Sunday, 29 April 2012


I have been recieveing quite alot of productive feedback recently. I did hope to be more professional in my PPD presentation, however I felt awful and think I did ok. I find that I work better without many notes and know what I am saying anyway. the slides guide me through. I always miss out important bits though which is annoying! I hope to come accros more confident in my work from now on as people have said I am good at design, I need to believe in myself more... as I people have been telling me all my life!

One of my clients have said that one person pitching for his brief was very professional in his emails and I can work on that. I try and be more personal and 'real' rather than professional. But maybe I need to add some character into prefessionalism.

Stuff to build on!

Pantone spot colour

Business card redesign

Been looking at my business card and logo and i'm really not happy with it. People have commented on the typeface chosen and the colour of the stock. I Have done a redesign and have gone from this to this!


Colorplan smoth

Been thinking of my business cards and am definately going to get them printed on a high quality stock. Been looking into GFSmith papers and decided upon Colorplan Smooth.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Want a really nice quality to my business cards. i know others are printing with moo, but as a designer primarlily interested with print and especially process and stock, I think I should splash out and truely reflect my practice as much as I can!

Prefered stock - Azure blue 540gsm

Monday, 23 April 2012

Covering letter


A good CV cover letter will accompany your CV and is an excellent opportunity to highlight the particular skills that you have, which are relevant to the job you are applying for.  A good CV cover letter should introduce you and if applying for a specific job, ensure that you put any reference details and the source of the advertisement in the subject line.

As with your CV a good cover letter will be fairly brief and to the point and will outline why you are interested in the organisation and what skills you have which are relevant to the role.

You should always ensure that your letter is properly addressed with the full name and title of the hiring manager (you may need to call up to get this information) and your details too, whether you are sending the letter by email or in the post.

Most recruitment advertisements will ask candidates for their salary expectations.  A good way of tackling this is by saying that you are looking for a salary which will reflect your skills and experience.

Finish your cover letter on a positive by saying how much you would value a meeting with them to talk about your skills and experience in more detail and make sure that you put your contact details there too!

And last but not least, spell check it! Remember, attention to detail is key and will give you stand out.

It would be a nice touch to follow up your letter with a courtesy call to the hiring manager to check whether your cover letter and CV have been received.  This will remind the hiring manager of who you are and will also reassure you that your application has been received.

Benefits of a recruiter


Wasn't very keen on going through a recruitment agency, but maybe this is the way to do it...

Recruitment Consultancies are an excellent way of matching both client and candidate.  They can be an "extra voice" for the candidate and can make introductions to clients where they have established business relationships.  Most recruitment consultancies will insist upon meeting their candidates, which is beneficial for the applicant to find out exactly what their career aspirations are and to offer some handy tips and advice.

It is time-saving for the client too - no more short listing through 80 or 90 applications where only half a dozen may come close to hitting the mark!  

A good recruitment consultancy should be considered as an extension of the client's HR department, championing the reasons for joining the organisation as they are often the first point of contact when it comes to discussing a specific role with a prospective candidate.

Creating a good CV


What do potential employers look for from a candidate?

Try to think about this objectively from an employer's point of view and tailor your CV to suit each job you apply for.  The layout is the main thing that will make an employer want to read on or be scared off by a wall of text.  Clearly detail your employer, your title and duties. 

Use relevant key words from the job spec to make your skills stand out.  A prospective employer will always look at what you can bring to their team/ company.  If you have worked with clients directly add a list of clients and their industries to your CV, it will help build a picture of the level of clientele you can handle.     

What should a CV contain?

Your CV is what agencies and employers alike will use as a basis for whether or not they want to invest time and effort in exploring your skills further.  
  • A good template for a CV is to start with your contact details.  Obvious I know, but essential.  Detail your telephone no. and email.  If you aren't happy providing your full address name the town or city you live in instead.
  • Next a brief profile about you and your key strengths, which direction you see your career taking and how that would benefit a prospective employer.  
  • Follow on with your education most recent first e.g. Masters or Degree with grade obtained, down to high school qualifications.
  • Then your chance to shine with your employment history, again starting with your most recent first as this will allow them to see your current level of expertise.  It is vital your experience is laid out clearly highlighting your skills and duties without too much "waffling".  Don't be scared to sell yourself by adding any awards you may have won, key achievements or contributions that have lead to a positive outcome for the company.  
  • Your additional skills should follow detailing your computer literacy, programs you are competent with, any foreign languages you speak and to what level and any other information that will add value to a prospective employer's organisation.
  • Lastly add your hobbies and interests.  This helps build a picture about your personality and can also be a good talking point at interviews if you share common interests.

