Seachange

The team at Seachange shares with us the good and the boring parts of running a studio, from working with visionary entrepreneurs to taking out the rubbish. They also chat with us about how to make yourself indispensable as a design graduate or intern, their favourite design crushes, and the importance of proofreading emails.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

We create game-changing brands for clients with ambitious products and services.

What are some of the best and worst parts of your job, day-to-day?

Best: Meeting interesting people. Working with visionary entrepreneurs to bring their brands to life. Seeing the brands we create out in the wild and seeing their effectiveness.

Worst: Wearing many hats; too much admin, taking out the rubbish, chasing invoices and timesheets. Oh and being let down by suppliers — there is literally nothing worse than being let down by a supplier. That's probably why we try to control all aspects of the brands we create and oversee the production.

Design work by Seachange The Design Kids interviews Seachange work-2

Who are your top five design crushes globally right now?

Sorry, there's way more than 5...

Collins are pretty great at creating fun and memorable brands that are also underpinned by a strong concept, we love that!

Stuart Geddes' editorial work is the next level, the guy is a freak. We're on a mission to collect all of his books.

We have serious respect for Rejane Dal Bello, her work is fucking awesome, always surprising and beautifully executed.

Matt Willey is a typography master, he starts trends that everyone tries to emulate.

Christopher Doyle: beautiful and clever work and also the funniest person we've ever met.

Dean Poole is a legend and he's a Kiwi, whoop!

And we love the work that comes out of Hort, it makes us nostalgic for living in Europe.

What qualities and skills do you look for in a graduate?

Initiative, passion, drive, grit, willingness to learn... It's all about personality and attitude. If you don't show these qualities, there's no point working for us.

Design work by Seachange The Design Kids interviews Seachange work-4
Design work by Seachange The Design Kids interviews Seachange work-4

Work out what type of work inspires you, and what you're passionate about and approach those studios first.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

Lots of our commercial projects blur into passion projects because we probably care too much. We recently started working with Silo Theatre; the work is really fulfilling and we get to be extremely creative with how we bring the concepts to life. We've recently completed the 2020 Season Campaign for them, which involves the task of visually tying together a series of somewhat disparate plays. For this series, we used projection art to reference theatre lighting / live theatre, and projected graphics symbolic to each play onto people. It was a test in experimentation and patience but we got there in the end.

What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Work hard and be nice to people. — Anthony Burrill

Design work by Seachange The Design Kids interviews Seachange work-6

What advice would you give students graduating in 2020?

Work out what type of work inspires you, and what you're passionate about and approach those studios first. Don't settle for '[email protected]' or '[email protected]', dig deeper, find the director's name and email address so you can personalise the email and go direct. Talk about what projects of theirs you love, and why. Be articulate and to the point, why would you be a good fit? Absolutely no spelling mistakes, and triple check your email. A couple of times we've had grad emails that have accidentally included a different studio's name in the body copy. Lol.

Also, be open-minded and creative with the studios you approach — everyone hits up the 'cool' studios, they're on everyone's radar, but sometimes you get better opportunities in places less known. Do whatever you can to get your foot in the door; if someone gets you in for a few weeks, you need to make yourself absolutely indispensable to the studio in that time, so they've got no choice but keep you on. This isn't about showing the most talent or flawless design; no-one expects this from a grad. It's about being there early, being the last to leave, offering to make coffee, showing lots of initiative and generally being a nice cool person to have in the studio. Culture and fit are everything. Oh, and don't try to take over the music too early.

What is the design landscape like in your city and where do you fit in?

Auckland is a relatively small city internationally (only 1.5 million people). But we definitely punch above our weight and there are lots of agencies doing incredible work.

In terms of where we fit in? We like to think our work has a very international style; probably due to us living in Europe for 10 years. We have a lot of fun with our work, bold ideas, bold execution. We want our work to have a voice; to create a reaction or for people to take notice. Hopefully, this comes through and gives us a unique 'thing'.

2019 for you in a sentence.

Juggling exciting briefs, our 5-year-old starting school, new studio space, too much overtime, our toddler going through terrible twos, winning the purple pin at the New Zealand Best Awards, lots of satisfaction, lots of exhaustion, holiday to Japan.

Design work by Seachange The Design Kids interviews Seachange work-9
Design work by Seachange The Design Kids interviews Seachange work-9

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