Studio Manager / Designer Dave Lydiard of Oven Creative tells us about the importance of work ethic, personality and networking! Also where they believe design is heading in the future and how we need to adapt with it.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do. Oven is a branding and digital agency. We work with companies to develop new or refresh existing brands through redesign or evolution.
What do you look for in a great portfolio? Our taste and preferred style of design is quite clean and structured so solid use of grids, white space and type immediately peeks our attention. Potential clients often come to us because they like these aspects of our work, so it’s something we value highly in portfolios. Good spelling, grammar and the ability to write small amounts of copy is also a big plus.
What qualities and skills do you look for in a graduate? A strong handle of the Adobe Suite, an eye for type and the ability to communicate well in person and over email / phone is huge.
Just as important as technical skill is attitude, work ethic, passion and how we feel they would fit in with our culture and design ethos. We spend a lot of time together, so it’s important to build a team that can collaborate and push each other to become better designers, as well as make sweet jokes.
Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them? Andy Harrison – Creative Director – Andy has been in the design game for years working both in Australia and internationally for all manner and size of agencies before starting Oven. His mentorship and advice is invaluable, plus you know he’s down for a coffee 95% of the time. Flat white, 2 sugars.
Dave Lydiard – Studio Manager / Design – Good hair, party animal, rap god – can you tell I’m writing this? I have a background in design and marketing, and love getting stuck into the meat of brand strategy and planning.
Lily Avery – Design – Lil has a great eye for style and knows what’s around the trend bend. She’s got an easy-going nature and works hard without fuss. However, we’re not sure if we can fully trust her as we’ve never seen her drink coffee…only tea…
Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt? As an increasing amount of content is created for and consumed on digital devices, branding will evolve to suit the new environment. Logos and visual elements will communicate personality and emotion through animation, interaction and engagement. The visual aspects of branding will become a lot more interactive and dynamic – much like classic sculptures tell a story as you move around them, so too will visual branding. Incorporating sound in branding is also an area to keep an eye/ear on.
For us to adapt, we’ll need to keep up to date on the capabilities of new technology, look at how other people and agencies are using the tech and experiment with it ourselves.
What advice would you give students starting out? Network! Get out there and meet people within the design community. You never know who you’ll meet, who you’ll get along with and what opportunities may arise. Also, have a passion project – work can leave you a little stale at times so it’s important to have a creative outlet that you control.