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THE INTERNATIONAL ISSUE

06 // Graduate Showcase: Joseph Lebus 10 // Designing for Good 14 // Design Freedom and the Sea of Sameness

18 // People are Your Passport 20 // Competition: Universal Love for Design 28 // Industry Connections: Hey Studio

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THE INTERNATIONAL ISSUE Cover Artwork // Jimmy Muldoon

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When I founded Shillington more than 20 years ago, I never dreamed we’d expand to six cities on three continents, training and inspiring 5000+ graduates. It’s my greatest privilege to travel between our campuses, meeting students from different cultural and professional backgrounds. And in every classroom, without fail, I watch these students unite with a common passion—design, and the insatiable desire for a more creative career. While Shillington has a global footprint, we pride ourselves on a tight-knit, progressive and dedicated team. Our campuses may be spread across time zones, but that means we’re constantly collaborating and working around the clock (literally!) to create the best possible course and outcomes for our students. And it doesn’t stop at graduation. It’s amazing to see our international graduates in action online—sparking discussion, sharing resources and giving exclusive alerts for design jobs. Our Shillumni network grows year after year, and I’m genuinely in awe of their drive and achievements. In this seventh issue of the Post, we’re acknowledging how design makes the world feel smaller, better connected and of course—more beautiful. We’ll share some incredible apps for travelling designers. Alec Dudson, founder of Intern Magazine explains how “people are your passport” to a global design career. Seven teachers share where they’ve found design inspiration abroad. Hilary Archer discusses how designers can fight against Instagram trend-chasing in their work. We recap on Hey Studio’s visit to our London campus. Meet Kate Holland, the graduate selected for Shillington’s Design Safari—where we sponsor top creative talent to do important design work at The School of St Jude in Arusha, Tanzania. And as part of a Shillumni competition, graduates create type lock-ups in their native languages for the compelling statement, “design is a universal language”. I couldn’t agree more. Happy reading! Andy Shillington Founder and CEO of Shillington

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MY FAVOURITE PLACE FOR DESIGN INSPIRATION

For this international issue, we asked six teachers from around the world to talk about the place that has left the biggest impression on them for design inspiration. Read on to find out what they loved about each location— everything from street art to architecture, signage and hand lettering.

MARCEA DECKER FULL-TIME TEACHER, NEW YORK LEIPZIG I went to Leipzig, Germany almost a year ago, for the first time. I visited some friends of mine, a photographer and designer/owner of a small DIY record label. Together they run a contemporary art museum in a renovated historic building. As children, they participated in Leipzig’s Peaceful Revolution that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. They showed me the meeting place where the march began, and other famously historic places, as well as not-so-famous relics of the underground art scene that now has ceased to be. They also introduced me to current DIY spaces, where young people have converted abandoned buildings into functional meeting venues to hear music, show art, dance, and talk all night long. Some have called Leipzig the “Paris of Germany”—the architecture and landscape really tells the city’s history at each point. From the canals, to the Art Nouveau villas, late-19thcentury apartments with Renaissance and Gothic-style accents, brutalist utilitarian structures of the Soviet era, and now a reclamation and modernization of gorgeous historic buildings, the landscape speaks a lot to what this city has been and where it aims to go. Seeing the city through the eyes of two artists who grew up there inspired me through songwriting, as well as my own personal artistic approach of mixing traditional art methods with new design techniques and technology.

GEORGE SIMKIN LEAD PART-TIME TEACHER, LONDON MEXICO CITY I’m a big colour lover. A lot of my own personal work is very colourful. So when I went to Mexico City, it blew my mind, colour everywhere! Especially on hand made signs, signage on the sides of streets and of course, taco trucks. Beautiful hand painted lettering with bright and punchy colours. I took photos of all the signs and I still use them today as references. They are great for creating new colour palettes. I can’t think of any other country that embraces colour quite like Mexico does. I want to go back, and not just for the tacos!

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“Mexico City blew my mind, colour everywhere! Especially on hand-made signs, signage on the sides of streets and of course taco trucks.”

CHRIS NORMAN LEAD PART-TIME TEACHER & COURSE CONTENT MELBOURNE TOKYO The Blade Runner-esque dystopia of Tokyo is an outright graphic shock. Encountering the in-your-face colours and information-heavy signage excites me every visit. I document the graphic vernacular of the metropolis in the road markings, signage and neon lights as inspiration for future projects.

ADAM BUSBY PART-TIME TEACHER, BRISBANE JAPAN Japan is easily the most inspiring, influential, perspective-changing place I have travelled to.

MARTIN POWER PART-TIME TEACHER, MANCHESTER BERLIN & VIETNAM There are two places that stick out in my mind from my travels for different reasons. TIA QUEEN PART-TIME TEACHER, BRISBANE SAN FRANCISCO I find that San Francisco is a city that stretches every creative muscle. The museum SFMOMA is a contemporary art and design oasis. The Victorian and Edwardian architecture is full of character, as well as history—I’d recommend taking an architect-led walking tour! Plus, some of the biggest design and tech companies like Airbnb, Google and Uber are all based there. I believe that their sheer presence encourages big and unrestrained thinking, which is essential for creativity.

Design-wise, it has to be Berlin. The aesthetic in that city connects with me completely, from the utilitarian typography on the posters to the tongue in cheek brands that line the high street. I think the history of the city has bred this beautiful mixture of brutalism and humour that just chimes with me. Equally, I fell in love with the colour and patterns of the handmade tiles across Vietnam. I found myself spending far too long gazing at tiles in bathrooms and creating a completely unnecessary photo log of the varying types that I saw.

