Placement. A guide to placements and internships in the design industry.
Introduction by Andy Bainbridge.
If you work hard on crap, you’ll be given gold.
A Starting Point by Mathew Johnson & Jordan Stokes.
Don’t piss around on the internet all the time.
Design student seeks similar Don’t be put off by an agency’s reputation I enjoy socialising and going to the cinema with friends. Spell cheque all yuor emails and letters. Always get the names of people your contacting right. You have 96 unread messages. Keep your portfolio clean and tidy, dust and pubic hair free. Size does matter. This way up. Be sure to know your portfolio off by heart. Be enthusiastic in interviews. Don’t be late. Suits really aren’t necessary. How long is a piece of string? Have your details handy. Being paid. Find somewhere to live first. Student halls and youth hostels are a good place to start, if you don’t find anywhere.
Manners are free, but they could cost you a job. Agency images. Wear comfy shoes, some errands you’ll be sent on can rival the London marathon. Prepare to be bored, only very occasionally. Try not to be the first person to leave, unless you have a good reason to. Get your phone manner up to scratch. Do your best to be sociable after work. Your on placement, you shouldn’t be paying for beer. Don’t pester people for placements in the pub. Be remembered. Everyone knows everyone. Every cloud. Acknowledgements & Thank yous.
The information in this publication was acquired over a period of 5 years, from 2007 - 2012. The majority was sourced, collated and written in 2007 when we were plucky students in the last throws of a 4 year degree in Graphic Design. We’d spent a year in London doing placements at some great agencies, and had subsequently realized how unprepared we’d been for that year. We wanted to pass on as many of the tips and tricks we’d picked up along to the next batch of students heading down to the big smoke, so we wrote and designed a book. Now a few years later, we’re finally getting our tome to Placements published and the temptation was to jump in and re-design, re-write, tweak and perfect. But - We wrote this as placements, to pass on to other students and recent graduates. So as much as we would of liked to design it all again, rewrite some of our clumsy and at times overly cock-sure words of wisdom - we have tried our best to do as little to it as possible to it. The real words of wisdom have always been from the contributors, our commentary has to remain as a reminder of the innocent ideals (and poor copy writing) of youth. It was an honest attempt from two students to pass on some stuff we learned form being amongst some top design agencies for a year, and that it shall, on the whole, remain. Mathew Johnson Jordan Stokes
Sofa surfing. An Expensive Drunken Nap. Tea Break. Make sure people know your there. Work hard and make sure people know your working hard. Speak up or you’ll regret it. If you don’t understand what someone wants you to do, ask some questions.
Disclaimer The opinions and views contained in this book do not reflect those of the University of Central Lancashire or any of its staff or associated parties in anyway. They are the views of the authors and are intended for the reader of this book only. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the authors. 3
Introduction. When two of my students approached me with the idea of producing a ‘rough guide on how to gain a placement in Graphic Design’ I thought what a great idea. Why has no one thought of this before? I know there are already several very good publications out there that touch on the subject but they are far from comprehensive and most importantly they are not peer to peer. A student guide to placements produced by students is a different proposition all together and educationally somewhat of a unique concept.
2. Unlike the majority of work produced within the design world, which by its nature is so often transient, the advice and tips contained within this document are in the main timeless. Yes, there is no doubt a large helping of common sense in most of the advice but that is not to say it should not be committed to print for others to imbibe. 3. The majority of students tend never to listen to a word I say anyway. Andy Bainbridge
In my capacity as an educator and as an industrial placement tutor I feel well placed to endorse and champion this project and for several reasons: 1. The sharing of experiences, ideas and knowledge should be at the heart of undertaking a period of study at university. Plus I have always maintained that students are best placed to learn considerably more from each other than they ever will off any individual tutor or tutors.
A Starting Point. Placements are an important and integral part of the design world. They provide invaluable experience to undergraduates and are quickly becoming, if they aren’t already, the main route to getting a permanent job for graduates. Placements provide the bridge from university to employment; it’s the time for both you and a design studio to see whether you like each other, to see if your work is right for the work they produce and, something we found to be most important, to see whether you, as a personality fit in with the rest of the studio. We were blissfully ignorant to all of this as we packed up our possessions and moved down to London one Sunday in August. We were starting our first placement at the design powerhouse that is The Partners the very next day and we thought it’d be a piece of cake. Over the coming weeks we became increasingly horrified by how ill prepared we were and decided on one (alcohol fueled) evening that we wouldn’t idly stand by and let this happen to other unsuspecting students. We would produce a guide to help future students turn from university undergraduates into well rounded placements and hopefully, with said development, into fully employed junior designers. 4
It’s a subject that has been touched upon (albeit briefly) many times, notably Creative Review’s 2004 Placement Survey and Adrian Shaughnessy excellent How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul. But as with these examples, most literature that touches on the theme of placements within the graphic design industry comes predominately from the point of view of the employer. We wanted to give advice from the front-line (as it were), which is why whilst we have contacted leading figures in design to contribute, our main aim was to get their experiences of actually being on placement themselves, as well as any advice they may have for future placements. We don’t claim by any means to have been the perfect placement students and haven’t written this book as a testament to our far superior knowledge of how this invaluable process works. The aim of this book is to give advice on stuff we have experienced and done whilst on placements. But, maybe more importantly, advice on stuff we hadn’t done, the things we wished we had done, or the knowledge we wished we’d had when on our placements or before we embarked on our placement journey.
So with help from people who are already well rooted within the world of graphic design (whom we have plagued excessively for placement experiences of their own, tips, advice and do’s and don’ts we hope to provide a comprehensive guide to making your placement experience a valuable and successful one. Mathew Johnson Jordan Stokes
#001 – Tommy Shaugnessy: Alright chaps, Can’t really help you myself. Never took on a placement. Never been on placement. Never lived in London. On the other hand, if you still want a placement in Manchester when you get back, we’ll probably still be looking. Finding good timber is surprisingly difficult! Like the idea of the project look forward to seeing it. Cheers.
After 200+ emails sent, this was our first response. 5
#002 – Peter Richardson:
Design student seeks similar. You should be scouring design blogs, magazines, and awards annuals all the time looking out for work that interests you, work that makes you tick and work that you think suits your particular style or way of thinking. Do this on a regular basis, make a note of what company or agency has done the work, check out their website and keep on checking back to see new stuff. These are the companies that you should be aiming to go on a placement with, you’ll be wasting both your and the agencies’ time applying for placements that don’t really suit you as a designer. So get looking and researching as soon as possible - The better you know the industry, the better you’ll know where you’re going to fit into it when you graduate.
Image – Peter Richarson’s unintentional submission.
#003 – Andy Lodge: This could be the one, I love every job they’ve ever done, their work’s amazing. I can’t believe I’ve got a placement. They must have had shit loads of applicants, this is what I’ve worked so hard for. That elusive first job, the first rung on the ladder, this could be it – Shit! I’ve only got one chance, got to give it my best shot, everything I’ve got. Don’t cock-it-up, just don’t forget, really got to sell be myself. 6
#004 – Emma Jones: Get a notebook and stick in it a list of all the places you’d like to go on placement, include even those which seem comically out of reach. Always punch above your weight, because people can only turn you down. Don’t be put off by an agency’s reputation. When we were first approached by our placement tutor and the idea was put to us that we should take a year out to pursue experience in ‘the industry’ We thought we would be going to a couple of local companies, maybe work our way up to Manchester and, eventually, after learning the ropes for nine months or so; we may be able to get ourselves into a London agency or two. But what was put to us was that we just get on with it, go straight down to London and get interviews at the places we have looked at and researched over our years of design education. Places we’ve dreamt of working for. That we did without looking back, between us we did eighteen months of placements at some of the best agencies that London has to offer and in doing so, we came out of it infinitely better designers than we would have been had we just followed the original plan of slowly working up the rungs on the ladder. Just never sell yourself short and be forgiving in your choices of places to contact - aim high.
#005 Stuart Beverage: Think about who you are talking to. Everyone will tell you to do your research, find out all you can about the studio you are approaching tailor your folder to highlight the work you feel will prove that they should give you a chance. 7
#006 – Si Griffin: Who the f**k are you? Please excuse the mildly aggressive headline. It’s not meant to be rude, just emphasize a point. And the point is this: What are the agency buying when they hire you? In the same way that you’d want to know exactly what you’re buying if you were spending £12 – 15k on a car, the agency you’re hoping to get a job at want to know exactly what they’re getting if they give you a contract. In my – some might say limited – experience of dealing with students, placements and I can’t think of a third thing to write here, there’s never enough thought put in to working out exactly who you are and what you can offer the agency. Yes, you have your portfolio, which no doubt has a selection of lovingly crafted campaigns that show your broad range of skills, ideas and tones. But the problem arises when there’s such a breadth of skills, ideas and tones that you become a master of none. Yes, you are Jack of All Trades. And unless the agency you’ve approached is specifically looking for a Jack of All Trades then I doubt they’ll be parting with their money. They no longer know if they’re buying a designer, an illustrator, a photographer, a typographer, an art director or a digital designer. You’re in no man’s land. I don’t know exactly why this is – perhaps the product of not wanting to be pigeon holed into any one discipline, or perhaps just misdirected enthusiasm. But it seems fairly standard these days that every portfolio/ campaign should have an iPhone App, some sort of social media campaign, probably a clever use of QR codes, some adverts, a ‘viral’ film, some press ads, some business cards and a whole host of other add ons. The result is that people forget what they’re hiring you for. (There are exceptions to the rule – some people are just great at everything they touch, but they’re few and far between. And probably have a job already.) Go back to the car analogy. I’m sure there’s a better analogy to use, but I’m sticking with the car one. So you want to buy a car, and you go to the car dealership. There are only two boxes you need to tick:
So you speak to the salesman who has too much gel in his hair and smells of stale coffee and he gives you two choices: 1) A small car that’s cheap to run. 2) A car that’s not that small or cheap to run, but it has an extra gear. And 30 litres more boot space. And it’s got a built in satnav system, and Bluetooth (even though you don’t have a Bluetooth phone) and the rear seats can pivot around so you can have a picnic in the boot. Which, you know, might be useful one day if you go camping or something, but you’ve never liked camping since that weekend in Wales. Do you go for the car that doesn’t really tick either box, but ticks some other boxes that you never wanted ticked? Or do you go for the car that ticks the two most important boxes that you wanted ticked when you started this whole car-buying, box-ticking experience? Sure, some people will always take the second car. There’s nothing I can do about that. Maybe I should have thought harder about using a different analogy. But any agency worth their money will pick the car that’s small and cheap to run. (Or the person that ticks whatever boxes they’ve got to tick on their list.) In the same way that you analyse a brief to work out what the best way to sell/ position a product is, you need to work out what the best way to sell/ position yourself to an agency is. If you want a job as a designer, make sure your book’s full of the best design you can do – same applies if you want to make apps, or draw pictures or write words or make tea or sell newspapers. Sounds obvious I know, but it seems to have been forgotten somewhere along the line. I blame digital – everyone else does. So in summary: Work out who you are. Play to your strengths. What makes you great. Not what makes you kind of OK. And be true to yourself – if they don’t like it, then the chances are you wouldn’t have liked it there anyway.
