Monday, 22 March 2010


As i was heading down to London i thought it was a great opportunity to go back to where i did my placement in October to STEEL the digital design agency and get some feedback. I was probably more nervous about returning back there as i had spent time in and around the members of the team so expected some very honest feedback. I knew I was having a meeting with Nick Bennet before i went who is one of the partners of the company and head of the creative studio. Upon arrival Nick informed me he was giving me a formal interview which certainly put a twist on what i was expecting and the outcome was actually brilliant.We sat in one of the interview room which was quite surreal and he began by asking me why i had chosen to come to STEEL, what the appeal was. What was great about the way Nick approached the meeting was he not only asked me 'interview-style' questions but also guided me through why certain questions are important. E.g to make sure you have researched into what the company is, how it operates, its clients etc. We had quite a lengthy chat before i even opened my portfolio about the industry, where i'd like my career to go, pinpointing what we believe Graphic design to actually be etc, it was great.

Every project i showed Nick he asked me a multitude of questions, he wanted to understand how and why i had made certain design decisions, this was good for me as its the first time i have really had to justify every single detail, which he seemed really happy with the way i could explain things. He picked up again on the strong use of layout shown throughout the portfolio and also the editorial and font specimen sheet. He really liked the idea behind the photography brief yet felt the typography completely undersold the piece, suggesting the typography needed to have the same impact that helvetica neue had on the editorial pages, where the titles was powerful but didn't disturb the background. He absolutely loved the Door(way) brief, he thought the idea, concept, hands on approach were all really great and added something different to my portfolio. He then delved into lots of questions about how i work individually and within a team, giving me scenarios and problems to solve on the spot. which again was great practice for me to start answering those types of questions but also a great confidence boost to realise he agreed with my answers. We had a lengthy discussion on how to improve the pasta festival project, he was hesitant that the idea was becoming too graphical and was keene to get an organic feel back in to the poster, otherwise he absolutely loved the idea. He said that i should definitely include the pictures of the real pasta on the plate for further interviews as it really communicates the idea.Finally we came to the water brief and again he asked me lots of questions and was quite impressed with the outcome and decisions i had made about certain elements of the newspapers. The only unfortunate aspect was the writing in each of the newspapers didn't match the style of the front covers, which is something that has cropped up when speaking to people about them, this was something unavoidable at the time as the front covers were completely a last minute addition to the pieces but is definitely something worth considering if i return back to the project to retouch it.

Overall Nick was brilliant, he acted in a really professional manner, kept me on my toes by asking me some tough questions which really put me on the spot, i think this was a great way to approach it for me as it was completely different to the other visits i had had. A piece of advise he gave me was to try and include something digital in my portfolio by the time i leave or set up a professional website to use instead of my blog, which is something i am definitely considering.

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