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The feeling of deep, sincere simplicity is the common foundation of anything beautiful in Japan. There is a satisfaction when holding a pen or sitting in a chair knowing that everything has been considered and anything that doesn’t contribute to the design has been removed. Considered, thoughtful and intentional are the words that kept coming up when I visited Japan. The care and consideration placed into every act was astounding. I think it’s the enjoyment and passion of the process that produces these results rather than a means to an end. Instead of racing toward the finish line, the process is something to cherish and almost ritualize. For instance, we enjoyed some traditional tea ceremonies, and if you have ever witnessed one of these events, you will know that every pour, ever turn of the cup and place setting has a meaning. Maybe it was the paradoxical nature of places like Tokyo that left the biggest impression. From high tech ultra fast Shinkansen trains to the 48 hour ramen noodle spot.


GRADUATE SHOWCASE // Joseph Lebus

001 | Midnight In Peckham

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GRADUATE SHOWCASE // Joseph Lebus

Graduate Showcase

JOSEPH LEBUS

joseph lebus

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GRADUATE SHOWCASE // Joseph Lebus

Joseph Lebus spent four years studying Modern Languages at university, and quickly jumped into a marketing job. But unfortunately, he wasn’t 100% sold on his direction. Over time, he realised that his heart was in graphic design. With no prior experience, he discovered Shillington and made a big call. Studying three months full-time, he trusted the course to push him “aesthetically and conceptually at the same time”.

Fresh off graduation, Joseph scored an internship at the agency Otherway, getting the chance to jump straight into the professional design work. And not only that, his serious hustle resulted in attention from Intern Magazine across social media and a full interview on It’s Nice That. Sky’s the limit for Joseph.

THE F U G I T I V E

004 | Voice Of The Other

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GRADUATE SHOWCASE // Joseph Lebus

joseph lebus

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INTERVIEW // Designing For Good

DESIGNING FOR GOOD

INTERVIEW BY SARA MAZZONI

Here at Shillington, we’re strong believers that design can change the world, which is why we’re proud to partner with top Australian design studio Seesaw to offer a paid work and travel opportunity in support of The School of St Jude in Arusha, Tanzania.

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INTERVIEW // Designing For Good

Exclusively for our graduates, we help St Jude’s recruit and support top creative talent to best communicate their important mission—providing high-quality education to 1800 of the brightest and poorest students in Tanzania. Selected from families living on less than $2 a day, St Jude’s students receive an education that consistently ranks in the top 10% nationally. Andy Shillington, Founder and CEO of Shillington is a long-time donor and loves connecting our design graduates to the school’s important work. In 2016, New York graduate Connie Leung spent one year designing for good at St Jude’s, and now—in 2018, London graduate Kate Holland takes the reins. “A talented, enthusiastic graphic designer helps us find new and exciting ways to share our story,” says Gemma Sisia, Founder of St Jude’s. “Good design connects with our supporters from all over the world who help us do an amazing job fighting poverty through education here in Tanzania.” Read on to meet Kate. Find out why she’s pumped to work with such a beautiful brand for a good cause, what life is like so far in Arusha and why she’s passionate about this important work. Congratulations on being selected for the Design Safari. How does it feel? Seriously incredible and totally surreal at the same time! I had such build up of anticipation before coming here and now that I’m actually standing on Tanzanian soil I can’t believe it. What they’re doing here at St Jude’s is beyond words. It’s very moving to see the students gorgeous, cheery smiles around the campus every day, it’s a constant reminder of why I’m here. Since arriving, I’ve been blown away by the kindness and contentment of the people, their humble approach to life, the way people greet each other and just the everyday on-goings of life in Arusha. I’ve never been to Tanzania before so it’s all extremely eye opening but I feel like I’m meant to be here, I’m ready to call this place home. You actually saw Gemma Sisia, founder of St Jude’s speak while studying at All Saints Anglican School and it “shifted and heightened [your] interest to aid others”. Tell us more about what her talk meant to you. Having grown up on the Gold Coast and then seen others parts of the world, I think we have no idea just how lucky we are to have access to privileges that many people do not experience. Listening to this inspiring woman talk about the unimaginable extremes of poverty and lack of education in Tanzania, it really put a lot of things in perspective for me. It was about 10 years ago so the school was still in its early stages, but you could tell that St Jude’s was no ordinary organisation. Even then, what Gemma had done was incredible— to think that she started with $10 in a bank account and not much knowledge of building schools is probably the most inspiring story I’ve ever heard. A few of my closest friends went over to visit St Jude’s on a school trip and seeing their pictures made me realise that one day I just had to go over, experience it for myself and help in whatever way possible. Before coming here I read Gemma’s book about St Jude’s—an absolute must read! It gives such an insight into her background and shows how one person with enough good-will, motivation, love and selflessness can actually change lives and have huge positive impacts on a community. Her story is incredibly moving and really prompted me to think about the way I live my life.