1) It needs to be small.
That’s my advice at the time of writing. Obviously I reserve the right to change my mind at any point in the future.
2) It needs to be cheap to run.
I enjoy socialising and going to the cinema with friends. When you come to writing a CV, email or letter to a company you’ve found that you want to approach for a placement, make sure you try and do it from a design point of view. Just bear in mind that your experience as a paperboy/girl isn’t relevant to your budding career as a graphic designer (You’d write that as ‘day to day running of a small publishing distribution agency’ or something). A bad CV or mailer sent to an agency, no matter how good you might be, can mean the end of your chances of ever getting a job or placement there. I was on placement at a top design agency when the postman made his daily drop off, on this particular morning there was postage still waiting to be paid on one item that was being delivered. It was a student’s mailer. A student had sent them a copy of their CVmailer in the hope of getting a placement or job but hadn’t even paid for the postage, so the company had to pay for the privilege of seeing it. But, of course, the company didn’t pay for the item and so it was never opened. Because of a pretty silly mistake at the student’s end, their work didn’t even make it past the door that day. Just always make sure if you make the effort to contact somewhere, you pay attention to the details and put some thought into it.
#007 – Nick Jones: What amazes me are the levels of arrogance, overconfidence and loucheness, laziness and stupidity that pours into our mail boxes, both physical and electronically. Letters that start with Hi Nick get trashed, I have never met them.
#008 – James Greenfield: If the works good enough I will always see people and give them time. You don’t have to be perfect or have all the answers, just something I want to know more about. Gimmicks are just that. My pet hate is people sending me weird things, or turning up at the studio unannounced.
Spell cheque all yuor emails and letters. This one is straight from captain obvious’ top drawer - But designers spend a lot of time checking over their own work for spelling mistakes, grammar errors and punctuation mishaps so it becomes second nature to read everything with a perfectionist’s eye. You should double proof-read the letters or emails you are planning to send to a company and make sure that your writing is free from glaringly obvious errors* Failure to do this can mean that people get distracted from you, or your work, and that’s never a good thing. Ensure you put everything you do through a spell checker to wriggle out the blatant mistakes. Then, you need to get a “human spell checker” to have a read through it; spell checkers on computers can tend to hand you bastardized American versions of words and they can’t be trusted. Once you’re glad you have thoroughly checked over your letter or email for discrepancies you can send it off fully confident you won’t take away the focus from your work with a silly spelling or grammar mistake.
#009 – Kath Tudbull: Try to get the company name right too: I recently got an email that said: Dear Kath, I really admire the work you do at Aboud Sodano...
*The mistakes you keep noticing throughout this book have been left in on purpose, as a demonstration of the point we’re making here. If you don’t notice any, disregard this and read on.
Always get the names of people your contacting right. Design agencies get thousands of emails a year from people asking for placements. People can be pretty brutal when it comes to choosing which ones to consider, which will get an interview and which ones won’t even get there email read. This point is concerning the latter; if you send an email to a company make it out to a person, not “To Whom it may Concern” or “Dear Creative Director”. Get on a company’s website, stalk them on Twitter or Linked In and find out the name of the person you want to contact and, most importantly (a point we can’t stress enough) - spell the person’s name correctly! If it isn’t available on the web, get the phone number of the agency, ring them up and just ask for the name of the Creative Director, or whomever you are wanting to contact. If necessary, ask them how to spell it. It is a very small thing, yet a very important one at the same time – especially to the person who you are contacting. They have been spelling their name correctly for most of their life (you’d hope - for their sake) and it will stand out like a sore thumb when they are given something upon which their name is spelt incorrectly. Not to mention it will usually result in your email being deleted, unread. 10
Image – Email from a student. The designer’s name was in his email address. Thanks to Craig Oldham for this.
#010 –Tom Heaton: Beware of the template email You’re about to leave university and it’s suddenly dawned on you — “holy crap, I need to actually find someone who’ll employ me. I need a strategy and fast.” — but I would advise everyone to be extremely careful with template emails. It’s so easy to make tiny mistakes that can pretty much ruin your chances with the click of a mouse. A couple of years ago we received the following email (I’ve changed the sender’s name for obvious reasons): ---------------Hello XXXX, I am a recent graduate from (university name removed) and I’m currently looking for placement and job opportunities. XXXX is an agency I’ve been following closely for some time and I really admire the work you did for XXXX. I’ve attached my portfolio and CV for you, although I would jump at the chance to come to XXXX’s studio to see how you work. If you have any opportunities I would love to discuss them with you. Kind regards, Lauren Ipsum ---------------Our reply to her should have been: Hello Lauren, XXXX off. Thanks, Tom ---------------We didn’t actually reply — despite being hugely tempted — and you can see why. This small accident completely gives the wrong first impression. My advice would be to take advantage of the age of social media. Open up discussions with agencies and designers you admire. Talk about the latest design news and have an opinion. Don’t just say “that’s really nice” or “I don’t like it”. Justify yourself. Design is completely subjective, but your opinion will position you in our eternal love/hate debate. People engage with people, not automated robot emails. It’ll take 20 x longer to tailor each email to the audience, but I guarantee you’ll get 20 x more responses.
You have 96 unread messages. People in design are very busy people, so if you have sent an email, letter, CV or examples of your work and haven’t heard back straight away - don’t worry. Some places will reply quickly, others will take a bit longer and some, well, might not reply at all. Life’s mean like that sometimes. But it’s those who take a bit longer that this point really applies to. As we’ve said, people in design are very, very busy people (university hours, it ain’t) so when an email or a letter comes in from a student it’s never going to be at the top of the list of priorities; on a busy day they can be easily cast aside, ignored or just forgotten about. If it has been a while since you have sent a company something, try and get in contact again, and if you still don’t hear anything you can always go for third time lucky...
But I think that’s probably the point where you have passed being persistent and become annoying. The best thing to do is to play it by ear; if someone has emailed you back and said they’ll be in contact but then hasn’t been, email them a reminder. If you have sent a couple of emails to a company you want to go on placement with and heard nothing back it’s probably best to leave it and move on, at least for a while.
#011 – Steve Lloyd: Now then. I’ve been crap, I am crap and I can only apologise for the tardy nature of my response. I know you won’t take it personally and you’ll understand that things have been (and continue to be) a bit hectic here. I know you have chased me for some copy on a regular basis, and this is quite apt when discussing the whole nature of placement. Quite apart from a modicum of talent, the main prerequisite for the aspiring placement student is Perseverance, or even perseverance, perseverance, perseverance. As you can probably see from the appointments in my aspiring tea makers diary, There are a lot of appointments, these are the tip of the iceberg, as I’m sure you know. The first port of call is finding design groups you might like to work at, then the sending of CV’s, calling back, chasing up and in a few cases actually getting a foot in the door. That was certainly my placement experience, a lot of phone calls and CV postage, 6 months of couch surfing, culminating in umpteen interviews, 5 placements and ultimately a full time job after college. My advice (for what it’s worth) is that if you have a connection with a contact at a design company don’t forget to mention it, and if you don’t make sure your CV is memorable in some way. (did you get my pink t-shirt? or length of industrial tape is more likely to elicit a response than have you seen my CV?) whether you get the place, or even the interview is another matter, but you can’t beat memorable (or even newsworthy) Hope this goes some way to the release of my battered old diary and you have some fun with your book. Keep me posted as to how it goes, hope to see you both down here for a beer soon. Cheers,
Image – Steve Lloyd’s placement diary from 1991. 12
#012 – Shaun Dew: Hi Matt and Jordan. I like your idea and I’d really like to help. I’m pushed for time at the moment, when is your deadline for a contribution? Shaun. We never heard anything back. People are busy. 13
Keep your portfolio clean and tidy, dust and pubic hair free. As disgusting as it sounds it’s a given that pubic hair will find its way into your portfolio (no one knows how it gets there, it just does) and so will plenty of dust, especially if it’s been more than a whole day since you last opened it. So pre-interview give your portfolio a good going over with some pledge and a dust cloth (maybe even a quick hoover). The last thing your going to be wanting to do is brushing off a rogue pube while showing your portfolio to a prospective employer.
