I was super lucky to get an internship with a small design team under Julian Melhuish while I was finishing up at UTS. It was my first glimpse into a working studio. I got to work on real client briefs, join in on brainstorms, experiment with visuals and even be involved in some client presentations. The whole process and excitement around ideas got me hooked. After graduating I went to an AGDA folio event where I met Ant Donovan, who ended up giving me my first job at an agency called Moon.
(Side-note: At Moon I met Linda Jukic who founded Accompany – so it's all come full circle).
Most importantly, ideas. Your folio shouldn’t just show off your type and layout skills (although those are important too), but should show your thinking, your understanding of the audience and the response and action you’d like them to have from engaging with your work. With SO many visual references coming out of social media and blogs, it’s easy to get carried away with design trends, but those don’t stand the test of time, ideas do.
Don’t forget to edit, only include work that you're proud of and that gets you excited – you’ll present much stronger if you believe in what your showing. You're better off showing 5 great projects than 10 mediocre ones. Quality over quantity!
Do it. You get to try out lots of studios, work with different people and absorb heaps of knowledge from all of them (not to mention all the free beer). It's also a good chance to try before you buy – like speed dating for designers. Between us, we’ve had some amazing interning experiences (like dating), but some tragic ones as well, and looking back both were equally important.
At Accompany we’re always on the look out for awesome interns – they bring great energy, have fresh ideas and approach briefs in unexpected new ways. A lack of experience can actually be a strength.
Trust. A great client is one who wants you to work with them, not for them. They come to you with a problem (not a solution) and trust that together you’ll find an answer. This goes both ways – by including the client as part of the team, you'll understand them and their problem better and be more likely to create work that works.
Grammar has never been my friend and typos seem to be my blind spot. On a few occasions when showing my work (as luck would have it, to people I really admire) obvious typos have been pointed out. I wanted to dig a deep hole and bury myself in it. Now I make sure to spell check at least 3 times and get someone else to proof read.
Go for it. Don't overthink it. Trust your gut.
Be driven, passionate and open. But also take the time to talk to people – real, honest insights come from conversations, not the computer screen. Some of the best ideas come from just listening.
Experiment. Explore different ideas, words and visuals – you never know what you can come up with unless you just give it a try! Sometimes you have to let go of making things ‘right’ or perfect to fit within what’s happening, to land on something unique and exciting.
Keep your eyes open. Look for inspiration beyond the design world – music, art, science, history, nature etc – don’t just rely on design blogs or Instagram, everyone is already looking there.
Enjoy it. What we do can be really challenging but it's also incredibly fun. We get paid to help people by coming up with exciting ideas and making them look beautiful – I still can't believe it.
Our colourful dive into the deep end.