Besides being inspired by Gemma, why else did you decide to apply for the opportunity? I love seeing the world, I love new challenges, I love immersing myself in other cultures and also, why not? I think it was a sign when I received the email from Shillington offering the design safari and I wasn’t going to ignore it. It was a great opportunity to not only continue working in design but also produce work that is fulfilling and for a fantastic cause. Sometimes you can get caught up in all the materialism and mundanity of design, so it’ll be nice to feel like my work is making a difference. Why are you excited to work with Seesaw’s branding? St Jude’s has taken such a massive leap in the right direction with this rebrand. I can already see how imperative this new brand is for St Jude’s. It’s energetic and fun, it’s colourful, it’s the kids on the playground at lunchtime, it’s positive, it’s impactful, it’s the atmosphere of the campus and it’s also so much more! Seesaw Studio and my fellow Shillington graduate Connie have done an incredible job and I hope I can fill their shoes as I continue to roll out the branding across bigger and better things! What else are you most looking forward to during your time at St Jude’s? Making life-long friends and memories with like-minded people who are here for a great cause. Trying to understand and immerse myself as much as I can in the Tanzanian way of life and maybe becoming fluent in Swahili! I also can’t wait to interact with and get to know some of the students a bit more. We have some interns in our team who are completing a Community Service Year internship through our graduate program, Beyond St Jude’s. Many graduates choose to participate in the program as a way to give back to the school that gave them so much, and when they’re working right beside you, you realise just how far they’ve come, thanks to an education at St Jude’s. What were you up to before studying at Shillington? Why did you want to study design? I’ve always been quite creative but also very methodical and logical so design seemed like the perfect avenue for me. I went to a Shillington Info Session in Brisbane while I was still at school and something about it definitely felt right, so it was always in the back of my mind. Then I finished high school in 2011, turned 18 the following year and jetted off to Europe for a gap year. I fell in love with London and made the decision to stay as I was having the time of my life. After a year, I decided (with the help of my lovely parents!) that I would enrol to study at Shillington in London, and the rest is history. Where has life taken you since graduating? Since graduating I moved back to Australia, as no one would marry me for a UK visa! I worked on the Gold Coast for a year and then moved to Brisbane for two years working for a boutique hospitality group and then back to the Gold Coast to work on the 2018 Commonwealth Games and now to Tanzania. I think studying at Shillington was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was exactly what I needed and look where it has taken me—I couldn’t ask for anything more! Anything else you’d like to share? ASANTE SANA—‘thank you’ in Swahili—to Shillington for giving me this opportunity and supporting such a great cause!

Find out more about St Jude’s and see Kate’s design work in action at www.schoolofstjude.org.

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RESOURCES // Tips for Designers with the Travel Bug

You’ve trawled through the Lonely Planet archives and pinpointed your next adventure. WORDS BY ALI NEILLY ILLUSTRATION BY ANTHONY WOOD

Short of packing the entire contents of your flat into your name brand backpack you need to bookmark a few handy apps to help you navigate your journey. From booking that flight, to sourcing the coolest accommodation and keeping an eye on your rapidly depleting finances—there’s heaps of apps and mobile sites to keep in mind when you’re off on the road. We’ve gathered 10 resources for designers with the travel bug. All you need now is somewhere to charge your phone and a forgiving Instagram audience to endure the onslaught of your stream of beautifully art directed photographs.

citymapper.com

vsco.co Instagram fanatics likely already have this one on their device but for those looking for a new way to share holiday snaps, check out VSCO. With advanced editing software and an enthusiastic community to share your visuals with, it’s a real game changer.

onthegrid.city Okay so we have a tiny confession, this isn’t strictly an app but rather a mobile site created for travelling creatives and curated by designers—so it had to make the list! Discover the best cafés, bars, shops and galleries to make the most of your city break.

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Google Maps has long been the go to when you’re trying to navigate yourself out of an unfamiliar spot or get from A-B in the most efficient way. But there’s now competition with CityMapper which, since launching in 2011, has grown to include over 25 global cities. Providing not only maps for pedestrianised travel but journey plans across all modes of transport, boats, cable cars, underground trains and even Uber—it’s all there! Our favourite feature is the handy ‘location helper’ which indicates which train carriage to enter for the speediest exit.


RESOURCES // Tips for Designers with the Travel Bug

detour.com It’s no secret that podcasts have become hugely popular in recent times with everything from murder mysteries to celebrity interviews grabbing our attention on the commute. So what better than a location based audio guide to accompany you on your travels? Detour offers informative guides for areas across the world so you can wander from street-tostreet with your own personalised tour guide in your ears.

get.google.com/trips Google really do excel at pretty much everything so their newest venture ‘Trips’ is worth a whirl on your next voyage. With its own ‘magic wand’ you can explore your new surroundings to uncover exciting activities nearby. It also has the handy feature of gathering all booking info from your Gmail account to store in one place for safe keeping. airbnb.com

darksky.net Whether you’re hoping for a clear sky to spot the Northern Lights, or a healthy breeze to experience some thrill seeking water sports—this app is your own personal weather forecaster. With unique features like ‘time machine’ and rather beautiful topographic maps, you’ll never have to rely on dubious meteorological predictions again.

If you haven’t heard of Airbnb then frankly, we’re jealous! It’s the online concept which has revolutionised booking accommodation abroad. Masquerade as a home owner in the location of your choice and choose from sophisticated townhouses, rooftop penthouses or lakeside cabins—all tailored to your time period and budget. There’s even opportunities to stay in a treehouse so get scrolling before they all book up!

duolingo.com Whether your hoping to become bilingual or just become fluent in ordering beer and pizza, Duolingo is your one stop shop. With daily reminders to practice and exercises to help your memory you’d be surprised what you can pick up in just a week. And you get to learn from a friendly cartoon owl, how lovely.

steller.co With the ability to combine photos, videos and text it’s a must-have for a visual communicator on holiday. Put editorial twists on your photos with sleek typography offerings and then share your story. Think of it as a new age travel journal! quik.gopro.com

Forget the basic ‘power point montage style’ holiday videos of yesteryear and experiment with Quik. The quickest way to edit your videos to achieve impressive results. Developed by the adrenaline junkies at GoPro it’s equipped with colour filters, slow motion and speed effects.