What to avoid in a CV

  • Include a photograph - This may be a negative rather than a positive, best to let your skills be judged on their own merit.
  • Get too personal, employers don't need to know about your dog being sick on holiday!
  • Overdo it with fancy fonts, and colours.
  • Waffle needlessly, stick to the point.
  • Make mistakes.  ALWAYS spell check your CV, if you're not too hot with grammar get a second opinion before sending it off.

How to stand out  

Use bullet points to list your skills, duties and achievements.  This breaks up the text and allows easier reading.  Your CV is a sales tool so list features and benefits of your skills and experience.  

Tailoring your CV

CV's are very general as you want to try and maximise all your skills.  It is a good idea when applying for a particular role to "tweak" your CV highlighting your relevant skills for the role.  Expand on a project that centred on a relevant industry or detail more clients you worked with that would be similar in your prospective role.  Any other information that can be seen as a link between what you have done and what you will be able to offer a future employer is worth adding. 

Freelance Designer

Could be an avenue I could go down after uni if I don't manage to get a employed job...

Graphic Designer

Maybe a bit to high for me, but worth applying for.

Freelance Direct Mail Designer

Freelance is something I wanted to avoid but could be a good opportunity.

Graphic Designer

My only concern is that I do not want to work 'in-house' again as I think it will limit my opportunities in the long run. A position in a design studio would appeal to me much more.

Junior Art Director

Haven't seen many of these jobs advertised before and could be a good angle to get into the design industry. I would like to know more about this position...

Web/Graphic Designer

Starting to realise, my previous experience is a good head start as alot of companies want commercial experience.

Creative Artworker

More in-depth and design based.

Junior Account Manager

This would have maybe more interaction and give me a good idea of behind the scenes talking with clients and printers. This wouldn't be creative but I would be involved with briefs etc. Wouldn't mind taking this role on, but would prefer something with design involved.

Junior Artworker

This is not a creative role but I wouldn't rule it out as an initial job after uni. It is in Manchester and would give me a paid job and a foot in the door.

The Drum

Why haven't I looked on here before... I am going to start applying for jobs as I only have 6 weeks left really... I don't want to miss out on any opportunities.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Manchester design studios

Studios I need to email...

True North

Ideal situation...

The ideal situation for me after LCA would be to get a placment with UHC as Jimmy did a few years back. I would love to work here as I find the building and environment so inspiring and the guys that I met were so friendly and comfortable. I really think I could fit in there. UHC is in Manchester and very close to Oxford Rail station, so I could easily get there from anywhere in the city. I wanted to express my keenness and interest to Jimmy so sent this... and his reply was...

Fingers crossed for the future but I should open my options more and not put all my eggs in one basket.

Hey Jimmy, how are you?

In the last week of Easter now and then just have 5 weeks to complete all my FMP briefs! I've taken on board your comments and am hoping to do some website designs for a few of my briefs and using imagery and interesting processes much more. I am also tackling a 'serious' advertising brief based on pensions for 18-25s to start them thinking about the future. I wanted to try a more realistic brief to show that I can design for ordinary situations and real issues.

I have my Design Strategy presentation next week also and it has made me think how amazing it would be if I managed to secure a placement at UHC after uni, so if anything comes up could you keep me in mind? I really appreciated your time and interest in my portfolio and the character of Hotspur House! Has the studio moved to the old printroom yet? I am definitely moving to Manchester after uni as soon as I can so would be great to keep in touch!

Hope you are all well and chirpy :)


Hi Hazel,

I am very good thank you. Keeping busy as usual and working away on an identity, website and stationary for an Acupuncture Centre down in Dorset. We should be moving in the next two weeks too and we're very close to releasing our new branding etc so it's very exciting times.

