Written by NDA tutor Amy Payler-Carpenter
It is great to see the emergence of new designers and last month we visited The New Designers show at The Business Design Centre, London. This showcases some of the best final year degree work from around the country and is a great celebration of young talent. Whilst visiting the show we learnt a few things which we would like to share with you…
The benefits of networking
This show is predominantly a way for new graduates to gain employment. It allows students to showcase their best work, mingle with industry representatives and build networks with other designers. In a competitive climate like design, sometimes who you know is as important as the skills you have. New opportunities may arise from these events, so make the most of them. If you are not attending a degree show, there are plenty of designer networking events held up and down the country so keep your eyes peeled.
The relevance of sketching
In this digital age it is easy to forget to draw, but many of the standout pieces from the show were those which had been produced by hand. This is also something employers want to see, as it shows the versatility of your skills and as a designer working on your own it is also important. Imagine being in a meeting with a client, you present visuals of a scheme and to your horror they are not happy with the end result; what would you do? You can either leave the meeting and spend hours on another set of visual, with the possibility of the same thing happening again, or you can discuss the clients preferred options right there and then, and sketch something out for approval. The second option will save you time and no doubt impress the client. And before you say ‘But I can’t draw’, you don’t need to be good at it, you just need to be confident.
The importance of model making
Like hand drawing, model making was one of the stand out skills from the show, just as it was at the DMU show we attended a couple of weeks ago. Digital models are great, especially as technology develops allowing a client to ‘walk-through’ a space. However, there is a tactility to a model which you cannot get from a computerised scheme. Models can also be very conceptual, forming part of the development process. Interior design is a 3D discipline, so it makes sense for the design process to be 3D also.
The power of great branding
As a designer you need to stand out, especially at a show such as this. Branding is a great way of for you to do this, so think about business cards, compliment cards, how your logo looks on your work and as part of your stand. Be original and be clear. Branding for a designer, just like a business, is a way of selling yourself so make sure it offers the client a clear impression of what you are all about!
Whilst at the show we were all impressed by ‘A solution for Manspreading’, two chairs designed to stop a man ‘sitting with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat’. It wasn’t just us impressed by the design; Laila Laurel, the chairs creator, was presented with the Belmond Award for emerging talent. This will no doubt kick start her career and is proof that original ideas will ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
We were so impressed by the level of talent at the show. It was full of confident and creative soon to be graduates, from whom current students can take inspiration. There are so many skills needed to be a successful designer, and it can be daunting, but those above are just a few that we think are super important.