Size does matter. The length of a portfolio is something that has no definitive “right” answer, speaking to different people within design we received different answers as to what they thought was the best amount of pages or pieces of work to put in your portfolio for interview. It’s a subjective question that is as much dependent on the person who is interviewing as it is on the person attending the interview; one interviewer might like seeing a wide range of work and lots of it, while another might prefer a portfolio that has been edited down to the core, best pieces of work a student has to offer something that is quick and well presented; short and sweet. It has to be said that the second option would always be our choice and seemed to be the option that most people we spoke to preferred in the industry. Edit it down to the pieces of work you think are best; if you have something in your portfolio that you think is weak, you won’t present it as well as the pieces you know are strong (so don’t include them). Keep it between 8 and 12 pages long and never load the front with your best work and then end on a weak piece, or vice versa, and you can’t go wrong. 14
#013 – Rob Ball: I bought a new shirt for the occasion. First mistake. It was a baking hot day and I turned up with a different colour shirt than when I’d set out. I even had sweaty hair. Mistake two was underestimating the power of plastic portfolio sleeves to attract small hairs, so the first project had an unexpected short and curly which I passed off as a typographic flourish.
15 Re-read your briefs and drift through your sketchbooks that have led up to your work you’ve included in your portfolio. Remember old versions of the work and anything interesting that led you up to the final solution and just generally re-familiarize yourself with your work and how and why you have produced it. Not being completely familiar and able to talk about your work is another thing that can trip you up in an interview and make it quite an uncomfortable experience, which can be detrimental to you getting a placement somewhere. So, the night before an interview, pick up your portfolio and have a flick through it to make sure you remember why you did the work, what it was for and what the original brief was that led you to your final solution.
Be sure you know your portfolio off by heart. This way up. Make sure you know which way round your portfolio is (a most condescending suggestion if I ever heard one) But this is the sort of minor mishap that can turn you into a gibbering wreck for the rest of your interview. Place it on the table or desk and open it up straight away and begin with a charming and professional presentation of your work... Or, place it on the table and open it up to the back page of your portfolio (oh wait that’s not right...), twist it around quickly and then it’s upside down, get it the right way round and continue with your now hot, flustered and awkward presentation of your work. It’s something we did a couple of times between us and it does make a difference. The way you stop yourself from doing it is by placing an inconspicuous sticker on the bottom right hand corner of your portfolio, if you can see the sticker, and it is on the right hand side, you know you have the green light to open it up and start showing off your work.
#014 – Craig Oldham: Injurious effects can be moderated by the taking of a grain of salt. If you sift through the tide of student emails that almost every studio is subjected, their commonality is that they all ask for something. And in my opinion, whilst the foolish ask, straight-up “Got any jobs?”, the wiser seek “advice”. It’s one of those t-shirt-psychology-mind-tricks that, with seemingly no commitment, it’s easier to get through the door when you don’t ask a question which has a definite answer (because turning someone away, who’s only asking for a bit of ‘advice’, makes you sound like an absolute twat citing the usual no-time excuse). However, it’s all good getting the advice, what you do with it is the crucial thing.
A few months later I was asked to do a few portfolio surgeries for D&AD, and on my itinerary I saw a familiar name—PP. PP rocked up in time for his slot and sat down. He whipped out the zippy-uppyring-binder-folio-thing, opened it, and laid it on the desk in front of me. I sat there for five minutes and he didn’t say a word. And another five minutes. I just stared at his first project wondering if there was something I was missing. “So remind me what this project is again…” I asked. “Oh, you want me to talk about it?” PP replied, puzzled. “Well, Id’ like to know more about what I’m seeing, and what you were thinking…” “Oh. Right. I thought you wanted it to talk for me?”
Once upon a time, I agreed to see a student (whose forename and surname started with the same letter hence, from now on, we shall humorously refer to him as PP) and offer my advice on his work and portfolio.
As it turns out, after speaking with me and re-working his book, he’d been rocking up and presenting it in silence. He’d been to three other agencies and waited for the viewer to become irate and uncomfortable and throw a question at him before speaking.
He came to the studio, bore the usual traits—attire: smart-casual; accessories: zippy-uppy-ring-binder-folio-thing; appearance: slightly nauseous—and we went through his book. It wasn’t that bad, but for every project, he’d crammed the respective page with what looked like every photo he’d ever taken of it. My feedback to him was that he needed to step-back from the work he was obviously too close to, try to look through the eyes of another and distill each page down to communicate efficiently all the stories you want that project to tell.
And the morale of this particular tale is that advice, good or bad, is to be taken on board and considered in the context of you, your work, and your intentions, aims, and ambitions. It isn’t all gospel to be adhered to word-for-word.
“Do that, get it right, and it will actually help you out a lot, because it will do most of the talking for you.” I said “Then you’re just reinforcing what’s on the page rather over-explaining or confusing people. Does that make sense?” “Yeah. Yeah. I know what you mean. Yeah. I’ll do that. Yeah.” PP replied. And on he went.
If someone gives you a convincing degree of relevant criticism then you have to take it on board and make an informed decision. The same applies if they offer you a “I don’t like that” response. But when it comes to receiving advice, you have the upper hand, because no matter what that advice is, you’re still in a position to do something or nothing with it. Don’t just do whatever a person says because they’re a step up the chain from you. Make a judgement after analysing their feedback, because ultimately, there is no right and wrong. And you’ll never please everyone.
#015 – Mike Rigby: Just try to relax, be passionate and have something interesting to say about your work. Don’t over complicate explanations or waffle on too much, stick to the point, keep it concise, practice in front of friends, take advice and above all don’t be cocky. 16
#016 – Jim Quail: So that’s my advice, be interested in what everyone is doing, you’ll learn from them and they’ll involve you.
Be enthusiastic in interviews. If you can’t get excited about your work when you are showing it to someone else, then heavens knows how they’re supposed to. You have to know your projects inside out, how you came up with the idea, where and when, any problems you may have had with it anything to show that it’s not just a piece of work you have thrown together last minute and not really put much thought into. We had a piece of work that, despite some upturned noses from a couple of tutors and the difficulties of art directing a football stadium full of people (the majority of whom had no conception of what us being design students meant), got in to the D&AD book that year. We’d always try to bring up that story in an interview and, nine times out of ten, it would spark the person who was interviewing one of us to recall a story of similar frustration with an idea of their own. Make sure you know little details about your work; be passionate about it and you can’t go wrong. A designer might be interviewing 5 more people that week for placements but if you come in and show you have a passion and an enthusiasm for the subject and your work you won’t be quickly forgotten.
#017 – Kristy Powell: Be confident but not cocky. I think it helps to show you believe in your work, and have conviction for your ideas my first interviews were so scary, and I felt so intimidated by ‘real’ designers so subsequently mumbled and rushed through my portfolio just to get the interview over as quickly as possible. But I realised that actually there is nothing to be scared of as the person interviewing you has been in your position and above all they want to help you. 18
Don’t be late. Like with any interview or arranged meeting you should never be late; you have set a time to meet up and so should be there at that time. Lateness is something that doesn’t bother a very small percentage of people, but the rest of that percentage - it really pisses them off. Just bear that in mind and presume that the person who is going to be interviewing you is one of those people. Set off and aim to be close to the destination of your interview with a good 10 minutes to spare.
In the time beforehand you can grab a drink, go through your work again or just generally prepare yourself for your interview some more. You’ll never be thanked for turning up on time, because it’s something that your expected to do, but you might be sorry for turning up late.
Image – Our map of London agencies. String, plastic drawing pins and post-its on cork board. 19
Suits really aren’t necessary This is something that most people we have spoken to have mentioned, be it people we’ve been on placement with or the people who have given us an interview. I was completely convinced that for my trip to London town I would be wearing a suit, because that’s what people wear to interviews. I was all set to go shopping with my Mum, who had kindly agreed to buy me a suit, when I found out that wasn’t the case. As well as being quite cheesed off that I wouldn’t be getting a dandy new suit, I was quite surprised, as were a lot of people in our group that also thought it was the norm to wear a suit to an interview. The truth is that Graphic Design is quite a dressed down profession. Don’t get us wrong, you can’t turn up to your interview dressed in a sack and shoes made from plastic bags, but keep it smart and don’t be over dressed. We’re no Trinny and Susanna so the best suggestion that we can offer is to just wear a shirt or a smart t-shirt with some jeans or something. Most importantly remember to wear something you’re comfortable in.
#018 – Kath Tudbull: Don’t wear a suit to your placement interview, don’t be better dressed than the designers, they will hate you. Once we had an intern who wore Prada shoes constantly and one of the senior designers couldn’t speak to him.
#019 – Tom Shaw: You don’t need to wear a suit, but don’t look like you’ve crawled out of a skip, men, make-up is a no no, even if it is a popular look. #020 – Kate Addy: Dressing up as a superhero and going to interviews! I quickly pointed out this is not the way to get remembered. Well, I suppose you will get remembered, but for all the wrong reasons. 20
#021 – Mark Ross:
Image – Mark Ross’s submission, beautifully crafted.
How long is a piece of string? The duration of a placement is subject to a ridiculous amount of variables, so it’s difficult to give definitive lengths of time for them. Different companies offer different set lengths of placement, if you impress on these set length placements you can be kept on, or you could choose to leave. Financial reasons might force you to leave placements, agencies might choose to let you go early (for personal or financial reasons) or you might be offered a job at a company you have previously been on a placement with - and numerous other reasons can shorten or extend placement time. But in general, the shortest placement period you’re going to encounter is two weeks, which is usually a trial period that extends
to a one month placement; then you have fixed one month placements which, again, are subject to extension. From then on you will go up in periods of one month; one month placements, two month placements, three month placements etc. By the by, you won’t really ever get anywhere that will commit to a student for over six months unless it’s a placement scheme set up for a D&AD or YCN competition brief winner, because it is too much of a risk. Consultancies try and get in as many students as possible over a year, essentially playing the numbers; the more students they can get in, the better chance they have of finding the next big talent.
Have your details handy. Maybe a very obvious suggestion, obvious to the fact of suspicion (are these people just trying to fill pages or what?). The answer to that, disappointingly, is no. Having your bank details and national insurance number with you on your first day at a placement is a very important thing to remember. Not important to the agency, but important for to you. If you neglect to remember both of these you might not get paid on time, or not at all (and you definitely want to get paid) so always have them written down somewhere.