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OPINION // Design Freedom and the Sea of Sameness

DESIGN FREEDOM AND THE SEA OF SAMENESS

WORDS & IMAGE BY HILARY ARCHER




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OPINION // Design Freedom and the Sea of Sameness

With so much incredible tech available to help us overcome physical distance, negate time differences, and promote a new kind of “face-toface” contact, we find ourselves in a world where connecting digitally is as seamless as ever. Tech solutions help us to connect, share files and organise so seamlessly, the boundaries surrounding the traditional working model have been almost entirely rewritten. “Technology gives freedom back to designers, the opportunity to take back control. Whether agency, in-house or freelance there is the technology to allow designers to choose how, when and where they want to work. Breaking the shackles of the 9-5” — Nick Smith, Full-time Teacher, Manchester Cloud based software and file storage like Dropbox, project management tools such as Basecamp and Trello, web and video conferencing options like Skype and Fuze, alongside email alternatives like Slack are amongst the many solutions changing the game for designers today. They have made it possible to schedule, produce, send and present work from the comfort of your flat, a cafe, a co-working space or even poolside on your Balinese holiday. It would seem the flexible, boundary free, work-life balance dreams of Millienials have been realised. And social media? The ultimate gap-gloser. Apps like Instagram and Twitter allow for jobs to be posted and won within the touch of a few buttons. Designers can easily now connect directly with studios and brands anywhere in the world. They can show off their work and network their way to their next brief through the comforting glow of their iPhone screens. What does this mean for designers? The world is literally your oyster. Design is global. Branding for a Dutch fashion start up can be created in London, the lookbooks printed in Germany, UI built in Canada and coded in India. There are no boundaries to work and therefore no boundaries to creativity and collaboration.

From my perspective as an expat freelance designer and Shillington teacher in London it means that the possibilities are endless. We can analyse case studies from a fresh studio making waves on the continent. Or we can share and champion work from a campus in another hemisphere. Students are no longer confined to understanding design and loving our industry within a one city bubble—but on a global scale. I personally see this making bigger waves then we can imagine. Good design is no longer confined to what once was ‘design hotbeds’ of big cities. It is now accessible from the furthest corners of the smallest countries and most importantly, globally understood. This is even changing the way consumers purchase—we no longer respond to or accept bad design. However, like all things seemingly too good to be true, I believe it to be a double edged sword. I believe the same unrestrained access to global design that is providing such vast opportunities is also leading to the homogenisation of design. There is no longer a richness and diversity to the design landscape. Local trends have become global trends and there is no longer a connection to a specific people, place or culture. The lines that once defined a ‘Tokyo style’ or a ‘Dutch style’ are becoming increasingly blurred. It is now even more important to look to graphic design history to understand how certain styles or approaches developed. A design student in New York and one in Sydney can both easily see and be inspired by a studio’s work from the opposite side of the world, and therefore answer a brief in the same way. Following #graphicdesign on Instagram now leads to millions of results from every corner of the world—but it’s slowly becoming a scroll through a sea of sameness. This homogenisation however, should inspire us to rebel. Being aware of these trends can help designers move in a different direction and try new things. Awareness of trends can help us to respond to a brief in the most appropriate way—step in line, or swerve. “To stand out from homogenised design, we as designers need to adapt our skills utilising new tech methods available to us. Graphic design is no longer one career path. You have to be open to trying and learning new things to be inventive” — Amy Prus, Full-Time Teacher, London Tech, as always, should be a tool, not a crutch. While it is our responsibility as designers to stay relevant and bring something to the table that technology cannot replace; it is also within our reach to let tech expand and enrich our networking, designing and sharing capabilities. Creativity is flexible, limitless and unconstrained; creativity is global.

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“Good design is no longer confined to what once was the ‘design hotbeds’ of big cities. It is now accessible from the furthest corners of the smallest countries and most importantly, globally understood.”

In today’s design landscape new technology is bringing freedom to designers and unrestrained access to global design. However, this flexibility is proving to be a double-edged sword that is also provoking the homogenisation of design.


DRESS YOUR OWN DESIGNER! ILLUSTRATION BY SHILLINGTON HEAD OF TEACHING UK ANDY JUDD @LEFTBUTNOTRIGHT


PEOPLE ARE YOUR PASSPORT // Alec Dudson

PEOPLE ARE YOUR PASSPORT

How a diverse network can help your career to go global

WORDS BY ALEC DUDSON Founder and Editor-in-chief of Intern, a platform for and by the creative youth that empowers the next generation through content, support and training. He’s on a mission to make the creative industries more diverse and his next step is to launch a new podcast, ‘The Ladder’, this winter. intern-mag.com @thisisintern 18 // Shillington Post


PEOPLE ARE YOUR PASSPORT // Alec Dudson

You’re involved in the creative industries at a time where practically every brand and company on the planet has to take visual communication seriously. There are no longer any shortcuts. Brands must have an online presence and the tone, aesthetic and delivery of that can make or break them. As such, your prospective client base is almost entirely free of boundaries. At some point, everyone, everywhere is going to need some graphic design services as they look to elevate their game, personal brand or the fortunes of their business. The only thing stopping you from being the person to help them with those things, is that you don’t know them yet. Whether you’re currently studying or deep in the game, your skill as a designer or creative will continue to develop throughout the course of your career, but skill alone won’t get you the freelance work, the job in an amazing studio or ensure that you work on the most exciting, purposeful and fulfilling projects. The key to all of those things, is the network that you build. Ask any superstar designer how they got their break and almost without fail, they landed a job through someone they knew. It’s how the world works and if that sounds daunting, don’t worry, it needn’t be. No need for nerves Networking is a term that often makes people feel uneasy. I always used to envision a room full of ‘suits’ who wouldn’t “get me” and didn’t want to know me, unless they could figure out how to extract value from me. I used to dread the idea of going out and trying to start conversations with these imagined bloodsuckers, sure that it would not just be a waste of time, but leave me open to being ripped off. Over time, I realised that networking is something that you retain complete control over and, as such, can happen on your terms. The way I think of it now is ‘getting to know people who I find fascinating, would love to learn from and work with’. It’s a pretty dramatic change of perspective, I’ll admit, but one that came about when I realised that I’d been networking since I started Intern, I’d just enjoyed it so much that I’d never stopped to label it as such. That new outlook paid off in two major ways. Firstly, I started to actively build a trusted circle of people who make my day-to-day more manageable. This is key as a freelancer as working on your own can be tough. Having people who you can turn to for some quick advice, a second opinion or feedback is invaluable. I’d go as far as to say game-changing. You’ll probably already have people like this in your class, who you’ve clicked with and who you help when they’re struggling too. Keep hold of these people, we all need a hand sometime. The second

