Common designer questions answered.
Hmmm - I am responsible for the running of the company as a whole, ensuring that the client briefs are met and on time. Winning new business and keeping my staff motivated and innovative. All in a days work ;)
Get as much 'real world' experience behind you as possible, freelance, work for free, you have a qualification, but no folio as yet. Provide design solutions for everyone you know... Believe in yourself. Word of mouth is the best advertising!
We receive 5 - 7 CV's a day, so we are generally inundated with prospective new staff!
Graphic, logo and web site design
Creativity, originality, dependability, an eye for detail, an ear for English.
I wouldn't. If a client is 'non-creative' (that's an awful term) they still receive a creative solution and may appreciate it as such, they are just not enthused by problem solving like we are. Most solutions have a logical sequence behind them - the viewer of the final piece simply sees the result.
billboards, magazines, newspaper and web design. We do excel at design for print and provide on-site support for a UK national newspaper.
Its very difficult to measure, as its subjective. Example: You can say that sales increase by 50%, or that more people register than ever before, but creativity is only one part of the marketing puzzle. Whether the target audience sees it, sees enough of it etc. is a different department...
All work is overseen by the MD, and teams or individuals are supervised, given free reign, reigned in and provide support to each other as and when required - we're really quite close.
Word of mouth and internet advertising.
That's a toughy - I think that there will always be a place for print advertising, but that advances in technology will bring the unit costs of items down, meaning that its more affordable and therefore more available. More and more companies will split their advertising budget so that they can advertise online too - its the fastest growing sector at the moment and has overtaken radio spend for the first time this year in the UK... this is just the beginning.
Yes, through an established college scheme run by several universities in the UK, alternatively, if you can get your tutor to contact us direct, we may consider taking you on.
Clients are never just presented with a final designed solution, they are involved with the project from the outset as they commission it, and are usually given several initial design options to mull over, with consultation a direction is chosen and evolved. It is very rare for all concepts to be knocked back - but has happened. In that instance we would offer to put forward new alternate designs (normally in exchange for a round of revisions - if the client is?adamant that we will never meet their requirements, we call it quits and bill for time spent.
Read, walk or pace! Depends on how much time is available - if a solution is not immediately apparent, it can be good to give your mind something else to do, letting the problem mull over in the background - think 'sleep on it!'. If a solution is required immediately, we will normally brainstorm a list of solutions and run with the best of these.
Depends on the client and the target market - Design is an industry in which you usually design for a customer that is not directly yours, but get paid by your client as they have? a requirement to?target their own customers. Innovation can pay huge rewards, but also carries more risk, tried and tested can be very creative too, its generally about finding the right approach and pushing that as far as possible.
I did my work-experience in an agency at 16 and loved it. Then did a degree in Architectural Engineering as my Dad reckoned that was a good path for someone with a strong combination of Art and Maths skills. He was right, and it was good to listen to his opinion, but it just wasn't for me. It was interesting, but was not exciting enough... I then got a lucky break in an agency in West London and have never looked back.
Pace, a lot... Discuss with the team, Sketch some more!
Problem solving in a graphic or artistic fashion.
Relaxed, busy, modern, stressful, fun - a bit like being at home.
Yes, but by prior appointment only - happy to chat if we can though.
Research, brainstorming, initial concepts, feedback, revision, solution.
The target market, The brief, The client (not necessarily in that order)
No - we do check out the competition to ensure that we create design solutions that are original, rather than inadvertently emulate, but they are not used for inspiration, more to see the pit falls of a particular path.
Yes, fully. It is the best way to deliver accurate results, ensure that the call to action and relevant message is balanced with a creative solution - and just as importantly to get paid at the end of the job.
Clarify anything we are unsure of! Following that, brainstorm - no idea is invalid... sketch, scribble, make notes, procrastinate... a bit like making any other life changing decision really!
Patience, exceptionally good at listening and acting on client feedback
Always start with a sketch book, before moving onto the Mac to produce the worked up concepts.
The brief, Client feedback, Experience, Environment
Talent, Innovative, Confidence, Enthusiasm, Receptive, Awareness, Attention to detail.
Its a cliché now, but we still have to say Apple corp®. Apart from being our every day hero's, there is nobody else who comes close...
We don't try and keep up... Trends move very fast... We do keep our eyes open however! We are subjected to the same influences as any other consumer, its just that we may absorb influences that others overlook..
More web based production, as the internet is becoming more and more mainstream, the user base is expanding both in terms of people who have access, as well as the generations that use it. There is an ecological benefit as well - cost of distribution, production and recycling are reduced financially, but rewards are increased in terms of environmental responsibility.
Discuss client requirements, aims and message or 'call to action'. Produce initial design solutions and present to client.?Revise until client is happy that brief is met or deadline arrives. Set up for print, get printed, deliver on time.
As a student you have loads of potential, too much time and not enough money. As a professional designer you have loads of potential, not enough time and not enough money! Seriously, this is a very competitive industry, but once involved, if you have a passion for it you can earn a very enjoyable living and meet some great people along the way.
No - but we are very influenced by what we see around us, in both urban and natural environments.
Sometimes music, internet radio is good for that - check out the Classic Soul Network on itunes if you need some therapy!
Depends on the application its to be used in! I am into working with neutral, earthy tones at the moment. I wear a lot of dark blue if that helps!
Too many - I probably do around 60 hrs/week at the moment.
Michael started on around £10k - but that was over 18 years ago!
Each of us has a different story, for Michael Mursell (MD): I had friends who worked in an agency - but I had no skills. Fortunately the owner thought it was better to have a 'team player' than an off the peg graduate designer and I got a job as artworker before moving onto image library manager, before finally being allowed to play with actual client designs...
In the studio its Creative Review, Design Week. MacUser, we are also getting into T3 and Time Out again... and Rena reads OK! and Closer!