Chrissy, who organises the awards, was very kind and said I could visit the agency where she works as the Creative Director – Illumination. On their website they describe their agency as such…
With over 21 years of collaboration with British and international clients we have created a hybrid consultancy that combines the disciplines of brand strategy, innovation, graphic and structural design and realisation, all under one roof in central London, enabling us to deliver cohesive, compelling and meaningful ideas for our clients.
As Chrissy was in Europe with a client, I got to met Claire, a senior designer. She explained that the majority of their work focusses on food packing, both in the UK and the Netherlands. We looked at lots of examples that they have on display in the reception area and then she showed me how they developed the work, from brief, to idea development, to pitching it to their client.
They work in Illustrator and create a large role that outlines the growth of the idea and the component parts, which look like a really nice way to present it.
We talked about the roles different people play in developing the ideas and how many designers could work on the same little piece of artwork. In addition they had to work closely with the inhouse package designers to ensure the ideas are feasible. After that, the artworkers would ensure that the designers can be printed and cut and Claire described how that stage things can change again, with colours needing adjusted to save money or as the mix wasn’t possible on the material being used.
I showed her some of my work, using my Behance portfolio on my iPad. This was great, but I had to ask for their wifi password before it could work. If I was coming for a job interview and planning to use it I think I should arrive earlier and get that sorted at reception first. I showed her the video I made for the University of Bradford over the summer and talked about the aim and my role. She gave me positive feedback and organised for me to sit down for a chat with their moving image designer, Ed.
Ed told me he started off with a Fine Art degree, which led him to artworking in the agency. When The Creative Driector had an idea for a short animated Christmas card he took up the challenge to develop the skills to be able to do it, and from there he moved into the role. This coincided nicely with the need for brands to develop online content in a variety of mediums – film was a pretty perfect way for the agency to develop too.
We had a look at all the types of films he had made and the purpose of making them and he then gave me an introduction to Adobe After Effects. This is a application that I’ve been too scared to even open as it seemed so foreign to anything I’ve done to date. After a look, it’s really not that bad, I feel confident I could give it a go, however, it is a happy bedfellow with Adobe Illustrator, which is a another app that I’m not very confident with. From this meeting I have definitely identified that I need to spend a lot of time working of improving my skills across the Adobe Creative Suite.
We also talked about how long things take. He can spend a lot longer than I would have whilst studying to work on a short film. For example, it took him a month, in amongst his other commitments, to do this two second ident.
I also got a tour around and to meet the different teams. There was client management, graphic designers, artworkers, and package designers, as well as senior managers and support staff. Each one had sepcialist skills and their team came into play and different stages in teh brief.
I really enjoyed my visit. Everyone was genuinely lovely and very generous with their time and sharing their knowledge. They all knew my Creative Conscience Awards entry and good luck message, which really surprised me!
What I want to do next is visit an agency with a film department and see how that differs and what different roles are available. In addition I will try to find a time to visit Mike from Straightforward Design who Chrissy asked if I could visit too (he said yes but wasn’t available on the day I was going to London.