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Marion Bisserier is an alumni of BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design. Marion took part in the Diploma in Professional Studies year and tells us why she would recommend DPS to other students.
BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design
Right now I'm working with a foundry, expanding my typeface Good Girl to more characters. At the end of the month I'll be starting a freelance junior designer position at A Practice for Everyday Life (APFEL) which I’m really excited about.
To gain a practical understanding of the industry, to build a network, find out what kind of designer I want to be and to make mistakes before I leave university and start my career.
I first worked for three months as an intern in a four person Parisian studio called Artworklove which specialises in print for cultural brands. Later I started my six month internship at Pentagram on Marina Willer’s team in London, where I had the opportunity to do more branding. Finally I did a one week summer course at Fraser Muggeridge’s Typography Summer School (TSS) to improve my typographic skills and meet other young designers.
To always think one step ahead and be prepared, because opportunities come and go faster than you would expect. Keep updating your portfolio and know how to present yourself and your work efficiently. Be straightforward and honest in interviews about what you can bring to the team and what you want to get out of the job. Remember it is a two way street!
I knew I wanted to become a graphic designer when I joined my course but I had no idea how many different specialisms existed before I embarked on the DPS journey. After my experience at Pentagram and TSS, I realised I really enjoyed typography and wanted to make it central to my career. Also in terms of work environment, I learned that I am most efficient in a team and need the social interaction of a design studio to perform at my best.
100%! Firstly because it allows you to experiment and see what the industry is like without running too much risk, because you are supported by the DPS tutors.
Secondly because it will refine your career ambitions and will allow you to produce better, cleaner and stronger work in your final year portfolio which is crucial to apply to full-time jobs after your studies. Finally, it will give you a head start in your job search because you would have started to build your own network.
Be open about the job opportunities as long as they are paid and can teach you something. You will not be defined by a single internship so don’t be too picky about your first placement and if it doesn’t quite work out, think of it as the opportunity to bounce back and learn from your mistakes.
Make the opportunities happen rather than solely relying on job searches. Don’t be afraid to send someone a reminder (within reasonably spaced timing) if they haven’t got back to you. They’re not ignoring you on purpose — designers are busy people!
It would be the sense of community and the dedication of the tutors in preparing us for the industry. From day one you understand that LCC is your safe space, that the tutors are here for you but also that you should be here for your peers because you’re all on the same boat to success in the creative industry, which is at the end of the day a very collaborative field. I think LCC prepared us very well for that.
I can’t pick just one! Christian Granados, the letterpress technician, for pushing me to get my hands dirty and teaching me that typography requires patience. John-Patrick Harnett, my thesis supervisor, for encouraging me to question the industry and see research as an essential component to design. Paul McNeil for his invaluable support with my final major project Good Girl.
It really depends on the nature of the project but I tend to not look too much at what other graphic designers are doing because unconsciously it makes me focus on aesthetics and not concept. I get more creative by looking at other disciplines like product, fashion or interior design and see how they’ve solved a similar problem with different tools. I also like to read or visit exhibitions related to the topics I’m working on.
Right now I am working from home with all my design books and always something to scribble on. At the end of the month I will be joining APFEL who have their office in Bethnal Green. The office is very bright and everyone works in the same space. From what I’ve heard, every Wednesday someone cooks for the rest of the team. I have to start thinking about my recipes!
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