#022 – Kev Lan: Do placements. You will learn more in 3 months of a placement than you ever did in your third year of your degree. At the same point, do good long placements, not fortnights you won’t get to understand how the studio works in 2 weeks. 22
#023 – Ian Appleby: I found it amazing after I graduated how little some companies offered for placements in London but you are drawn into doing them because they might be a job at the end of it. ***** & ****** paid me £100 per week. After 3/4 years at Uni I was getting paid less than the cleaners and receptionist (minimum wage is £200 for someone my age). On my year out, ********* offered £70 a week to placements, and they’re a big company who can afford to pay more. Being paid. Asking about payment when you’re at an interview for a placement seems to be some what of a taboo - the story goes that as you’re just a student, and the chance to work for the company that you’re currently being interviewed for is such a privilege, asking about being paid can come across as being slightly inappropriate. How dare you?! You shouldn’t need to be paid to work at company x, you should pay for the honor of working at company x...! And so on. There is a lot of truth in that, if you are going on a placement somewhere, especially if it is at one of the larger and more renowned agencies, the agency is essentially doing you a favor by letting you come in and get experience. So you asking in an interview “How much are you going to be paying me then?” can seem a bit cheeky to some. It’s okay to ask if you’re actually going to be paid at all, from there it’s not completely discouraged that you ask how much, if they reply yes to that first question. But always make sure you ask at an appropriate time and never make it seem like that is more important than you getting experience with them. If you don’t want to ask how much, or there isn’t a time during your interview that seems appropriate to do so, get an email address and contact the agency again before you start your placement with them. Always make sure you ask IF you’re actually going to get paid though. There are companies out there that don’t pay placements at all.
#024 – Dana Robertson: On the whole most placements are hard working and enthusiastic and have a great can do attitude. It is easy to get dismissive of placements over time or get placement fatigue, but I think it is important to keep in mind the challenges they face, being skint, a bit worried, can be in a lonely place, have to keep being keen, sometimes for a year or so, working with grumpy over worked designers, getting given some real dirge to do sometimes and finally just want to be liked a tough place to be. 23
Find somewhere to live first. This advice is another one from the “wished we had done that” bag of tricks because we didn’t do this (not from want of trying). London is a difficult place to find a flat if you aren’t down there to go on viewing and you definitely want to see where you’re going to be living before you commit to a 6 or 12 month contract with someone. The real difficulty if you don’t find anywhere before you have started a placement is that you’ll be left doing what we did; working from 10-6 each day whilst the Letting agencies will be operating normal office hours of 9-5.
You’ll end up having to gallivant around London on your dinner hour trying to find a flat. In the majority of cases you’ll return back late (which never really goes down too well), and it’s a distraction from what you’re meant to be doing: working darn hard for your lovely employers. So if you can, get somewhere long term before you start a placement. But if you can’t, don’t worry, it still isn’t the end of the world and hopefully the next few pages offer some insight on what to do.
Student halls and youth hostels are a good place to start, if you don’t find anywhere. A lot of people we talked to, including ourselves (yes, we talk to ourselves), were unable to find more permanent accommodation before starting their placements, so opted to, or were forced to, live in temporary accommodation while they looked for a flat or a house to rent. If you are starting your placements during university holidays, student halls are available to rent during these periods in various price ranges. And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy there are always Youth Hostels which again vary in price from place to place.
Image – Room in Westminster student halls where we both stayed for 2 weeks at the start of our run of placements. Regrettable. 24
Sofa Surfing If you have any friends or relatives living anywhere near where you’re going to be doing placements, have a ring around and ask if you can crash on a sofa or in a spare room for a bit while you get yourself sorted. Sofa surfing is how a lot of people start off their placement journey, it’s free (unless you have pretty tight friends or relatives), so you aren’t spending money like you would be in a hostel, hotel or student halls and it gives you a base to work from which is with people you know, people who know the area and who will help you out through your first few days and weeks while you’re looking for somewhere. Speaking to people for this book we discovered a few that sofa surfed their way through over 6 months of placements, going from friend to friend, house to house without ever getting anywhere of their own. Which you can do, but as a long term prospect we’d never personally recommend it; the lack of having your own space and the idea of waking up in someone else’s front room while people around you are getting their breakfast, for over a month, isn’t an attractive thought. But if there are any living room nomads out there then sofa surfing could be for you. Everyone else, do it for a few weeks while you find your feet, and then move into a place of your own.
#025 – Tom Shaw: I begged sofa space with people I knew, 3 different sofas on my 2 week placement! When I moved to London, I stayed with my stepsister until she was just about crazy! I ended up renting a place in the east end.
#026 – Bob Young: I think you’d hear similar stories from a lot of designers but I came down to London on a bit of a wing and a prayer, I had my placement at The Partners confirmed and that was it, I didn’t really know anyone who lived in London at that point (or not well enough to crash on their couch for a month anyway) so after a desperate search on the web and some pleading phone calls I managed to wangle a room in a seriously dodgy hostel round the back of Russell Square. It was a bit of a shit hole, it had a plastic covered mattress that meant every time I moved in bed it would sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies. There was also nowhere to keep food so I had to eat out every night for what turned into a Three a month stay. Slowly a few of my course mates decided to make the move down to London while I was about a month or so into my placement, we would meet up a few times a week and trade horror stories about the hostels each of us where staying in. The most horrific of which included my mate Peasland having to share a bunk bed with an American traveller who he had slept under for 2 weeks. The guy seemed pleasant enough during the day but had the nasty habit of setting his watch alarm for 2am every night so he could try and secretly polish one off under his duvet. He would usually get up such a speed that he would rock the bed back and forth with Peasland lying wide eyed and mentally violated underneath. Peasland spent most of the rest of his time on placement sleeping on the floor in my hostel room (probably being kept awake by the sound of Rice Krispies).
#027 – Mark Hurst: When I was on placement at The Chase in Manchester with my fellow student Mike Wallis we worked with Andy Bainbridge who had just started there full time. We all studied at Preston but Mike (a Londoner) had got rid of his room for the summer and Andy had as well because he had just left college, so I put the lads up in my one bedroom flat until Andy found a flat in Manchester. Andy and Mike had to crash on the two couches so it was cramped for them and tempers soon became frayed. We would get up at 7am and walk down Plungy Road, past the Victoria building and to the train station. It was an 8.15 train and if we were really lucky we might get an egg and bacon bap in the cafe paradise run by the old sailor who cooked on the ships up until that year and had a grey beard down to his tits. Sometimes the lads would speed walk past then run to catch the train and I’d wait for a bap and casually saunter onto the train as the doors shut. I’d have no choice but to eat it in front of them before it got cold (which I think was the start of the bad feeling) Forty five minutes later we’d arrive at Deansgate and walk another fifteen minutes to the office, do a hectic day’s work then head back to Deansgate. When we were back in Preston we’d get enough out of date food from the supermarket by the station for an evening meal with our Chase wages of under a pound and walk back past the Adelphi pub (and five more) until we got to my flat. Then we’d sit and watch telly. Every day was the same and familiarity bred contempt until we were really getting on each others tits. It got to the stage where Mike was so pissed off with me and Andy that we would go over the road to the Royal Oak to nurse a pint of bitter and bitch about how come Mike had the flat to himself and we were stuck outside. Then eventually Andy’s flat on top of the Arndale Centre came through. It was a lovely roof complex with gardens and big sunny windows and had a waiting list; but he managed to get a studio flat as a colleague wrote him a recommendation. Mike was so sick of everything that he managed to beg and cajole Andy into letting him stay in his new flat for the last three months of his placement. Even though it was a studio and had no furniture at all Mike was willing to sleep on the floor just to get out of Preston and away from me. In the end Andy got a moving in date sometime in August and Sandra from the Chase gave him a very old sprung sofa bed which we carried round and broke up to make two beds. So there were two mattresses on the floor next to each other facing a tiny black and white TV next to a large window. But to Mike it was heaven and he couldn’t wait to move his stuff. That evening we took our usual route back to Preston and Mike spent the evening packing his worldly goods into a black bin bag in front of me and Andy. He made a big thing of it, taking the piss out of me as he packed. MIKE: “CD’s, all my clothes, my favourite blue roll neck, and my book that I can read in peace because I won’t be anywhere near you, Hurst. There. Everything I own in the world and I’m off. Andy, we’re going to have a great time in Manchester and Hurst can fuck off on the train every day!” The next morning me and Andy walked along to the train station in the sun with Mike skipping alongside with his black bin bag looking like the happiest bin man in the world. We got an egg and bacon bap in the cafe and then got a seat on the crowded train. People
were giving Mike weird looks because a milk carton was poking out the top of his only worldly goods but we just joked that it was all the rubbish he had in the world and took the piss out of his choice of bag saying he was a twat for dumping his rubbish in it. We got to work and one of the one of the designers took the piss, “what you got all that rubbish for Mike?” “I’m moving mate! Going to live with Andy B”. “Oh, OK”. And he plonked his chattels next to his desk. As usual we worked late until the cleaners arrived and one of the girls tried to take his worldly goods and bin it. Mike jumped up shouting at her and he wrestled the bag back from her. He was moving to a better place and this was his stuff! Eventually the three of us went round to Andy’s new place to get Mike ensconced and let him unpack. He settled down on his old mattress, corrected his national health Mr Magoo specs (mikes prescription is in double figures) and picked up his bag. Andy asked why he had so much rubbish in the top. “You might think its rubbish but it’s everything I own in the world mate and right now I’m going to open my bag, get out my book, have a lie down on the mattress with my favourite blue jumper as the sun streams through the window in this lovely sunny flat and I’m going to enjoy a good read. Then he untied his bin bag. MIKE: “It’s rubbish. ITS RUBBISH!!!” ANDY: “It’s not that bad mate.” MIKE: “NO... IT’S RUBBISH!!! IT’S RUBBISH!!!!!!” MARK: “Did you put the bins out last night?” Mike was gasping for breath and pulling out pizza boxes and potato peelings: “NO. NO. NO. ITS’ RUBBISH! ITS RUBBISH!!!!!!” ANDY: “RUBBISH?? ARE YOU SURE?” MIKE: “IT’S ALL RUBBISH! ALL OF IT. RUBBISH!!!!!!!!!!!” Huge ballooning laughs inflated in my chest and I nearly burst a blood vessel keeping it in. Andy burst out laughing and didn’t stop for about ten minutes, but then only for a few seconds until he saw the bin bag again. Every day for weeks after that Andy couldn’t stop laughing whenever he saw a bin bag, or anything to do with bins, or a milk cartons or a pizza boxes. Anything really. The mere mention of the word ‘rubbish’ was enough to send him apoplectic. Basically he didn’t stop laughing at Mike for a few years. Some years later we heard this story but Mike had told it and Andy was the tosser who had thrown out all his belongings to my Preston bin men and carried a bag of smelly old rubbish throughout his entire day and into his brand new life.
