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5 Unconventional Tips to Becoming a Designer

May 23, 2016

When I finished school, which feels like a lifetime ago, you either needed to get a job or continue further education to college – which ultimately meant you needed to go to university.

You were put on a path and there was no deviating from it.

Once you committed to a lifetime of education and invested thousands (and thousands) of pounds in your future there was, dare I say it, a little pressure behind you.

Here at Venture Stream we’re always looking at unique ways of doing things.

We encourage the new, rejoice in the unconventional and support the next generation of marketers / designers and entrepreneurs. After doing-the-do now for a fair few years, there’s a few things I’ve learnt about the design industry and if you’re interested in a career in design (Venture Stream – check out our latest available positions) here’s my golden advice to you.

Design for yourself

One of the hardest briefs you can ever give yourself is to design for yourself. Whether it’s for a blog or a small website or even a CV try and give yourself the brief of designing you. Self critique is imperative and you’ll agonise over it – a client will want to see the same passion for them as you do yourself. This is a good place to start.

Be proactive

Just like an actress working in a café, we always hope we’ll be discovered just sitting on our Macs in a local coffee shop. This isn’t a movie so we have to do the hard slog ourselves. Engage with people, attend hangouts and make sure some form of portfolio exists on the net. Good old fashioned A3 portfolios were great – as well as a huge hindrance in windy weather – but the future is tech. Try sites like Behance and LinkedIn.

Don’t pigeon hole yourself

There was a time when print was king. While it is still imperative and a much needed form of design, online marketing makes way for a whole new way of designing. Whereas before we might have been playing with the space on a billboard, we’re now talking in tiny pixels. Design is fluid, as should you be. Discover and create all kinds of design from apps to ads.

University is not the only way

I’m a big advocate of placements and starting from making coffee to being allowed to touch the computer. In my first proper placement I left my job at Starbucks to make coffees in the kitchen of an agency – I loved every second of it. I learnt more there about the industry than I had managed in three years of university. Going back I’d have tried to get my foot in the door earlier and missed out the debt of university. Be on the look out for appropriate placements and don’t be afraid to ask. Read this by our Director Marty too.

Don’t give up

Design is subjective, ever changing and never the same job twice. You’ll get all sorts of replies some good, some… well it’s all learning. Newcastle is a hub of interesting, talented and friendly people who can help you cultivate your creativity. Don’t be afraid to get in touch for portfolio crits – we’re here to help.

Fancy a career with Venture Stream? Why not drop us a line and say hello? We’re always looking for passionate people with drive. Get in touch today.

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