OUGD602 — Studios — The Lift Agency — First Day

I met Sam at the train station like arranged and we spent the half an hour train journey talking about cycling, bikes, design and the agency. Me and Sam were definitely on the same level as each other and I think the combination of common passions were evident in this.

After the short walk from the train station to the studio I was introduced to Christophe, a designer/artworker in the agency along with Ben who was outside in the sun on the phone to a client. I was shown around the surprisingly big studio on the top floor of the building which had a main studio, a meeting room, an office, a bathroom, kitchen/dining room and storage before being taken to a mac and getting very quickly briefed on what I was going to be doing that day. The week before, one of their permanent freelancers did a flyer for them which wasn't to their standard and my task was to re-do it.

I don't know if this was the dominant reason for enjoying the day so much but my task was to create a flyer for a local bike shop about the government funded cycle-scheme. Some clients arrived and Sam left me to go to the meeting and I was left to my own devices. As I started to plan out my ideas in my notebook, more people began coming in and I surprisingly acted rather confident in my introductions, a rare occurrence as I am very shy at first with people. From the start there was so many laughs and a lot of studio 'banter' which kept the room lively and smiling.

It was a fascinating work environment that made me realise how different Analogue were with how they dealt with everything. This was very laid back nonetheless hard-working, whilst the creative director at Analogue would send off negative vibes around the studio often if he wasn't happy with something which would leave the room in silence. Did I actually enjoy my time there? The first time, definitely. I learned a lot about the industry, worked with some amazing creatives for big names and got paid £200! The second time, definitely not. Working at PC World might of drilled it into me that bosses are always power-mad and unlikable people and so I saw past Barry. But here, everything was so relaxed, fun and always interesting with no negative characters, it was a nice change to what I was used to and made me feel very relaxed and happy to be there.

For lunch, we walked into the town so I was able to experience Harrogate for the first time. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was a very nice place that felt like it catered for expensive tastes. We went to the Waitrose to pick up some lunch and as the pizzas were on clearance we decided to have a little pizza + salad buffet. We put £2 each in and got enough for everyone. Lunch felt a bit intimidating purely because it was the moment everyone were in the same room at the same time and as I was a new character, people were asking a lot about me. I dealt with this okay and feel like it sparked a better connection with everyone at the studio.

Once lunch was over, everyone got back to work and Sam came over to see what I'd done. I was told I had free reign so I enhanced the logo and redesigned the flyer completely which was beyond Sam's expectations as I got a lot of praise for it and he told me it was perfect and I'd pushed it to a really good point. He gave me a couple of bits of feedback on the illustrations and then urged me to continue and try and finish it that day.

Before I knew it, it was 6pm and I had finished the job to a standard I was really happy with. Everyone crowded round the computer-screen and all agreed that it was done to a much better standard than the last time and that I seemed very adaptable of what I was creating depending on the brief/client.

Me and Sam made a quick dash to the train station after I was debriefed quickly by him and Tony (the big boss) who both agreed that they wanted me to come back again and work collaboratively with them so they could see how I worked in that scenario as well as solo. 

The train journey back was very confidence boosting as Sam told me about how he started to work with the company and it was exactly the same as I had come in that day. He has grown with and helped grow the company six years down the line and he is now the creative director. We talked bikes a bit more and then said our goodbyes once I had thanked him for the opportunity once more and he promised he'd be in touch.

OUGD602 — Studios — Archipelago — Meeting

Me and Michael from Archipelago have been exchanging e-mails since the first one I documented in March in an attempt to meet and allow me to visit the studio. Unfortunately the world was against us and prolonged our meet on several occasions on unavoidable reasons on both of our sides.

Finally, we came to a date we could both put to one side for one another and finally meet.

The studio is amongst The Tower Works and I fell in love with the space from the moment I entered. It was absolutely tiny and that was the moment I realised this was a two person company. The walls were adorned by beautifully printed publications and prints structured amongst the white space and you could instantly feel that this was the perfect space to be inspired and creative.

Michael and Zosia are Archipelago, Michael being the designer and Zosia, his wife being the project manager, account handler, and organiser all round.

I was greeted with an amazing coffee and a friendly chat about the space, community surrounding it and the work that they have been doing. This lead onto the reason why they wanted to bring me in.

They had noticed me on instagram when I most recently rebranded myself and were taken back by the fact I was still in university when they noticed my standard of work, the amount of freelancing I have been doing as well as the amount of time I have spent working in studios this year. Even though they mentioned possible internships in the original email they sent me, they mentioned here that I am passed the level of what they would be able to offer me in an internship or placement as I am already doing what I would of been taught on it. Instead they brought up their interest in keeping in touch with me and using me as a freelancer as and when the opportunity arises along with the possibility of working together on more arty projects.