big change was that over time, I started to get the kind of work that I’d wanted all along. For me, that usually comes in the form of projects for partner brands. By making the effort to build relationships with the people who I wanted to work with and by better understanding their needs, along with ensuring that they know my motivations, I had the necessary foundations to successfully pitch exciting projects, for good money. Assembling your crew It’s not something that happens overnight, like all relationships, those in your network need to be nurtured, but you have to remember that it’s not a chore. If you’re linking up with people who genuinely inspire you, catching up with them should be a pleasure. Just because something doesn’t feel like work, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t work. Talking of inspiration, I’d encourage all of you to look far beyond graphic design when building your own networks. What are your passions beyond this craft, are you really into space exploration? Maybe you’ve got a thing for independent filmmaking, cross-fit, cartography, performance art or beekeeping? These interests should also guide the makeup of your network. I often see graphic design students spending their time looking to connect with established graphic designers—and that’s fine—but that often comes at the detriment to all of the opportunities they could be unlocking. You might get some freelance or junior work from another graphic designer, to help ease their workload, but everyone needs graphic design, right? Whatever your hobbies or passions are, connect with people in those spaces, learn more about the things you love and as they get to know that you’re a graphic designer, they’ll ask you about their brand, see what your take is and find work for you. Imagine how less competitive some of those niches are, rather than waiting for another designer to hand you an opportunity, you can be offered it in the first place. Crushing it IRL and OL With an openness to building a diverse network, you can work around the globe, over a variety of industries, specialisms and interests. There’s a good chance as well that you’ll have the opportunity (should you want it) to further broaden your skillset. That might sound a grand claim, but it’s true. Think carefully about who you want to hook up with and what the best way is to start a conversation with them. Keep an eye out for local events that cover any topic that you’re intrigued by. When you go to an event, stick around at the end and try to get five minutes with the speaker who really blew you

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away. Connect with them on social, post afterwards and tag them in it. Work on an ‘elevator pitch’ that quickly explains who you are and what you do. I use the structure ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ for my elevator pitches and I practice them with friends until they become instinctive. Don’t overlook the power of connecting online. Direct messages on Instagram can be a great conversation starter, depending on context and LinkedIn (which I used to dismiss) can help put you in touch with people who share your interests, just be sure to post some content on there to start conversations. Start by drawing up a ‘circle of influence’. Aim for a dozen names to start you off, only two of them graphic designers. Make the rest people who you are intrigued by. Find contact details online and make your intro online or via post. Let them know what it is that you love about what they do and how that ties in to your interests. Where possible try and arrange face-to-face meetings, failing that a video chat can build an initial familiarity. Don’t think about the reasons that they might not be interested, think about all the reasons that you’d be a great person to get to know. It can seem like a big step, but before you know it, you’ll be having some cool af conversations and getting to put these design skills to work in amazing ways. Understand the value This network is yours. It’ll be different to anyone else’s and as such, it’s incredibly valuable, not only to you, but to potential clients, collaborators and people who, down the line want to be doing what you’re doing. As you start to work with bigger clients and on bigger jobs, you’re going to need a team. If you’ve already got coders, filmmakers, producers, animators and an eclectic range of influencers in your circle, there’s not going to be much that you can’t pull off. As you gain a reputation for delivering varied, quality projects, you’ll get to pick and choose the work that you do even more. This network is your passport to working anywhere and on anything and it’s a vital tool in your career, so build it just the way you want it to be.


COMPETITION // Universal Love for Design

UNIVERSAL LOVE FOR DESIGN

With our Shillington students coming from just about every inch of the globe, we decided to celebrate the universal language of design through a graduate typography competition. For this competition, we asked graduates to experiment with different dialects, capturing the statement “Design is a Universal Language”. We encouraged them to get creative with an umlaut, put their own spin on a circumflex or get acquainted with kanji! And, as always—were amazed by our graduates’ concepts and executions. Ranging from Flemish to Punjabi to Welsh to even “Middle Earth” and Morse code—our students really took on the challenge. Here, we’re excited to share some amazing results from our graduates and teachers.

1. WINNER—ANASTASIIA VINNICHENKO RUSSIAN, VYAZ FULL-TIME MANCHESTER GRADUATE anastasia.co.uk For my entry, I was inspired by the old Russian type of Cyrillic ornate lettering (called Vyaz) which was widely used in the 14-19th century. The actual look of these letterforms was more important than readability, so every book handwritten in Vyaz had a sense of craft to them and was considered as a true masterpiece. I decided to use variant baselines and decorative swirls to create a sense of development and playfulness. 20 // Shillington Post


COMPETITION // Universal Love for Design

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COMPETITION // Universal Love for Design

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2. VIZ KOCHARYAN ARMENIAN

3. DINA HANY ARABIC

FULL-TIME MANCHESTER GRADUATE vkstudio.co.uk

SYDNEY TEACHER

The language I chose for this project is Armenian. Design is a universal language but somehow not everyone understands it even though they can see. The artwork by itself can also be interpreted in different ways. For example, how the letters interact with each other. The letters are part of the universe but there is unknown around us.

I love the beauty and fluidity of the Arabic language, so the idea was to elongate and stretch the Arabic typeface whilst overlapping the Latin one. The chunky lettering was a perfect fit for its contemporary, representing harmony and peace between both languages/cultures as each word is directly translated on top of the other without losing its original meaning. The graphic elements are a colourful interpretation of Arabic dots and numbers mixed with concentric circles portraying the playfulness and duality of both cultures. 22 // Shillington Post


COMPETITION // Universal Love for Design

5.

