MARK Studio

Owners and designers of MARK Studio, Craig and Frederick, share their design love stories with us (one involves James Victore - it pulls at the heartstrings), discuss internships and how they treat them more like a mentorship, plus we get into the importance of attention to detail across every element of the application process — email, CV & portfolio.

Hello. We’re designers.

MARK Studio was founded in 2011 by Craig and Frederick.

Neither of us, you may have noticed, is called Mark.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

Craig: I studied Graphic Design at CPUT, went on to working for a small design studio and then spent some time in the UK before returning to SA and getting into the Advertising industry. Sold my sole for a few years and then made the conscious decision to move back into design.

Frederick: I received my degree from Stellenbosch University in Graphic Design after which I worked for an illustration studio (I was very fortunate to have rad co-workers/friends working for amazing clients like MTV, Metropolitan, Halls, Coca Cola to name a few) BUT missed design so I joined a small studio to get back to what I love most, design.

Design work by MARK Studio The Design Kids interviews MARK Studio work-2

When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?

C: Whilst visiting our next door neighbours marketing agency during a school job shadow program.

F: When I found a stack of old Graphis magazines in our town library as a kid, especially the one with the mesmerising work of James Victore. I ended up buying that stack of magazines from the library a few years later before going to study and to my surprise a couple of years back I was fortunate enough to meet him in person and got him to sign that same magazine.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

We are NOT your average multidisciplinary …bla… bla…. studio.

We are two hard working passionate designers trying to save the world from average design. The studio does a lot of Packaging and Corporate Identity design for a broad range of clients spread across the globe.

Design work by MARK Studio The Design Kids interviews MARK Studio work-4
Design work by MARK Studio The Design Kids interviews MARK Studio work-4

Trends come and go, but a good idea stays a good idea

Whats your take on internships? (do you take interns now?)

We love the internship programs offered by the design schools around the globe, it gives students a chance to see all the different environments within design (graphic design, packaging, illustration, advertising, publishing, etc.) Each studio has its own unique culture and way of doing things and this gives students a snapshot of what they can expect.

The studio does take interns, however we do not take on many in a year probably two at the most. As it does take up time as we see it more of a mentorship than an internship, students have to leave here having learnt something from us; if its our sense of humour, how we approach projects, taking scamps to digital executions and probably most important of all how we champion concepts (trends come and go, but a good idea stays a good idea)

What do you look for in a great portfolio?

As we just mentioned above, concept is king, if we look at a portfolio and say: “Ahh, I wish we’d thought of that” it already makes us want to look at more of the work the student has to offer. It goes without saying that attention to detail is also important, what the CV and Porti design looks like and the email accompanying it.

Design work by MARK Studio The Design Kids interviews MARK Studio work-6

What do you look for in a great client?

This is an easy one, trust.

If a client trusts us to do what we do best the result always exceeds expectation.

Design work by MARK Studio The Design Kids interviews MARK Studio work-7
Design work by MARK Studio The Design Kids interviews MARK Studio work-7

Where to find MARK Studio online.

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