Original Interview: June 2017

Post

How awesome is this!? While interning and looking to get their foot in the door, these dudes started their own amazing studio. We caught up with one of the founders Andrew McNamee from Post Studio.

When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?
I struggled in school and would daydream and doodle my way through classes. In secondary school it began to manifest in notebooks and eventually formed a portfolio.
I was accepted into the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) with a mindset that I’d practise fine art. At this time the first year (core year) was broken up into modules where a student could use all the facilities. This meant every few weeks you got to learn about a completely different area and industry. When the graphic design module came up the brief was to reimagine a classic album cover. I loved this idea of having a challenge with rules and restrictions but the output could still be completely unexpected.

What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?
After I graduated in 2008 my plan was simple – I wanted to work in Dublin in a good studio. Applying as an intern was the only real route into the industry and it was hard to get a foot in the door. I didn’t let this bother me and kept working on small projects with two friends from college, Seán and Rob, and through a contact we were offered a tiny studio for peanuts. We didn’t think twice about it and appropriately called it Junior, given our lack of experience. We managed to keep this going for a year and in the process, built our portfolios and networks which lead to the illusive jobs we sought.

What does a typical working day include for you right now?
A typical working day starts at 9.00 with a coffee in hand and a walk into the office. By this time my motor skills are firing on all cylinders and ready for the day. If it’s Monday or Wednesday we have a production meeting with the team which is 10% scheduling and planning and 90% tea drinking. After this I write a daily list of tasks and subsequently attempt to mark it off. One of the perks of being a designer is that the list changes, for the most part, each day.

What’s your take on internships? 
We’re fans of internships as long as both parties get rewarded. We’ve an intern at all times and value their contributions and the energy they bring to the studio environment. We feel it’s fair to look at an internship in two stages where the first stage is all about the intern soaking up the atmosphere, observing how things are done and learning some of the basics. This usually lasts for 3 months. The second stage is about taking this knowledge and implementing it. We want to see the person thinking in the right way about projects, laying good foundations down before going gung ho into a project.

What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
1. Say yes and figure it out later. 
Don’t lose an opportunity because you don’t know something. Say yes, find out what it is and then bust your balls to make it happen.

2. Google something before asking. 
If I’m working beside one of the guys and I can’t spell a word I google it, firstly because it’s a bit embarrassing but more importantly because I’m distracting somebody else doing what they do. The same goes for most things, google it first and if you’re really stuck finding a solution then ask somebody.

3. Always take notes at meetings.
When I was freelancing in other studios I had a terrible habit of going to internal meeting and treating them like a casual chat. A good studio manager gave me this advice. Take some fucking notes… I never forgot that.

4. Ask for help. 
If you feel like you can’t meet a deadline put your hand up and let people help.

5. Too much of anything is a bad thing. 
We work long hours, the thought of coming home after a long day and cracking open a design book about grids makes me nauseous. I need space from design and from the computer. Having other interests have fed into my work and kept me sane.

Whats the big goal in the next five years?
The biggest goal is to keep the studio happy and everyone motivated to do the best work they can do. I’ve had jobs where I’ve dreaded the idea of coming into work and fallen into the cycle of sticking headphones in for the whole day and not talking to anyone. We want Post to be a positive space where people feel comfortable to do great work and enjoy doing it. It’s our responsibility to try and make that environment for ourselves and the team.

Website: workbypost.com
Instagram: @workbypost
Twitter: @workbypost