4. ALAN BARBA SPANISH

5. CHRISTIAN MENDOZA GLYPHS

NEW YORK TEACHER

FULL-TIME BRISBANE GRADUATE heysaturdaysun.com

I am incredibly inspired by the hand painting lettering tradition by Mexican artisans (called Rotuladores in Spanish)—which can be seen all around Mexico. The mono-weight style lettering that I’ve created represents the technique and dedication that this incredible artist have to their craft with a contemporary approach. The use of variant baselines and subtle swirls connects the white characters with the red background portraying the warmth, passion, and inclusiveness of the Mexican household.

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My native language is Spanish. I was inspired in the letter “ñ”, which is the most distinguished letter from our alphabet, to use only glyphs to create this message. Glyphs are unique marks that can change the spelling or meaning of what is written, in different languages.


COMPETITION // Universal Love for Design

6.

d

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a

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6. CHIYUN LEE KOREAN

7. MATT HALLWORTH BRAILLE

8. JOHN PALOWSKI POLISH

FULL-TIME LONDON GRADUATE thechiyun.com

PART-TIME LONDON GRADUATE northtrace.co.uk

COURSE CONTENT MANAGER

For my Korean interpretation of “design is a universal language”, I started with three keywords: combining, primary and open-minded. Basically, a Korean letter is combined with 3 elements, first sound (ㄷㅈㅇㅁㄹㅌㅎㄴ...), vowel (ㅣㅏㅡㅗ...) and last sound (ㄴㅇㄹ...) which is the most distinctive feature of Korean. I focused on its aspect of being wellstructured and systematic, so I ended up using a geometric shape as a grid to create my own typeface. The floating letters represent the flexibility and open-mindedness of Korean, which could cover almost every other sound from other languages.

I had played around with a number of languages for the piece, and had a few on the shortlist before attending a ‘Designing with Disability in Mind’ talk by Think Designable. The presentation made me a lot more aware of how much I take for granted as an able-bodied person, and designer. When designing, we often forget to consider those with disabilities— as I had done completely when focusing on this brief. I chose Braille as my ‘language’ for this piece, as an acknowledgement to those with disabilities, and as a reminder to myself and others, to consider everyone in our work, and not just those that are able to see. Design can be, and often is about so much more than the visual.

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This type is inspired by post-war Poland—where the nation witnesses a huge spurt of creativity and boost for the entertainment industry (posters for concerts, theatre productions etc). Before they had access to mainstream typography, a lot was expertly handcrafted, so every poster had a sense of uniqueness to them. They explored a lot and had to make do with what they had, or could create. So this was created from scratch, pushing the rules for baseline play, character width, and mixed case use, to add to the jauntiness of the whole package. The layout was explored via balance though tension, apt for that era of the nation’s history.


WAYS TO WIN AS AN INTERNATIONAL DESIGNER // Dina Shirin

25 // Shillington Post

WAYS TO WIN AS AN INTERNATIONAL DESIGNER

WORDS BY DINA SHIRIN IMAGE BY LORIK KHODAVERDIAN

For this issue, we asked our Shillington community from around the world to talk about their experiences working with international clients and to share some tips for others looking to broaden their experience. Read on to hear from our graduates Margherita Baldi, Oceane Combeau, Chukwudi Ogbonnaya, Nataly Lee, Camila Rogelis, Anastasiia Vinnichenko and teachers Spencer Harrison, Adam Busby, Saxon Campbell, Jimmy Muldoon and Robin Cameron.


WAYS TO WIN AS AN INTERNATIONAL DESIGNER // Dina Shirin

Have you considered working abroad or taking on a project for an international client? Working in another city allows you to leave your comfort zone and embrace a new culture. Similarly, working remotely from home for an international client can be a great learning experience and challenge you creatively. GET SOCIAL AND GET CONNECTED Use social media and design sites to broaden your global reach A good place to start is by connecting with other creatives, no matter where you’re based. The multitude of online design sites makes it easier than ever to build new relationships with other people globally by following their design work and commenting on projects. By appreciating other creatives online, you can make your presence known. Behance is one of the best online communities for connecting with other designers, staying current on what studios are doing and following design trends. And in addition to finding inspiration, Margherita Baldi (Manchester Graduate, margheritabaldi.com) recommends using Behance to find resources like mockups and typefaces. Saxon Campbell (New York Part-Time Teacher, saxoncampbell.com) uses Behance to post his professional and personal projects he likes working on and to stay on top of what’s happening in the world of design. For the past three and a half years, he’s had a lot of success on this platform for finding local and international clients. Instagram is the prime connector for establishing a dialogue with designers whose work you admire and a way to be a more active participant in the global design community. Jimmy Muldoon (New York full-time Teacher, jimmycando.com) uses the direct message aka “DM” function to contact designers to comment on their work, ask questions or to arrange an in person meetup. You never know what can come from a new connection! Through your network, you can find unexpected opportunities, but the most important thing, he adds, is to “establish genuine relationships around a common passion—the work that comes from the connection is just an added bonus.” For work-in-progress design work that he’s exploring, he likes to post to his Instagram feed and stories for both exposure and feedback. Social networks are ideal for finding international clients. Spencer Harrison (Melbourne Part-Time Teacher, spenceroni.com) says that “many clients are becoming more comfortable with working remotely and will often search online for designers on sites like Behance, Instagram and other platforms,” so make sure to keep your online presence up to date. Just like Jimmy, Spencer agrees that Instagram is a great tool to develop new connections with people that you admire and want to learn from.

