Earlier this week I went on a portfolio visit to a small creative agency in Manchester called Design By Day. I had initially tried to arrange a visit towards the end of last year but due to busyness at both ends we were never able to settle on a date. The whole idea of going to Design By Day was born out of an idea that me and a friend on the Moving image course had about receiving feedback from practitioners in different areas. We both felt that as design practices are collaborating more and more it would be a good idea to check out somewhere that does just that. Design By Day consists of just two young designers, Angela and Louise who graduated from Salford University not too many moons ago and use Angela's expertise in moving image with Louise's background in print and love for branding to base the foundations of a wonderful little agency!
Matt and I were greeted by Louise at the door and guided through Islington Mill, which I had heard about before but never realised how much actually went on inside. The studio was quite small but really homely, with ephemera littering the walls and quirky props dangling from the celling. We had a little chat to begin with about the course and where we were both up to. Then we began looking through my portfolio first. Angela arrived just as I was starting.
It was the first time talking about a few of the projects i.e. Ritz and 7x7 Book, so that was a little different They both seemed to really like the packaging ideas for Ritz and we spoke abit about how the packaging can sometimes sell the product on its own. Louise made a really valid comparison to when Hovis redesigned the outside of their bread packs to just beans, she said that instantly put her off buying it even though she knew the product was good. They both said they would have been interested to see the 'play on scale' example as they said it sounded really interesting. So I think I will try and sort that out for the next visit. The 7x7 book was a bg talking point too as they really liked the book and the poster and found it really interesting how we had over come so many problems and worked with a range of different people. They said having a real brief often taught you more about the way you work and making mistakes was a key part of becoming a designer.
As I have stripped down my portfolio to only 5 projects it felt strange that it was over a lot quicker than I expected. They really liked the Helvetica Neue double page spread and actually commented more on the book cover than other people usually do, which was nice as I often forget it exists. The V&A end sting also went down well with them both enjoying being able to see the storyboard come to life through the flip book. They agreed that the 'London Pasta Festival' idea needed pushing further but really like the simplistic idea and the use of Italian restaurants around the river to form the plate, even suggesting it could form as a map. One thing that was suggested was to try and place the idea onto some packaging and see how that would work.
I was then able to sit and listen to Matt talk about his work which was fantastic, it made me really pleased that I decided to go with someone on another pathway apposed to someone else from Graphics. Not only to see his work but to listen to what advice they were giving him. After that we sat and casually chatted to them and another one of their friends that was currently in her final year at Salford for a good hour. Other projects we had done cropped up in conversation such as the Door(way) and Water brief and also other students that had previously been to see them. It was great to feel completely comfortable talking about our interests and how we felt the course was going and what we want when we finish.