We chat with the team at Less+More about all things internships, portfolios and San Diego. One intern wanted to learn paper quilling, so they made a paper model of their logo (RAD!); they tell us about how they value personality and attitude over your portfolio; plus we talk about the growing design community in San Diego, and their favourite studio pals in town.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.
At LESS+MORE our philosophy is simple. We do the work, we treat people right, and we give a damn. We are a design and branding agency focused on partnering with clients who share our values and want to do great work.
Whats your take on internships? (do you take interns now?)
We think they are extremely important. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to help young creatives transition into the working world of design. We try to expose our interns to the entire process. They get to work on real client work, passion projects, sit in on client presentations, and learn every piece of how our studio runs. We want students to have an extremely positive experience interacting with the professional design world for the first time. Working as a designer should always be fun. We try to expose our interns to real client projects, but we also challenge them to create a fun passion project that they can add to their portfolio when they graduate. One intern wanted to learn paper quilling, so we set her up with all the tools and she chose to make a paper model of our logo.
Yes, we are always looking for interns and try to have a few every semester. If you are interested, fill out this form and tell us your story.
What do you look for in a great portfolio?
This might come as a shock to young designers, but we actually look at the person that is showing us the work. As a designer you are so much more than your book of projects. We are interested in your ideas, interests, passions, and how you communicate. Those are the things that will really contribute to a company’s success. You can be the greatest designer in the world, but if your attitude and personality are not a fit for us, we will pass every time.
Something we look for in the work are hints at a bigger picture. We want to see a back story or that one little bit of thinking that no one else got to because they didn’t dig enough with the research. Most design programs are having students do the exact same projects. If you are keeping a project in your book that every other student has shown, you really need to try and make it unique. We also love to see self initiated projects. If you put in the extra work it is always obvious that you spent a lot of time crafting something outside of school. It shows us that you are hungry to learn and it tells us that you are willing to go the extra mile.
Any passion projects you would like to share?
We are passionate about helping non-profit organizations. Most of our non-profit projects have budgets and pay for our services just like any other client. We also try very hard to have one pro-bono project going in the studio at all times. We love to donate our services, time, and thoughts to causes we truly believe in.
What is the design landscape like in your city and where do you fit in?
A ton of newer agencies are blazing exciting trails and doing high quality work for clients all over the world. At the same time, we are lucky to have some legends of design here in San Diego. Miguel, Scott and John from Mires Ball have created a ton of design work that has given San Diego national attention over the last 30 years. Shawn Parr from Bulldog Drummond is a constant inspiration for designers who put strategy at the forefront.
We are extremely excited and optimistic about our place in the San Diego creative community. We look forward to growing with the constantly expanding design culture here. We also love that San Diego is able to support so many talented freelance creatives, photographers, illustrators, designers, developers, writers and animators. It’s the best, because it allows us to constantly partner with our local community on projects.
What advice would you give students starting out?
Don’t think for a second that because you are “too young” or “right out of school” that you don’t get to have an opinion. If you find yourself somewhere that doesn’t value your ideas or treats you like you don’t know anything, run away fast! We are not telling you that you know everything, because you don’t. None of us do, and that’s the point. Just be humble and unafraid to defend your unique point of view, because it matters to the right people.
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