This was so overwhelming to have a couple of professionals give me this amount of praise and bring up their interest of working with me professionally.

Archipelago focus on the independent and cultural sector of design and their favourite briefs are those for museums, galleries and exhibitions. This is a direction I would love to experience as I have not yet had the opportunity to.

We discussed my current work and they provided me with some excellent feedback, along with a confidence boost in telling me that my worries of entering the real world after university are not at all necessary as I am so far the most professional studio they have spoken to and have built up an amazing network for myself.

Michael and Zosia were absolutely lovely and a pleasure to talk to. I was invited to the opening night of The Plant Room, an interactive exhibition they are currently working on with Lucy Ketchin, Dove Street Pottery, and Matt Kelly. This will be a great way of seeing them again and updating them on post-university life as it is the week after our final submission.

OUGD602 — Studios — The Lift Agency — Opportunity

On Facebook, there is a discussion board for fixed-gear cyclists in Leeds to aid in selling parts, buying parts, organising rides, etc.

I check it each week to see where and when the communal rides are taking place and this week I noticed one of the group moderators, Sam had posted this.

The Lift Agency was already on my hit-list for places I wanted to visit/request a placement so I sought the opportunity and sent him an e-mail.

Working in sales at PC World has given me an insight in financial psychology and therefore I upped my day-rate without pushing the boat out too far so that if lift as a studio attempted to little it down, I wouldn't lose out.

The conversation felt very relaxed and laid back and I felt like there is an instant common ground because of my ice-breaker of the Halleycat.

I wanted to highlight my experience in the professional industry so he felt like he could depend on me, I let him in on a recent struggle I had with timezones and international clients because of him mentioning that difficulty.

`What I mentioned above happened and he asked if I would take £120/day, this is still above my standard day-rate so I was pretty chuffed and accepted with a bit of resistance to show that I know what I want/need but prompted a declaration of how much work would be involved.

This also worked and he mentioned there would be a fair amount of work in the coming months.

After clarifying dates and times, we agreed for me to come up on the Friday to meet the team and work with them for the day to see how I did things.

We arranged to meet at the train station for the 8:30 train to Harrogate where we could have a chat before arriving because of his meeting first thing.

This was all really exciting and didn't feel like it could of gone any better.

I am beginning to feel a lot more professional as of recently. People are treating me and my practice with a lot more respect and its a good feeling, its a nice reflection.

OUGD602 — Placement — Analogue Part 2 — Week 1 & 2

For my second placement at Analogue I was given two tasks to complete in the studio while I was there at the same time as being involved in studio feedback of current briefs.

I had to manage time well as I was there during Easter which meant a bank holiday weekend in-between it. Monday - Thursday and then Tuesday to Thursday.

My first task that took a bigger priority was to develop what I had left behind with the Revere branding and identity and my less important but extremely fun project was to design a beer label using typography with the theme of northern folklore.

I started right back at the development and spent approximately four days on Revere and three days on the beer design.


I developed a concept and then designed three different logo variations for it before presenting them on design boards that I could give to Barry.

Beer Label:

The quote I was given was 'White horses ride the waves as Unicorns rise from beneath'

East coast fishermen are used to the heavy waves (or ‘white horses’) they will also tell you of the Narwhal they sometimes net by mistake with its eight foot horn thrashing about the ship.

My idea was to build a scene of typography by hand drawing it all and then enhancing it digitally. I used the scales of the printable bottle area and got to work.

I really loved producing this piece of work as I hadn't had my hand at illustration to this degree for a while. I left everything in the server folders so Barry could look over it when he got back to the studio the day after I left.

As great as the studio experience was, this time at the studio was a little disappointing.

Unlike last time where I was given a variety of smaller jobs to complete for clients within the studio which the studio valued enough to pay me £200 along with the experience of studio-feedback at a much higher level than university's, I only had these two things to do which neither of them were true live briefs. 

When I approached Barry about the payment for the placement he reacted rather negatively and wasn't even aware of the job advert that the studio manager, Hattie had published. He refused all responsibility for the advert and made it clear that payment should always be brought up before anything and that I should of made it clear I was under the impression that I was getting minimum wage.

As much as I agree I should of made that assumption clear, I feel that as a creative director, Barry handled this situation very immaturely and unprofessionally and left me feeling like I had spent two weeks working towards two projects that weren't taken entirely seriously as well as not being paid for the time.

To finish on a positive note I feel that my practice at the studio has enhanced the way I deal with feedback and develop projects from that, as well as my focus and development of design boards. Design at the end of the day must be sold to a potential client and that must be done in a clear, creative and well executed format that makes the client think in the desired way.

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