An Expensive Drunken Nap. Jord: I was on a placement at The Chase who had kindly asked me along to the Alan Fletcher exhibition at The Design Museum and a few drinks on London’s South-bank. We were joined Matt and by our tutor Andy.
guard and onto the cold London street. After ringing for bus routes to get home about 6 times, and after speaking to Matt until my phone ran out of batteries (with him getting no sense out of me) I decided to go and buy some food and wait around for a bit.
Matt: Wasn’t even sure if I was invited. Free drinks you say? I’m coming.
Matt: Jord was really, really drunk and I couldn’t get a single word of sense out of him over the phone, so I told / drunkenly yelped at him, to sit tight and I would find us a taxi home.
We visited a number of bars and gradually got more and more merry until we ended up in a pub, where a few friends of The Chase were having a bit of a session. A few hours (and beers) later we left the pub. Not really knowing where we were, let alone which way to go, we somehow stumbled into a tube station on the South-bank. Matt: We were changing at Embankment, so as our tube train pulled up to the station we were getting off at, I got off the tube train- as you do. Jord: The next thing I remember is opening my eyes to see Matt on the other side of closing train doors, with me still on the train, slowly moving away. I got off at the next station, which was Victoria, only to be quickly ushered out of the station by a security
Jord: I found a suitable eatery and entered only to find out I had just £1.70 to my name. I bought the only item of food this measly amount would stretch to (a cherry bake-well) and then proceeded to find a doorway and, under the impression that I wasn’t going to get home, pretty much set up camp for the night. Matt: My mission was to find a taxi at the now closed embankment station at 1am on a Saturday morning. I went straight to it with tact and charm, weaving my way through the drunken fools of London, leaving them in my wake... At least that’s what I thought I was doing at the time. As it turns out I encountered about 50 taxi drivers, all of whom refused to take me home
because, truth be told, I was the most intoxicated person there. Thankfully, a full hour later, one took pity on me and asked me where I wanted to go. I replied, in what I thought at the time was the least drunken way possible, “To Victoria station good sir - to pick up my stranded friend and colleague! Then back to our flat I should think... With haste, please!” Jord: Sometime later I was in-between a state of panic and that of semi-conscious drunken stupor when, out of the haze, appeared a taxi with a familiar face leaning out of the window. The taxi stopped and I heard Matt shout at me to get in. Matt: I wasn’t shouting, it was joyous laughter; seeing him curled up in a shop doorway, ready to spend the night sleeping rough was too much for me - It instantly made me feel better about waiting an hour for a taxi in the freezing cold (I was also quite relieved Jord wasn’t dead). My mood, however, was to be suitably dampened when the taxi driver presented us with the price of our ride. Half an hour (and £80 later) we were drunk. Sorry, home - we were home.
Images – Belgian beer bottles we collected from The Dovetail in Clerkenwell. The birthplace of the placement project and a favoured drinking hole. 27
Tea Break – Alan Herron:
Tea Break – Brian Eagle:
To be honest we loved having students, but especially either the very good ones (very rare) or the very bad ones. The one rule we had was that they were to make tea like there was no tomorrow, make us laugh and buy us pornography when we sent them on errands to the west end.
We had the worlds strangest placement ever, he was so fuckin’ weird he sat in a cardboard box for 3 hours, we eventually taped it up and sent him down in the lift with a ‘DO NOT RETURN’ sticker plastered on the top. No photo or time to be sketching boxes, if you do one I’ll sign it!
Tea Break– Oli Maltby:
Tea Break– Fact: Most common placement injury.
I once wanted to do a bit of work in the style of the US conscription posters, but changing the words to: Don’t ask what this company can do for you. But what brews you can do for your company.
Tea Break – Billy Harkcom:
Tea Break – Kristy Powell:
I can feel it coming in the air tonight...Well this placement student certainly did. Whilst left alone in a small design agency in Newcastle, said drummer found fun and comfort front of stage in a office chair. With only a pen and his own sense of rhythm to occupy himself while the rest of the ‘band’ were at a client meeting. We’ve all thought about it; on stage at Wembley, just you and the crowd. Pump up the volume and go for it!... Ladies and gentlemen for one night only I give you... a studio covered in blue ink. Oh Lord.
Oh, and the most important thing of all if a designer asks how your tea making skills are you should always say they’re excellent! If there is one thing universally in common with design agencies it is our fondness of tea!
Tea Break – Kev Lan: Make tea!!! Perhaps the easiest way for your fellow team workers to love you and want to keep you. It is the stuff that keeps us going and we all love it when we have a placement that makes tea. We have so many placements that come through The Partners that it can be really difficult to remember those that you worked with. Now those that made tea... Well we’ve one lass who’s just got a job here (...she had a good folio as well, mind).
Tea Break– Bob Young: That’s about as much advice as I can give on my experiences besides keep positive and don’t under estimate the power of making a round of tea.
Tea Break – Phil Skegg: We once took on someone from a scheme that dealt with teenagers who had been in trouble with the police. Throughout the whole 2 weeks the teenager showed great willingness and flair in creating their own artworks so at the end of their placement we set them a brief to create a t-shirt for one of our clients. Alas the client never ran the design but it’s still one of our favorite pieces of work done by a placement. The now grown-up teenager is currently serving 18 months for aggravated burglary.
#028 â€“ Oli Maltby: Well, erm. I was lucky, my external examiner was my first boss. Being a placement is a hard one to crack.
Make sure people know you’re there. In situations that you feel uncomfortable or nervous, often the easiest thing to do is to go into yourself, not speak up and generally be very quiet. This is true of being on a placement; you’re only going to be there for a short period of time, it’s a strange environment that you aren’t used to and there are lots of people around you that are used to it. So what you need to avoid doing is what a lot of people would naturally do and crawl into yourself. If you take the route of being quiet and retreating into yourself you’ll quickly become part of the furniture. I had a case of the quiets at one placement in particular and it wasn’t even my first one, it was my second to last. After doing 9 months at other design agencies with no problem speaking up, making conversation, interacting with my work colleagues and so on, I went to do a month at an agency where, whatever it was about the place I’m not sure, it made me feel like I didn’t want to speak up and be my usual chirpy self. Designers are (on the whole) very sociable, friendly
people and it wasn’t as if no one had tried to talk to me, they made lots of effort to do so at first, but I still couldn’t shake myself out of the quiet mood I’d gotten myself in to. Eventually my co-workers pretty much gave up on me and I faded into the background like an unwanted knackered spray booth. The rest of my placement went by and I presume I was quickly forgotten about once I had left. The moral of this story is that you need to put yourself out there and have a voice in the studio you’re working in; simple things like making a brew for everyone or putting your choice of music on will make sure people know you’re there and you’re someone to be taken notice of. Hopefully putting you in a good light when there’s a job going.
Work hard and make sure people know you’re working hard. This is something that got nicknamed “Studio Politics” amongst a couple of us who were down in London doing placements, it’s something we all mentioned a lot and identified as being a very important part of being on a placement. It’s obviously very important to work your bloody socks off on every thing you do (no matter how big or small) at your placement. But just as important as actually working hard is to make sure people know you’re working hard, because if you’re putting in lots of effort but it’s going unnoticed, it just makes the whole thing redundant and unbeneficial in helping you getting a job or a longer stay at an agency. You don’t want to be all “teacher, teacher look what I’ve done” with every single thing you do as soon as you’ve done it, but you need to just mention what you’ve done at appropriate times like team meetings or breaks. A good time we found to do it was as you’re bringing in a fresh brew for everyone and handing them to people “oh I’ve done that thing you wanted doing” as if it just happened to pop into your head then. Obviously it didn’t but it’s times like that when you can make sure people know that you’ve been working hard, have got something done and you’re free to get on with something else for them.
#029 – Jim Quail: Finally, in college or university you tend to get the big marks for great ideas or beautiful styling, but no-one is appreciated as much on a design team as someone who is really helpful, works as hard as they can & has good music taste.
#030 – Alan Herron: Most embarrassing moment as a placement employer was the time that the boys had a sweep stake as to what colour my testicles were after my vasectomy. Each person in the company was to select the Pantone chip they thought matched my as yet un-revealed knacker sack. Unfortunately the shy student from Middlesex was the winner with Pantone 249 and I had to publicly verify the result with a colour matching of swatch to bollock. We begged her not to inform her father.
Speak up or you’ll regret it. The best part about being in any studio are the times when you all sit around a table at the start of a brief and come up with ideas. There is no art-working to be done, no image collecting and no cutting out for you to do - it’s just everyone on your team sat around a table throwing ideas around. This is one of the things I regret most about looking back over my time as a placement; there was so many times during a brain storming session when an idea would pop into my head and I would hesitate about whether I should say it out loud or not, eventually deciding that my idea was either not good enough or a bit daft to bring to the table. Only for someone else to pipe up with that idea and be showered with “genius!” and “Brilliant idea!” followed by rapturous applause... Well not the rapturous applause, but it feels like that when you could of just spoken up and suggested that exact same thing. The moral of that story is basically that there are no wrong ideas so speak up and be counted for both your good and bad suggestions. Image – The Chase, London. They have now moved.
#031 – Adam Rix: I won my first placement - which was a stroke of luck. It was a competition set up in Leeds to reward the best graduates from Yorkshire universities. I hadn’t heard of the company in question, and as I walked around the place, saw how departmentalised it was, saw the 150 odd people, I knew pretty much straight away that it wasn’t for me. So I took it. I was employed three months in. It turned out that there were a great little bunch of designers there, and a pretty inspirational head of design that taught me a lot in a short space of time. He’d worked at Pentagram and Elmwood, so he knew his anal passage from his toe nails. OK, so some of the company directors would ignore me in the street, but I didn’t really want to talk to them anyway. It was really hard to get good work out, but all of us designers were
in it together. And the best thing… a big agency lunch every month. Sometimes they even bought the whole agency fish and chips. Them was the days. So I guess what I’m saying is; all- experience is good experience. Scratch beneath the surface before you write someone off. OK, so its not Pentagram, its not Spin or its not W+K, but you desperately need experience. The experience I got from the company I never wanted to work for got me in the D&AD Annual, won me a Design Week award - it even got me into an exhibition at the Design Museum in London. I stayed for about eighteen months, then used all of the experience and work I’d gained to go get the job I really wanted right at the beginning. The moral of the story? There’s always more than one route to get where you want to go.
#032 – Steve Royle: When Ben (Tustin) joined us back in 22nd August 2011 on placement it wasn’t long before he treated us to one of his delicious lemon drizzle cakes. Truly outstanding. They went down really well in the studio. So much so, that many of the designers requested the recipe. To avoid repeating himself, Ben took it upon himself to design this poster (printed on grease proof paper to wrap the cake in). Working with the design team, who were quick to advise and encourage, he used any spare moments during lunch, after hours etc. to develop his typographic skills to create this wonderful recipe poster. So, in addition to making an amazing cake he turned into a design project that challenged him to develop new skills. Which looks great. Especially now that its found a space on the walls of The Chase.
Image – Ben Tustin’s Lemon Drizzle poster. 33
If you don’t understand what someone wants you to do, ask some questions. It’s a given that at some point during your placements someone will ask you to do something and you’ll have absolutely no idea how to do it, no idea where to start even. In a situation like that you need to ask what to do or ask for the person to explain again; at this point the person will say “yeah no problem” and go through it again. If it still makes no sense you need to ask again and again until you know exactly what you’re meant to be doing. If you feel like you’re annoying or irritating the person (you probably are). But you being annoying and knowing what you have to do is a lot better for both you and the agency you’re at, than you completely messing up a piece of work you have attempted to do without first having any idea of how to do it. The irony being that if you don’t get the person to explain, and then make an enormous cock up, the first thing they will say is “Why didn’t you just ask?”
#033 – Tom Shaw: I did placement at Landor in Clerkenwell back in 96, I guess it was a good opportunity to work in a large, reputable agency, but I hated it, I don’t know if it was because they were busy, but I felt like I was always in the way, and the chap I was supposed to report to was the most unhelpful, arrogant pratt you could meet, maybe he was fed up of students and having to answer their questions! (no offense chaps).
#034 – Matt Maurer: In this game you are always learning even at the very top. So you can’t go wrong if you have a good attitude and the desire to get as much out of your experience as you can, also remember any experience good or bad is great experience — especially for the future. 34
If you work hard on crap, you’ll be given gold. Just like you’ll be at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to the distribution of computers to work on, you’re at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to the distribution of the work to, well, work on, too. It’s a way of doing a very quick psychological analysis of a placement looking for a job: Give them something that sounds (and may well be) really boring to work on, stand back and see what happens. Good placements will get straight to it with a wistful enthusiasm, come back with something that has been laboured upon with all their effort and skill, hopefully turning the work into something interesting too. A bad placement, on the other hand, will huff, puff and blow away all chance of ever getting a job with that agency.
To be a placement is to be on trial - you’re getting judged, weighed and sized up to see if you have what it takes to fit in with a company , so you have to do all that you can to impress. Showing a good attitude when you’re given something which is essentially a piece of work no one else wants to do, is a great way of showing you have what it takes. Work hard and impress with these so called boring projects and you’ll be rewarded with something a lot more interesting to do. Don’t work hard on them and more often than not you’ll be given more boring work to do, ultimately boiling down to you not getting a job or any meaningful experience out of your placement.
#035 – Dana Robertson: I remember a classic case of a placement who didn’t turn up for week two while I was at The Partners and when we called them, (mainly to see if they were still alive as we hadn’t heard anything from them) we were told that they didn’t want to come back in because they had been given “a calendar for a toilet cubicle company” as a project. Those who know The Partners work will know this as Thrislington Cubicles, which has won D&ADs every year since they started... 35
Don’t piss around on the internet all the time. There’s an unwritten set of rules that apply to working in a design studio, we’ll call it “design etiquette” for the purpose of sounding like we know what we’re talking about. It’s a set of unwritten rules that you just abide to. There’s no threat of sacking or a severe beating with sticks if you don’t, but the breaking of this etiquette is, well, bad etiquette. One of the big aspects of these rules is the use of the internet in work for personal things like email, Facebook and blogs. Design studios are very good with things like this in the sense that there are no set rules* like forbidding you from checking your emails in work, and websites like Facebook and Twitter aren’t banned either. As we’ve said, it’s more of a case of etiquette. If you check your emails on a regular basis, etiquette suggests you do it in the morning before you start
your work, on your lunch and, if you’re feeling crazy, after you have finished work as well. And the same goes for Twitter, Facebook and whatever other nonwork related websites you choose to visit - do it before work, on breaks and/or after work. There is no set “rule” for this, it’s just what seems to be the done thing in the work place. *We do actually know of some design agencies that operate a zero tolerance on using the internet for personal use. Even on your dinner hour you’re not permitted to check your own emails. It would be wise to check with your employer as to what there position is on internet use in order to avoid a bollocking.
#036 – Nick Jones: If you do get through the door, ditch the too cool for school attitude, do not expect to work on the best projects, expect to have to prove yourself and keep busy. One fella we had in was asked are you busy at the moment, can I give you something to do? His reply was, Nah I’m alright thanks I’m just writing some emails and surfing the net. He was then told to leave the studio. 36
Manners are free, but they could cost you a job. This might seem like the most obvious thing to the majority of people, and it shouldn’t even need to be mentioned that you should try to be as polite as you can when you are contacting people to ask them for placements and when you are actually on your placement. However it seems that this just isn’t the case a lot of the time and people seem to forget that it is common decency to treat people with respect and show a level of politeness. It doesn’t take much to take a bit of time to word an email properly or think about the way you are addressing someone who in the not too distant future may hold the key to you getting the job you want or not. So often, some students send emails which sound as if they feel they are owed something and that the designer on the other end is obliged to look at their work. Unfortunately most of these emails will end up in the trash folder and the student will quite possibly have blown their chance at that studio. Emails can be read in the wrong context at the best of times and it really doesn’t take much to consider
how you are addressing this potentially very busy person with you request of their time. “Can you look at my book” just isn’t going cut it and being a little humble, showing you have some manners and thinking about how you speak to people will get you a long way. Obviously the same goes for behaviour while you are on you placement as well. Remember you P’s and Q’s and remember that these people are doing you quite a big favour most of the time. You are learning new skills and developing yourself as a designer in their time. The least you can do is show a bit of respect and use your manners. Don’t do as one placement we heard of did, when they were working at an agency in Manchester and tell the Creative Director to “fuck off” when they were told that they hadn’t saved a file in the right place, or tell one of the designers to “Shush” when they were trying to teach them how to do something correctly. Even people with some of the best senses of humour, in some of the most laid back studios expect you to be polite most of the time.
#037 – Chris Jackson: Placements are brilliant opportunities for students and studios. Students get a valuable taste of studio life and studios get the benefit of fresh talent and insights from young blood. Done right, those are the gains. But if things don’t go quite to plan, they can end in regret, ill-considered blog posts and both parties vowing ‘never again’. Maybe you don’t feel confident enough in your experience or your work. That’s natural, but don’t let it hold you back. As a student, I didn’t have much confidence in myself or my work, and wasn’t really pushed by my tutors to experience the realities of studio life. Which was entirely my loss. So this is me urging you to sort out all the placements you can manage. Whether you do them in great agencies or awful agencies, they’re an essential part of your growth as a creative. Even the terrible experiences will build your character and your portfolio. It may be easier than you think to get your foot in the door. Nailing the basics is the first step, but so many applicants get this wrong. Don’t send us 100MB PDF’s that clog up our email server; don’t address enquiries to ‘Dear sir or madam’ (it’s not hard to find out the recipient’s name); and please don’t send an email, cc-ing thirty other design studios. All these slip-ups are very easily avoided.
A handwritten envelope with a thoughtfully written – and spell checked – letter, well laid-out work samples, or just an email where the sender has bothered to find out my name and who I am – these details all go a very long way. Then, once you’re in, ask questions, offer to help. Get involved in as many projects as you can. Remember, it’s up to you to shine. Try and make yourself indispensable. Please don’t come in and sit in silence for two weeks. We’re usually busy people but we’ll always make time for someone with a bit of passion. And a quick word on confidentiality – if you’re working on real jobs for real clients, it’s very important you respect this and any confidentiality agreement in place. Always check first before you make public any work you’ve done. Also remember that the design world is a small world. Everybody knows everybody else, so be mindful that what you say about your time at a particular agency will probably get back to them. “In short, be respectful, be humble, do some ace work, think about the details and you might just find that placement turns into a full–time arrangement. Or, at the very least, a worthwhile and enjoyable experience for you and the studio.”
