I wasn’t totally sure about what I wanted to study at university, I knew it had to be a creative course, but I wanted it to also have meaning and value. My time on the USW Graphics course was more than I could have ever expected and within a very short amount of time, I knew I had made the right choice. Throughout the three years, I was encouraged and supported by a close-knit creative community of both lecturers and coursemates and was pushed to not only learn software but more importantly how to think strategically about design.
I spent a couple of months freelancing and brushing up on my portfolio since graduating and then I was lucky enough to land my current job as a graphic designer at Jam Creative Studios based in Cowbridge, Wales. Jam is a multimedia creative agency that mainly focuses on interactive projects within heritage, educational and medical sectors.
A general workday consists of the development of multiple ongoing projects, currently, this includes app development, AR and VR interactives and some motion graphic work. All projects call for effective communication and decision making within the team and with our various clients.
I feel lucky to have been able to work on many different projects in such a short amount of time in the industry. I work with many different programmes and am also being trained in Unity- a program for 3D development.
The real-world opportunities and support provided by lecturers was second to none and I honestly believe I wouldn’t be on my chosen career path or have half the confidence without completing this Graphic Communication course. Having friends in different degrees gave me the perspective to realise how lucky I was to receive the time and support that I did during my course. Also, I was given real-world opportunities from the very 1st year which really instilled a professional mindset very early on in the course. Industry-led competitions were frequent throughout the course and made it clear what the end goal of the course was going to be.
One of the main aspects of what makes this course special is the real-world interaction between the course and industry. I was lucky enough to win two competitions during my time on the course, the first being a work experience placement from a branding competition in year 1 and then receiving a commendation for the YCN competition in year 2. Both of these experiences helped me develop my confidence and allowed me to see what working in the real world of design was like.
Two modules come to mind straight away when I think back to what projects I enjoyed most. Experimental typography was great because it was a module we were encouraged to fully think outside the box and go wild with different mediums when developing our own typefaces. The second was creating a motion graphic piece that was intended to encourage and incentivise the reading of classic novels within younger audiences. This was my first opportunity to learn Motion Graphics with Adobe After effects and I loved every minute of it!
Young creatives should pick this course to fundamentally understand why things are designed in the way that they are and recognise the purpose and thinking behind any given design outcome.
The best advice I can give to anyone starting the Graphics course is to make the most out of the support available to you, your lecturers are there for a reason and are the loveliest of people.