I am a self taught designer so my learning or studying experiences came through mostly Magazines, tutorials, experimenting and work experience.
My first job was for a small marketing and advertising studio, I worked there as an intern for free for two months this is how my journey in design began. During my time with this company I would often just be left alone to figure out design software and work things out on my own which really helped me learn and grow quite quickly.
I then had a short period of freelancing before relocating to Johannesburg where I was fortunate enough to get my first break to work for a great production agency where I got to experience many areas of design like animation, 3D and branding. During my time at this agency my I discovered my love for typography and it just developed from there.
In a nutshell, I am a graphic designer and I focus in Typography and Type Design. I work mostly with advertising agencies, magazine publishers and various brands to create either an Illustrative Typographic piece or a Typeface for them. My studio and Type foundry is Arkitype, this is the foundry which I create and license fonts under.
Right now a typical work day means taking care of all aspects of business which means everything from admin, to dealing with clients and getting the work out.
In terms of design work, I am usually either working with a client on a project which could be a short term project, completed in a couple of days or a longer term project which might run over a month or two. When I am not working with a client I am usually working on a typeface for my type foundry.
I think being a self taught designer I have special appreciation for a portfolio and the opportunities it can open for you.
When I look at portfolios I like to see a very well curated and considered folio. Take time to consider and layout the projects you are including in your portfolio. Include work that will show off your different skills as well as some process or conceptual images of the projects, this can show potential employers your conceptual ability and the way you think.
Always select work that is well crafted and represents you. You should only need 5-10 projects in your portfolio. Remember, Quality over quantity!!
Design is a career of constant change and constant learning so make sure you keep learning and developing your skills. Work really hard early in you career and establish yourself, you will enjoy the rewards of that hard work later on.
Take time to experiment and try new things. Every so often I try take a few days and just mess around in different software and experiment with different techniques and try learn something new.
Lastly, try discover what you are most passionate about as a creative and pursue that, do what you love and It won’t feel like work.
Over the next 12 months I will be focusing a lot on my Type Foundry which means growing my library of fonts and becoming a more establish foundry to license fonts from.
In terms of Client work, I have a bucket list of clients that I would really love to work with, I have made some progress with that list over the last 6 months so I will be looking get further with that and just work on establishing myself more in the industry.