Images â€“ Studios we visited in London & Manchester (top left to bottom right). Pentagram, Interbrand, HGV, The Partners, Wolff Ollins, Design Bridge, Johnson Banks, The Chase Manchester.
Design Conspiracy, Unreal, Sea,Dew Gibbons, Carter Wong Tomlin, Browns, Williams Murray Ham, NB Studio.
#038 – Michael C Place: When being introduced to the creative director of a company as ‘Michael’, don’t then keep calling him‘Mick’.
Wear comfy shoes, some errands you’ll be sent on can rival the London marathon. Another one of the core placement duties you’re expected to take upon yourself is being the errand person, whether it’s someone’s birthday and you’re sent to pick up a cake, gathering up samples from printers or just picking up lunch for people on your team, it’s a required part of the placement experience. One particular “experience” involved jumping on the tube to Walthamstow (where everyday is national ghetto day) with the company digital camera, trying to navigate my way round somewhere I had never even heard of before, looking for the dog racing track. When I finally located the track after a lengthy and nervous bus journey, I started taking pictures and was met with shouts of “puff!” and other unsavoury phrases from the local G’s who had gathered around to see what I was doing. I managed to get all the photos I needed and I returned to the studio safely. There’s a lot of working hard, on sometimes not so glamorous work, but if you can be enthusiastic and willing to go on these epic hikes across the city you work in (without moaning and groaning) it should show you in a good light regarding attitude and show a willingness to work hard for the opportunity of a job.
#039 – Ben Stott: It sounds so easy to call up some stories about placements, but not so many were funny, a few of them are negative, and all generally reinforce the usual best practice that students are advised when undertaking placements. i.e. be enthusiastic and make yourself indispensable, even if this means doing jobs that appear boring or uncreative, and don’t forget if you’re not doing it somebody else has too.
Prepare to be bored, only very occasionally. This is straight from the bag of things that would never be suggested by the people in the industry who we contacted for advice. The thought that you could ever be bored working in such an intense and complex line of work like Design is questionable at best (especially in the eyes of those who already have a busy job in it) but as a placement it’s a completely different kettle of fish. It’s a very rare occurrence, very rare indeed, but depending on where you are on placement and their work load, now and then you wont have anything to do. First thing you should do when you have nothing to do; is ask for something to do - ask everyone in the studio if they need a hand with anything . Then if there is still nothing on offer; the second thing to do is to ask if anyone wants a brew (that’s a cup of tea) and then once you have taken care of that you should probably
go back to the first thing again, ask if anything needs doing. If you do get to the point where there’s still nothing on offer you can go to stage three; sitting about and being bored. At one particular company I did a placement at, there wasn’t a lot to do; it was the run up to Christmas and everyone was winding down. I had constantly been asking for something to do and had been given tasks which would normally have taken a matter of minutes, but I found myself dragging them out to keep me occupied. Eventually, when I had finished everything I had been given to do, I announced to the studio that I was available to help - only to be interrupted mid-sentence with someone saying “Just piss about on the internet for a bit, do some Christmas shopping!” I was a little taken back to say the least, but I did what I was told. 41
Try not to be the first person to leave, unless you have a good reason to. Another unwritten rule from the realm of “design etiquette” and all things placement. Usual working hours are 9.30am till 6pm in London and as with any job you’re expected to be in on time, but unlike a lot of other jobs you’re often expected to stay late. Sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes it’s a lot longer. Whatever amount of time it is, you can never (under most circumstances) be the first person to up station and go home. You have to be there showing a willingness to help out, get things done and be part of the team that stays behind late getting something finished. People remember the person who stayed behind until 1 in the morning, but they will happily forget the person who leaves dead-on 6 every night with no good excuse as to why (other than they can’t be bothered). There are, of course, reasons you can go on time for; a doctor’s appointment, a train you have to catch, an emergency of some sort or a hot date are all spiffing enough reasons for you to be excused on time. But, do your best to come across as being willing to stay behind and help and it will be really appreciated within the studio.
#040 – Kristy Powell: Try to be one of the first in everyday, and don’t rush off as soon as it’s 6pm unless you have checked you are not needed. It all goes toward making a better and longer lasting impression so that when you graduate you have some solid contacts in the industry who can say “I remember him, he did a placement with us and was really good” rather than “oh we have so many placements, I can’t remember them all”.
Get your phone manner up to scratch. Whether you’re on a placement for two weeks, a month or six months try to become a real part of the studio. Get involved in the conversation and the banter, but also in the chores and the general maintenance of the studio. On the subject of answering the phone, it might be something your good at anyway, but before I started doing placements I could barely gather enough courage to ring and order a pizza, such was my reluctance to talking to people over the phone (and I bloody love pizza), so when I got myself a more lengthy placement and was given clients of my own to talk to, couriers to ring and even the smaller, simpler things like answering the door buzzer, I was a little anxious to say the least. But, given a couple of weeks, it became less and less intimidating and eventually it became second nature. The point being, as a placement it’s things like answering the door buzzer and ordering couriers that are your bread and butter, so just don’t be shy and dive straight in! If you try and avoid it and put it off it’ll only end in tears as you answer the phone, full of nerves, at a massive design agency and say “Hello Pizza Hut delivery” or something equally inappropriate. 42
Image – Next Big Thing’s studio in London.
Do your best to be sociable after work. A job in design is hard work, rewarding hard work, but hard work non-the-less. So, at the end of the week, or come to think of it at any time in the week after work (like in many other jobs) it’s usually time to unwind at the pub. Not everyone in the studio will go all the time and it isn’t a mandatory trip you’re required to do, but designers being the kind-hearted souls that they are, will by-the-by always invite the placement(s) along for a drink. It’s healthy to spend time with people away from the studio environment, you get to know them in a different light, when they’re more relaxed (more drunk) and have time to actually stop and talk. As a placement it’s a top tip to being remembered - people are infinitely more likely to remember someone, or give a job to someone, who has had a month with them where they’ve come out after work, had a laugh and shown they’re not some sort of design cyborg, opposed to someone who might be of identical design talent, but hasn’t made the effort to socialize.
#041 – Rob Ball: Some of the placements who get jobs are often the ones who get into the social side of their agencies. Agencies are looking for people with strong work and strong livers. You are more inclined to keep in touch with someone who you consider a mate. On the other hand, you can take it too far. I wouldn’t suggest turning up at the weekend at the boss’s house with a crate of WKD and a handful of glow sticks.
You’re on a placement, you shouldn’t be paying for beer. Now you’ve taken the plunge and gone to the pub with your new work mates, it’s time to get a drink... You shouldn’t be buying this drink, you’re a placement student living on two and sixpence a week and therefore your employers and work colleagues should be buying you one. This isn’t something we’ve come up with; some secret plan so you don’t have to buy any drinks (stick it to the man! etc.) I was told this everywhere I went on placement; by the people I worked with as well as all my employers. I remember my first week at my first placement, I went out for one of the Creative Directors leaving do’s. I went to the bar and bought a pint, moments later someone I worked with came up to me and said something along the lines of “So, what do you want from the bar?” The look on that person’s face when I uttered the words “Er... I’ve already got myself one” was a sight to be seen, a mixture of being disgusted and broken hearted came over them. They went on
to explain that I shouldn’t have been buying myself drinks as I was a placement student on very little money - and they meant it. People know what it was like being a placement student struggling with money, desperately wanting to be sociable, so they want to look after you. Having a drink after work in design is important, so they look after you by getting you drunk.
#042 – Andy Bainbridge: Your on placement, you shouldn’t be paying for beer.
#043 – Olly Wigglesworth: Thou must buy poor work placement drinks. Which is true enough, but there are limits to peoples generosity. So when a certain beer guzzling, alcoholic individual was asking designers to buy her drinks on someone’s birthday night out (double vodkas at that) you can imagine the dent it did to our wallets, as well as her reputation. Especially when she didn’t turn up to work the next day. So take note, all placements want to be remembered as being sociable, but you don’t want to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
#044 – Alan Herron: I’ve seen it from both sides me hearties. First of all I was a fresh faced student from Preston down in London on a placement and then, some years later I was that twatty potential employer who had the power to give students placements and had quite literally tons of them I hated my placement in London, and I think my boss hated me, but I loved living and working in London. I was bored stiff and spent my time playing practical jokes on my new work mates, including spraying spray mount into one of my colleagues ‘work’ slippers!!! Every day for 6 months before he got to work and put them on. At Giant, a company I helped set up in London we employed so many placements that we took to taking Polaroid of them before they left, complete with criminal style name cards lest we forgot who they were. To be honest we loved having students, but especially either the very good ones, very rare, or the very bad ones. The one rule we had was that they were to make tea like there was no tomorrow, make us laugh and buy us pornography when we sent them on errands to the west end. We had many instances of either nearly killing or certainly grossly misusing students. Advice Be funny. Have an interesting name or hobby. Talk a lot. Ask questions. Have an opinion, even if its bollocks. Have amusing hair and or clothes. Be enthusiastic. Don’t be late. Don’t be the first to leave. Always volunteer to work late. Make tons of tea. If you want anymore I’ll think on. 44
#045 – Jack Renwick: We had a placement once that really didn’t want to leave. They had me pinned against a wall. Poking me in chest, screaming, I love you! I WANT to work here. Erm... Hello is that the police? 45
Don’t pester people for placements in the pub. Design being the very close nit community it is, it’s inevitable that you’re going to bump into people out and about who work at agencies that you might fancy going to for placements. While we know from first hand experience it’s hard to avoid your animal-like thirst for getting a placement with them by asking for one in the pub, it’s usually not the best idea. People are in the pub for the same reason that you are; work has finished and they want to relax, have a drink and not have to think about things like people coming up to them and asking whether they can have a placement or a job. It’s not completely discouraged that you politely ask for an email address or a business card, enquire as to whether you can contact them at work, say thank you and then leave it. If you get talking anyway and it comes up in general conversation feel free to mention you’re looking for a placement, just don’t bring it up out of the blue or at an inappropriate time when you’ll probably come across as being a pain in the arse and a bit desperate.
