Back in October, I was asked by Hallam University's Design & Illustration Society to present a talk and lettering workshop to their members, ranging from first year to final year students of all design courses. It was something I really liked the sound of doing, but it felt a bit surreal presenting a talk to designers that were in the same position I was only in myself a few months ago. Especially considering that in photos which later emerged of the talk, my expressions might be likened to those of a confused five year old.
So I decided to talk about how certain projects I did at uni led to work after I had finished, and the sort of things to have in mind when starting uni projects, such as considering what commercial context they might have. I also thought it would be useful for them to hear about some of the things that I wish I had done/known while I was at university before entering the world of work, including legal advice on how to conduct yourself as a business as well as a creative. I also tried to emphasise how being a good egg is worth a lot more than being a perfect designer. As obvious as it sounds, in reality people would rather work with someone they get on with and that is good at what they do over someone that might be more advanced/experienced but who is up their own arse.
This was followed by a workshop I organised with the society in which everyone had to bring an object of their choosing to experiment with, and to embrace the messiness of using unconventional tools. Some of my favourite approaches included students using pipettes to bubble black ink into words, while one student used a stick he had kept since being a child to create an alphabet, which was awesome. My expectations were exceeded with not only students getting involved, but having designers outside of the university come down for the talk and workshop such as the lovely ladies Kirsty and Louise from Born + Raised, who used lipgloss and cardboard among other items to create some experimental type.
Afterwards I was treated to a beer as well. To see more of the work the society does check out their Instagram.
Here are some of the pieces of work the designers created in the workshop: