So Craig Oldham came in today to have a chat with us. Craig is a designer who graduated not so long ago from Falmouth college of art. After leaving university, and working for a string of succesfull design agencies, he decided to create a document that highlighted need to know lessons you will ultimately learn in the first year of working career. Craig seemed at ease in front of the class and his down to earth and honest nature really warmed to me. Its so much better to be told about the ups and downs of the design industry by someone who actually seems like a normal human being.
At the beginning of the lecture we handed the 12 in 12 leaflet (freebie!) And it was this that was to be the basis of his presentation.
He started with the basics on understanding what sort of a designer we are. He explained his opinion on the two different ‘bunches’ of designer and the characteristics of these. ‘Bunch A’ is the logical designer where form follows function and clarity is important. ‘Bunch B’ is the emotional designer. This designer uses any form of communication i.e. Wit and humour to create an emotional connection between the designer and its audience. Although this would work for a lot of people I think I have qualities of both bunches and I'm sure a lot of people feel the same. It is these strengths and weaknesses that transported Craig to his next point about being honest with ourselves. As designers we are inevitably going to have things we are good at and things that we aren’t and Craig’s words on this made me feel calmer. Like me, Craig mentioned his phobia of making websites, calling it “the f***ing dark arts” (I couldn't agree more) He said that when we are asked to create something in the work place we should be honest and state that we don’t feel we would be the best person for that job, maybe we could design some areas and get some help from colleagues to do the areas we don’t feel confident in. I suppose it is placements that will be the best way to find out the tricks of the trade and maybe see what would be expected from a young designer. Craig mentioned that placements are the most important thing that we can do as third year students. As Craig is someone that may have a say in the employment of designers he spoke of the importance of someone having experience in the design office environment and that it is less risky to employ someone like that than someone who hasn't got any experience what so ever. (ie ME!) It is this that leads me to the portfolio and getting those crucial placements. “A portfolio is for life, not just for an interview” Wise words from Mr Oldham! My portfolio is definatly something that has worried me since my feedback from second year. I think it is becoming obvious this year that if we want to learn something on our third year we have to do it ourself so I am glad that Craig gave us some websites to look at for tips on a successful portfolio. All the points that Craig outlined in this document were so so helpful and it has to have been one of the most useful presentations this year. I felt motivated to work on my portfolio, get work experience and make tea for designers. The top tips I think will definatly help me on my quest for a pass at the end of my degree. Heres hoping!
A few pieces from Craig Oldhams Website...