#046 – Kate Addy: There’s always a time and a place to be mithering designers for placements and when they are on a night out, after a good few beers, maybe isn’t always the best choice. Two of us at while at a Christmas party, were approached by some students asking if they can come work with us (baring in mind we weren’t that long out of Uni ourselves). We were very polite and carefully pointed them in the direction of a more senior designer, who then unfortunately got all the mithering instead Sorry Craig!
Be remembered. As a placement, especially if you’re doing plenty of one month stays, you don’t tend to see a lot of projects through to completion. It’s always a good idea to keep in touch with people and projects you have left behind, both for the sake of seeing how something you might of contributed to weeks ago has turned out, and also to keep in contact with the people you were previously on placement with and working for. It’s something that can be done very quickly and without much effort but a chance inquiry into how a brief is coming along could lead to you a simple invitation to the pub to catch up, being asked to come back for another placement or may even lead to you being kept in mind next time a job becomes available. It’s all about building a network of people you know in the industry, you never know when a contact you have made will come in handy, or when you will come in handy for them.
Image – Collected student business cards. Thanks to Andy Bainbridge. 46
#047 – James Greenfield: One potential placement freaked the whole of the BB/ Saunders studio out when I worked there. A courier pressed the studio buzzer one afternoon and delivered a cake. The form I signed and the guy himself had something weird about them. It turned out the student had designed a delivery company uniform and was going around studios delivering cakes to get attention. This was then followed up with an email along the lines of “I was just in your studio, it was me, not a courier, surprise. Can I come back and show you my work?” The cake went in the bin and he got a swift no and his cards were forever marked. #048 – Mika Shephard: It’s all about the impression you make. Before your placement (mailers/ interviews), during (your attitude, work hard and be nice to people), and after. A leave-behind is by no means the most important of the three, but it is a great opportunity, whether it’s a simple thank you card, or something edible, to leave a lasting impression. Make sure it’s memorable and says something about you and your time at whichever studio you’re at. The Chase have a notice board in the kitchen which acts as a placement reminder wall, there are lots on there and so it’s important that you stand out. When I left my placement I iced cookies to look like every member of the studio, and one recent placement left us all with beautifully crafted personalised thank you postcards which were each written with a lot of thought. Then a couple of weeks later, she sent us a lovely packaged CD of songs that played a lot on the radio while she was with us. We now associate those songs with her and when we hear them we are reminded of her placement. It doesn’t have to be the biggest idea, but it is always nice to show your appreciation in a way that also keeps you fresh in everyone’s mind. Image – Personalised postcards, left to members of The Chase Manchester by a recent placement. 47
#049 – Ben Stott: The placement who had gone around the corner of the studio to scan in a load of reference material (yes the days when scanners were constantly flashing back and forth), and was later found fast asleep, I think he had a big night out. The placement who was handed a lit firework (a secret Santa gift a Christmas dinner) outside a restaurant and told to run for his life. We always tried to ensure placements had something constructive to work on and encouraged them to make themselves busy. If there really was nothing to do, they would be offered a pack coloured pencils painstakingly matched to the A-Z map and invite them to colour in a section of our A0 type only map of London. I would just finish by saying we always payed the going rate for placements and if we kept them on for longer than the agreed period we increased this to the equivalent of a junior freelance rate. Whilst I was a director of NB we employed at least 4 people after there internship.
Everyone knows everyone. Design is a very incestuous industry, everybody is on a first name basis with each other, or at least it seems like that on occasions. It comes out of the fact (not a genuine fact) that in the beginning there was light... No that’s not right. In the begging there was Pentagram and from that first juggernaut of design there has sprung many of the other major players in design and from those have come more agencies, and from them have come more people have left those and joined others, while others have gone the other way (you get the point we’re trying to make anyway). All you have to bear in mind is that a lot of people know a lot of other people in the design world so if you’re in work or at the pub and have a grievance with someone or their work try to keep it to yourself (until someone else starts talking about it, then you can join in. If you like). The other side of name dropping are the advantages it can give you, for example if someone has recommended you try a particular company for a placement, always mention their name when you make contact with that company. People will always take more notice of an email or a letter if it mentions someone they know.
#050 – Andy Lodge:
IT’S A MINE FIELD OUT THERE! TALK TO AND MEET AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN, EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYBODY ELSE IN THIS GAME.
Image – One of Andy Lodge’s 2 submissions to the project.
Image – Comment posted on Creative Review’s Blog in response to some new work by Hat-trick which had been blogged by Patrick Bergoyne.
Every cloud. Having a bad time somewhere is inevitable; being a designer is like any job, or anything at all really, it can be your favorite thing to do in the world but if you’re in surroundings that you can’t relax in, or with people you don’t particularly get along with, then it’s going to dampen your enjoyment of that thing. But look at it as a positive; If you don’t enjoy a placement at a company, you leave when it’s finished, move onto another placement that you may well enjoy and it should make you appreciate it a lot more. It’s almost what doing placements are all about; a lot of trial and error and essentially finding your feet in the design world. You know subsequently that the previous company is not for you. Every placement is never going to be a perfect one so take the bad ones on the chin, and take advantage of the worthwhile ones.
#051 – Martin Lee: London is a great place to gain experience and some people work there for many years. However it’s not a place for everyone and many students give up the placement circuit due to various pressures. I would encourage all students to try London but don’t despair if it doesn’t work out as there are many opportunities elsewhere. The fact that I had been to London and managed to develop my portfolio with graduate work really helped me get my second position.
#052 – Emma Morton: When I got offered my first design job, to join a well known agency straight out of university, I thought it was too good to be true… a year later I realised this may have been the case! From that moment I decided not to go straight into another job and went on to do a two week placement at another company, which led to a month, which led to six months, which ended after a brilliant four and half years. I can honestly say that taking the risk and starting back at the bottom after my first job was one of the best decisions I have ever made. What seemed like the end of a career at the time, was actually just the beginning. I think experiencing different places and people is crucial to finding a place that is right for you. Don’t be dis-heartened if things don’t work out, something better may be just around the corner...
Acknowledgements The information within this book is correct, to our knowledge at the time it was sourced. Some people may have moved agency, country, career or even their name. That’s just what happens though isn’t it. Where we haven’t kept up to date with certain people we have just included where they were when we first contacted them. A big thank you to every one who contributed to this book. Everyone who sent us a reply has been featured in some way or another. In no particular order. Tommy Shaugnessy – #001 Partner/Creative Director of Glorious. Peter Richardson – #002 Creative Director of The Chase. Andy Lodge – #003, #050 Ex Creative Director at Brahm. Now a freelance designer. Emma Jones – #004 Was working at Departures. Now a freelance designer.
Craig Oldham – #014 Senior Designer at Music Mike Rigby – #015 Creative Director at Interbrand Jim Quail – #016, #029 Creative at Dorothy Kristy Powell – #017, #040, Tea Break Senior Designer at NextBigThing Tom Shaw – #019, #025, #033 Was working as a Designer at Design Conspiracy. Kate Addy – #020, #046 Designer at The Foundry. Mark Ross – #021 Partner/Creative Director of Glorious. Kev Lan – #022, Tea Break Design Director at The Partners. Ian Appleby – #023 Was working as a Designer at Futurebrand. Dana Robertson – #024, #035 Partner/Creative Director of Neon.
Stuart Beverage – #005 Designer at The Chase.
Bob Young – #026, Tea Break Was working as a Designer at Together.
Si Griffin – #006 Was a founder/Partner of Various Artists. Now a freelance copywriter.
Mark Hurst – #027 Was working as Creative Head at Albion
Nick Jones – #007, #036 Was a Creative Director at Browns. James Greenfield – #008, #047 Was a designer at Airside. Now Creative Director at Man vs Machine. Kath Tudbull – #009, #018 Was working as a Senior Designer at Johnson Banks. Tom Heaton – #010 Senior Designer at RAW. Steve Lloyd – #011 Creative Director at ICO. Shaun Dew – #012 Partner/Creative Director at Dew Gibbons. Rob Ball – #013, #041 Design Director at The Partners.
Billy Harkcom – Tea Break Director at Hark Design. Phil Skegg – Tea Break Creative Director of Love. Brian Eagle – Tea Break Was Creative Director of Unreal. Oli Maltby – #028, Tea Break Creative Director at The Chase. Alan Herron – #030, #044, Tea Break Was a Creative Director at True North. Now working as Alan Herron’s Stuff. Adam Rix – #031 Was a founder/Partner of Various Artists. Now Senior Designer at Music. Steve Royle – #032 Creative Director of The Chase.
Matt Maurer – #034 Was working as a Senior Designer at True North. Now a Senior Designer at Music. Chris Jackson – #037 Design Director at Elmwood. Michael C Place – #038 Creative Director/Founder of Build. Ben Stott – #039, #049 Was Founder/Creative Director of NB Studio. Now a freelance designer. Andy Bainbridge – #042 Senior Lecturer at UCLan. Olly Wigglesworth – #043 Designer at Mark Studio. Jack Renwick – #045 Was Creative Director at The Partners. Now a freelance designer. Mika Shephard – #046 Designer at The Chase. Martin Lee – #051 Was working as a Designer at Blue Marlin. Emma Morton – #052 Designer at Kessles Kramer. Ben Marshall – #053 Creative Director at Landor.
Thank You’s We would also like to thank all the people that have contributed to this book in other ways than sending us a reply or answering our questions. This wouldn’t have been possible without you. In no particular order. Andy Bainbridge Jon Harker Craig Oldham Jon Hatton Music Ben Casey
#053 – Ben Marshall: So, you want all the content given to you, do the fun bit and then take all the credit? Nice. You’ll be Creative Directors one day. I’m a slow typer so I’ll be fucked if I’m emailing my thoughts, it’d take all day. 51
A guide to placements and internships in the design industry.