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Graphic Media Design Diploma in Professional Studies student interns at Snowboxx music festival


Written by
Jake May
Published date
16 April 2018

A London College of Communication student from the BA (Hons) Graphic Media Design course, who undertook the Diploma in Professional Studies, is interning with Snowboxx, a Winter music festival held in France, working and using her design background across several months.

Alexandra McCracken, a third year student from Finland, was selected to design for Snowboxx after a shortlisting challenge to work on the Ministry of Sound’s Winter music Festival. The internship, which spans from November last year to April 2018, is an ideal opportunity for Alexandra’s year of professional practice, as part of the Diploma in Professional Studies. 

Alexandra told us: “Working within the music industry is something totally different than any of my other experiences, including the intense working pace. As well as creating design material for the festival, I’ve also been able to develop my film editing skills.

“Within my first week I have been creating a bunch of videos including artist line-ups and other promo videos. The job is extremely exciting and I never know what I might work on the next day”. — Alexandra McCracken 

In her first week, Alexandra created two videos and realised how useful her knowledge of after effects is, as her design challenges ranged from XX graphics, wayfinding, to music video editing and storytelling. As a design challenge, the internship presents so many exciting opportunities: snow wayfinding, after dark information design, vivid snowbound communication.

Snowboxx, the most famous iconic of the Winter Music festivals in Europe, takes place 1800m above the clouds in the snow mecca that is Avoriaz. The festival is set within the heart of the Portes Du Soleil, a great mix of long windy runs for all levels and great music. This year’s artists include Chase and Status, Fat Boy Slim, Mike Skinner, Snakeships and Loyle Carner.

We caught up with Alexandra to hear more about her time designing for Snowboxx…

Snowboxx schedule designed by Alexandra McCracken

How did it feel to win the shortlisting challenge to design for Snowboxx festival?

It felt great to get the job, especially since I knew that many others applied for the job as well.

What was the application process like? What work did you submit in order to apply?

For the first stage, I sent in my cover letter, CV and my design portfolio, including a variety of projects from illustration to 3D. After being called in for the interview, I got asked to do a brief to see if I understood the brand.

This included creating 3 social media posts, a t-shirt design for merchandise and a 3D signage installation for the festival. Based on the brief proposals, they then chose my one and asked me to start working.

What first interested you in going for this opportunity?

To be honest, I was open towards new design opportunities and doing something that I had not done before. Just before I got the job I had been interning withn 2 small graphic design studios, Binomi and Hike, based in London. When applying I knew it would be a unique opportunity.

Instead of working on multiple projects, I would be working for 5 month on one festival, Snowboxx. My goal for this Diploma in Professional Studies year is to try out as many different design environments, to be able to figure out what kind of design I am in to.

What has been the highlight of your time working with them?

My highlight so far must be when they chose to go with my idea for Kala festival. Another highlight will be me going to France now to work at the festival.

Can you tell us what a typical working day is like there?

There is no typical day at work. I work closely with the our great marketing manager Juan, who has got everything planned for the next month and he then assigns tasks for me that I need to do for both of the festivals..

Other things I have worked on include adverts for partners like Resident Advisor and Phonics, Instagram posts, designing a new app for Snowboxx, creating material for the festival like wristbands and more. I as well do a lot of things from editing images and making them look nice, to creating design assets that are sent from the artist teams.

Alexandra’s view of the Snowboxx office on her internship

What has been the greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge was being thrown in to the deep end in the beginning of the internship, being asked to create video content and things I have never done before, but thanks to this I have learned a lot. Maybe not that much about technical design skills, but more about how things work in the music industry, about after effects, video editing, storytelling and marketing.

The other big challenge was once I got asked to give some feedback on some designs that a design studio had created for Mainstage Travels’ new festival, Kala. One thing that I learned at LCC is to give constructive feedback. I was able to give my honest opinion and make suggestions and as a result they asked me to create the identity from one of my initial ideas. Creating the identity was done on a extremely tight schedule.

How long was the placement?

The placement is 5 months. Preparing everything for the festival itself that is from the 17th – 24th of March. I will be going to Avoriaz, the festival location itself on the 14th-26th, where then I will be working as a graphic designer, being in charge of many things like briefing photographers, crating daily content for socials, keeping social media up to date and just assisting the marketing manager.

What else have you been up to since?

The office that we work in is in Ministry of Sound, where other companies also rent out a desk. Someone at the office had seen my work and asked me to help him out with designing a landing page and a logo for his company, Oak and Green, that invests, develops and advises energy generation and efficiency projects. This was a great opportunity that I found whilst on my internship and led me to do a small paid job for them.

What do you hope to do next?

I am hoping to do some more freelance work and put all my new skills into use and start preparing myself for final year once I go back in October.

Learn more about the BA (Hons) Graphic Media Design course and how to apply