. Although the illustrations where produced for free, I gained experience liaising via email and telephone, as well as producing images for a specific purpose. The brief was quite tight and it was insightful working to strict guidelines. I enjoyed doing these illustrations, it felt quite a natural process as they weren’t particularly hard to do, but I would like to gain more illustration experience to decide how viable this option would be for me in my career. It was a completely different experience producing illustrations compared with web banners I produced for Cinema Paradiso. I identify both are a way to pay the bills as a designer. Full magazine available online: <http://issuu.com/kit_friend/docs/freshleysqueezedissuu>
Finding a placement was very difficult but I have managed to experience four different areas within design. All of these contributing experiences have given me insight and understanding in areas of illustration, advertising banners, experimental exhibitions and competitions. I think you can identify the majority of these experiences within a freelance context, and there are benefits of each that contribute to this role of design. My elective this year was freelancing in design, and this introduced me to all the facets incorporated in this choice of employment. Having gained both academic and practical knowledge of this specialism, I am keen to gain a placement in the spring vacation with a multi disciplinary studio or independent agency. I believe I know need to experience what a formal design environment has to offer me, instead of instigating my own placements or freelance avenues. This will broaden the choice within my career development.