Chukwudi Ogbonnaya (New York Graduate, chukwudi.co) is originally from Nigeria and currently living in New York, working with remote clients in Nigeria, United Kingdom and South Africa. He encourages designers to challenge themselves by staying productive and drawing up a plan on how they will showcase their work and skills. To broaden his exposure as a designer, he signed up with a Pro Dribbble account and makes sure to attend meetups to meet other designers locally. Just like Behance, Dribbble is a platform that can be used for inspiration, a place to receive feedback on your projects, and also for finding job opportunities. Besides looking at creative communities mentioned, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin can be an overlooked resource. On Facebook, you can join entrepreneur or small business groups to see who may be hiring for a project. Running Facebook ads for promoting your design services or latest projects can be a part of your client acquisition strategy. Twitter can be used as a way to exchange in a dialogue with other designers/studio—asking questions, sharing industry knowledge, and posting your latest work—since you never know who may retweet your project. Finally, you can use LinkedIn as a place for connecting with other creatives. Comment on posts, join groups and follow companies you like. Potential clients are everywhere! OPEN YOUR MIND AND SEE WHAT’S OUT THERE Make job boards and recruiters work for you Have a dream city in mind? Start out by finding a company with offices in countries you are interested in. Companies hire international designers for a fresh cultural perspective and visual approach. For an aspiring expat, you can join creative site Working Not Working or start your job search on Jobbatical, Coroflot, Krop, Guru, Upwork or Freelancer. Don’t feel like you’re in this alone! Recruiters from creative agencies can also help with the job search by recommending you to companies that match your skill set. By maintaining a relationship with a few recruiters and periodically checking-in, you can ensure you’re staying updated on new opportunities that can be a good match based on your experience. When Oceane Combeau (New York Graduate, fernandetfirmin.com) moved to Amsterdam, she started her own studio, Fernand et Firmin. As she acquired new clients, she was able to get more projects over time. Reflecting on the experience, if she had to do things differently, she advises designers to contact recruiters directly to lend their expertise and to help you find work. If considering moving abroad, she also encourages designers to first build strong relationships with clients in their home country and then continuing working with them while living abroad. QUIT HIDING BEHIND YOUR SCREEN Make meaningful connections through face-to-face networking Don’t forget the value of face-to-face networking. Get yourself out there! Give yourself a set period of time to network and take advantage of all the different events your city has to offer. Meeting others in person, going to local design events and 26 // Shillington Post

meetups can help you find new and unexpected opportunities. And who knows? These could help you connect the dots to jobs and possibilities abroad. Global design organizations like Creative Mornings and The Design Kids host regular meetups and have design events in cities around the world. Margherita takes advantage of the creative scene in Manchester. By attending local design events she was able to make connections with other designers for collaborations. “My advice is to go out, anywhere, and meet people, you never know who you’re going to meet.” She adds that “your website and social media are a great way to showcase your work and also to get clients, but the competition is a lot harder. Being recommended by someone you know personally has more impact!” For Chukwudi, networking is important in order to get your skills seen by the right people. Also, since working alone can be so isolating, he recommends that other freelancers should find their own work/ life balance—taking personal time and finding ways to decompress. Robin Cameron (New York Part-Time Teacher, robincameron.org) relies on personal connections for most of her freelance work. She says, “I tend to work within my networks to tell people what I do and mostly it’s recommendations from friends, partners, and people I have some connection to.” And although this may be a less traditional route, she even had some success with Craigslist. Being a freelancer can feel isolating at times, therefore, having a workspace outside your home can be a good option for a change of scene. Coworking spaces are on the rise and can be used as not only your temporary office space, but a place for collaboration and exchanging ideas with other professionals from different industries. WOW YOUR CLIENTS, NO MATTER THE DISTANCE Build trust through open communication and exceed client expectations After you’ve landed a new client, it’s important to know the best practices for maintaining that relationship and finding the most efficient way to manage your project workflow. As a designer, it’s important to be a strong communicator. For Margherita, most of her work came through word of mouth, friends and their connections in all the three cities where she’s lived— Florence, Berlin, and Manchester. The six degrees of separation theory is truly real! “Always be nice to people. Maintaining good relationships is the most important thing in business and this is never truer than when freelancing. Most of your work will come from recommendations so if you are an easy person to work with then you are more likely to get the work.”—Nataly Lee (Sydney Graduate, saatstudio.com) When first starting out as a designer, Saxon suggests to say yes to most projects, and to always make sure you have a contract, as well as overdelivering to exceed client expectations.


WAYS TO WIN AS AN INTERNATIONAL DESIGNER // Dina Shirin

When Anastasiia Vinnichenko (Manchester full-time Graduate, anastasiia.co.uk) left her job in Moscow and moved to Manchester with her husband, she felt this was the perfect time to take the plunge and finally change her career to work in a creative industry. After graduating from the Shillington course, she found a job at a design studio called Tile Creative, which gave her the opportunity to work on projects ranging from print to digital.

Working as a freelancer, Camila Rogelis (London Graduate, camilarogelis.com) typically uses Skype or WhatsApp for meetings. Her approach to design is to focus on the creative process and understanding client needs. She prioritises her projects by tackling the biggest tasks first (such as the conceptual work or layouts) and finishes off with the assignments that require small changes. At the end of the day, she reviews her output and makes a plan for the day ahead.

Anastasiia recognizes that building a career in a new country can be very challenging due to the cultural differences, a new language, and industry. Coming from a different cultural background can be a unique selling point when looking for work since you will have a different perspective on solving problems and adding value to the team. She recommends researching local design events where you can learn about the industry trends, meet like-minded people and practice your networking skills. Her advice is to go for it if you are considering working abroad because the experience will be “priceless for both life and work and an opportunity to build your international network.”