How about yourself? Sounds a bit crazy, good crazy though. I really enjoyed doing my FMP briefs. Your ideas of briefs sound really good, I hope I didn't encourage you to do boring work after saying about 'serious' and sometimes bland client briefs. I just think if you can get something like that and make it good (for lack of a better word) then your portfolio will appeal to more commercial practices. The pensions project sounds really interesting though, my plan is to keep a big pile of money somewhere at the minute the way pensions are going. Send us a link to your work when you've got it all sorted, it'd be nice to have a look.

We will definitely keep you in mind for a placement, at the minute we're still not looking for anything I'm afraid but when we are straight (which hopefully isn't too far away) we'll give you a shout. I am sorry we can't promise anything and thank you very much for asking again. It's just a very complicated time right now.



Thanks Jimmy, I just thought I should express my interest so you know I'm still keen!

The pensions brief is the hardest to tackle as everyone who I have spoke to has a different view. However I think you're right, it shows a commercial side and something which was lacking from my work.

I am excited to see the new branding and website! I keep checking the page and will continue to!

Hope the move goes well, whenever we moved in my old job crazy things would go missing like desks and chairs, no idea how. I hope that doesn't happen to you guys!


Haha thanks, I hope none of our stuff goes missing, sounds crazy!

The website is probably a couple of weeks off yet but we'll see. :)

Best of luck with the pensions brief! And I'll speak to you again soonish.

Many Thanks,

Too much too young

These posters were initially produced to sell at The LCA pop-up shop, but didn't sell very well. I have realised this was because the market for these events are not suitable for prints but if I was to do it again I would make little note books, with less design and more craft involved.

Buuuut, these prints have been great for giving to professionals to say thank you. Everyone who I have given them to seem genuinely pleased with them. I hoped it would not come across as weird and something they would throw away but apparently Craig Oldham really liked his and Jimmy Edmondson has framed his and Instagrammed and Tweeted it. Brilliant bit of publicity. I intend to make more of these prints before I leave uni. I have only give 3 away so far and do not give them to everyone but to those who seem interested by the process. They are also a good tool to do print swapping, both David Sorley at Boxhead and Jimmy at UHC gave me prints in return for mine.

Emailed for visits...

I haven't really communicated all what I have done so here is a list of all the people/studios who replied to my emails enquiring about studio visits, placements and general questions.

BERG - Daniel Freytag
UHC - Jimmy Edmondson
Golden - Vanessa Bradley
A2/SW/HK- Henrik Kubel
A Practice For Everyday Life - Stephen Osman
Colophon - Ant & Edd
Dalton Maag - Bruno Maag
Fontsmith - Jason Smith
Spin - Sam Stevenson
Boxhead - David Sorley


The decision to move to Manchester after LCA is one based not on Graphic Design opportunities alone but also teamed with personal connection with the city. I know I wanted to stay around Leeds, but not in Leeds. Sheffield has no drawn to me but Manchester feels like home...

London is so busy and competitive that I wouldn't enjoy it. Nottingham is boring for me. I also had to think about my partner who is making the move with me to Manchester from Birmingham. We both like Manchester and think there could be opportunities for both of us. When we make the move depends on when we get jobs. He is already looking and if he could afford a flat, I might be able to make the move straight from University, however if not, I may have to move back home and save up some money working full time and then seeking a graphic design placement.

FMP briefs

These briefs have all been selected with an idea of how they can enhance my portfolio. I am trying new processes to build upon the print knowledge I already have, while expanding the potential of a brief and challenging myself to design websites and screen deliverables such as eflyers, particularly in client led briefs such as Brief #3 M├Ždate. I am also thinking about a more commerical approach to demonstrate that I can design in the 'real' world by undertaking more 'serious' briefs such as Brief #5 Aviva, a D&AD advertising brief about pensions.

By working with live clients I am time managing to a professional level and am building up a list of references for my contact list. If these clients need more design work in the future, I hope they will come back to myself and keep in touch. These live briefs have a touch of professionalism unable to be gained from self-directed briefs.