We talk to Thomas Albrighton, Designer and Partner at Brief, about first job expectations, his design process, and entrepreneurial skills! As the only graphic designer at his first job, Thomas found it challenging when it came to problem solving; not having anyone else to bounce ideas off of. Now, at Brief, some of their best projects have been the result of collaboration – All right stop, Collaborate and listen (Ice Ice, Baby).
What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design? Since grade school I have always been interested and involved in art, design and creativity in general. For a long time I was convinced that I was going to become an architect or industrial designer. After completing high school with these careers in mind I began my studies in fine arts. This is where I was introduced to the Adobe Suite and creating images on a digital platform. I would use adobe illustrator to set up artwork for screen printing and I loved it!
What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened? After graduation I was lucky enough to quickly find a design job. My goal was to find work at a branding agency but my first job was actually an in-house position in an architecture firm. Though it was not exactly the job that I had first envisioned I knew that it was a great opportunity and introduction to working as a design professional. The fact that I was the only graphic designer on the marketing team faced me with many different design challenges and problem solving scenarios.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do. I am a designer and partner at Brief, a Vancouver based multi-disciplinary branding and design studio. We work with small to large businesses across a diverse range of fields and disciplines fully emerging ourselves in all the stages involved in developing and maintaining a brand from initial concept development and strategy to design and production.
What role does digital design play in your studio in 2016, and how to you apply traditional graphic design skills in a digital age? No matter how we apply our final designs for a project, digital or analogue, our process for creativity is no different. Our most successful work comes from strong conceptual thinking and thoughtful design. So whether we are designing for a website design or an annual report our process remains the same.
What has been your highlights since you started out? So far at Brief one of our biggest highlights since starting out has been the people that we have gotten to meet, work for and collaborate with. Some of our best projects have been the results of collaboration. It has become a huge part of our process. We are dedicated to bringing clients the best people fit for each project to meet the specific needs of their brand.
What advice would you give students starting out? For any student starting out in graphic design or advertising I would advice them to have confidence in their entrepreneurial skills. I found that in design school this was something that could have been stressed to us a little more. Even if your plan is to work at a design studio or agency, marketing yourself is going to be one of your biggest challenges and assets. Companies get resumes and see portfolios all the time. I notice this even more since starting Brief. It is up to you to create a way to make yourself stand out and be heard; sometimes it takes more than just talent. Also it is very rare that a position is advertised; don’t be afraid and reach out to design studios, you never know who your going to meet or what could happen 🙂