Chukwudi says that remote work opens up many global opportunities for a designer. When meeting with a client for the first time, he has a video conference with the team to make a personal connection and to ensure everyone feels at ease. He believes it’s essential to have a solid process in place with working on projects—understanding the brief, capturing as much information at the start of the project and exploring various creative possibilities. For international payments, he says Payoneer is a good option since it’s global and has great conversion rates, providing an easy online money transfer service. Spencer uses online timezone calculators to determine the best meeting times and after the initial meeting, he says “I’ll normally communicate over email, using Dropbox to send large files to my clients. I also like to present my initial concepts to clients over Skype as it helps to gauge their reactions and asking follow-up questions on any feedback before getting stuck into revisions.” When Nataly started her business in Cambodia after graduating from Shillington, she chose Phnom Penh as her destination for the thriving creative and international scene. Her small design studio, Saat, focuses primarily on hospitality and tourism brands and she only takes on projects she deeply cares about. She says that her “main goal is to work on projects that are meaningful. I’ve always believed that if you care about your clients, then the work that you create for them will always be good...because it’s not about counting the numbers or ticking off boxes, but it’s about going above and beyond to create something that resonates with you both...and when you do that, the work doesn’t really feel like work. It feels more like a passion project.” FROM FAMILIAR UNCERTAINTY TO MIND-BLOWING POSSIBILITY Build a career in a new country

BACK YOURSELF AND STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD Gain exposure through design competitions Camila has been freelancing with international clients for almost two years in Bogota and loves being a digital nomad—giving her the freedom to work while travelling. She believes that design is a global career that allows you to work anywhere in the world, and make new connections that can turn into work opportunities. She was able to find the majority of her clients through design competitions which was the principal reason she became a freelancer. She got her first design gig after being in the Rookies People’s Choice category. From there, she was offered a contract for a Sports Management company based in Europe, Africa, and South America to redesign and code their website. When she was hired for this project, she had to take a coding course to upskill and enlisted the help of a friend in the process. Four months after submitting her work to the Adobe Design Achievement Awards, she received an email from an agency that saw her portfolio in the competition, which then led to work for both UNICEF and United Nations! Camila knows she would never have met these clients if it weren’t for the exposure gained from these competitions. Keep your eyes open for competitions to submit to and get your projects featured on blogs to ensure your work gets seen! So, what’s stopping you now? There’s no roadmap to success, but these tips will set you on the right track. We hope that if you have been considering taking the leap to move to a different country or working remotely for an international client—that now you can consider it as a real possibility.

Since design work is in high demand, you should look beyond your immediate place of residence and make connections everywhere. Nataly encourages other designers to take the chance and move abroad or to reach out to international companies who might be looking to hire. 27 // Shillington Post

“Have a dream destination in mind? Start out by finding a company with offices in the city you are interested in. Companies hire international designers for a fresh cultural perspective and visual approach.”

Try to go above and beyond on client projects. Adam Busby (Brisbane Part-Time Teacher, adambusby.com) believes that “building trust is a big one but achieved through all the small little things that you can easily overlook, such as favoring face to face Skype or Zoom meetings instead of just email alone.” He works around his client’s schedule to ensure that everything will get accomplished on time regardless of location.


INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS // Hey Studio

HEY STUDIO 28 // Shillington Post


INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS // Hey Studio

It’s not every day that you get to see your favourite studio deliver an inspiring lecture—but we were all in for a treat when Verònica Fuerte, Founder of Hey Studio came to speak at Shillington London. As part of our ongoing Shillumni Event Series, Verònica spoke with an intimate audience of Shillington graduates from around the globe.

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INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS // Hey Studio

“It’s more about your attitude than ability. If you come to Hey and you say you want to work hard and you have a good portfolio—that’s perfect.”

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INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS // Hey Studio

Throughout the evening Verònica covered topics titled; ‘Colour, Bold, Try, Food, Fun, Side’—each containing key elements of Hey Studio’s approach to design as well as their studio culture and creative outlook. Verònica referenced particular projects Hey have embarked on that reflect these 5 points such as Barcelona's Christmas branding, JNC Political branding, Arrels identity and Jammy Yumm packaging. Beyond that, she shared personal projects EveryHey and YEH: Hey's 10th Anniversary. 5 Favourite Quotes from Verònica’s Talk 1. “You need to have very good management to be able to work internationally, good management includes being good with timing and process. I love working in design but 50% is management and 50% is design, sometimes even 80% is management. Start a project with setting up good paperwork and then start the actual design. I’m very lucky as I work with a professional team and a good project manager.” 2. “Now that we’re 10 years old, we’re lucky as we have a good few clients but in the early years I did a lot of stuff I didn’t like as I need to pay salaries. I may not show all of this work on my website— but it’s all important. We’re a small studio so it’s easier to manage and decide more about the work you want to choose. We don’t physically knock on doors anymore but we do a lot of newsletters and exhibitions to promote ourselves. Also the side projects and personal designs are a good way of spreading our work and being more visible on social media” 3. “It’s more about your attitude than ability. If you come to Hey and you say you want to work hard and you have a good portfolio—that’s perfect.” 4. “Before founding Hey Studio, I worked in different studios in Barcelona for seven years. I knew that I always wanted to do something personal—some people don’t have this feeling but I did. However I knew I needed to learn first before opening my own studio.” 5. “Digital is the future, it’s something we need to improve and something we’re aware of. However, the paper won’t disappear, I mean the products will be products, the marmalade won’t be digital— we need a box for these things. So if you’re good at this, then clients will approach you. Papers, prints need to be very well done. That’s the reason why I love working in print as it’s important not to lose the feeling attached to paper.”

Check out more of Hey Studio's beautiful work at heystudio.es or on Instagram @heystudio.

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Shillington Post 07—The International Issue  

In this seventh issue of the Post, we're acknowledging how design makes the world feel smaller, better connected and of course—more beautifu...

Shillington Post 07—The International Issue  

In this seventh issue of the Post, we're acknowledging how design makes the world feel smaller, better connected and of course—more beautifu...

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