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Lily Forbes: From being featured in the Graduate Showcase to designing its visual identity within a year

Lily sits in a grassy area with the sun behind her wearing sunglasses and a black top
  • Written byArts Temps
  • Published date 21 March 2022
Lily sits in a grassy area with the sun behind her wearing sunglasses and a black top
Lily Forbes photographed by Daniel Edmans Sutcliffe, 2020 BA Graphic Design Communication, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

In the summer of 2020, I graduated with a BA in Graphic Design Communication from Chelsea College of Arts. My university journey was a little all over the place, I initially struggled to find one area of creativity that I could stick to. After my foundation year, I tried a few different avenues before deciding to focus on graphic design. I’ve always felt drawn to design and the parameters that surround it, as well as the huge impact it can have on our everyday lives. The GDC course at Chelsea was great for me, as there was such a wide range of disciplines encouraged – particularly film and production as well as print and editorial design. I also found the tutors at Chelsea super inspiring, many with their own interesting practice and projects outside of the university.

I always had part-time jobs throughout my studies, mostly working in cafes as well as a few freelance design jobs/internships. I heard through friends at UAL that you could apply for Arts Temps jobs even after graduating – so during the first term of my third year, I decided to register in February 2020. Shortly after this, the pandemic rapidly slowed down everyone’s lives and we were forced to finish our degrees from home – we sent off our digital submissions in June and uploaded our final work to the online Graduate Showcase.

Exploring social worlds, Graduate Showcase collection
Exploring Social Worlds, Social Design Institute, Graduate Showcase 2021 | Image by Fabiola Smorto, 2021 MA Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL

One of the most exciting projects I have been able to work on with the team is the visual identity for the Graduate Showcase 2021 graduating students. Having had my work on the platform just the year before, it felt like such a big step to be able to work on the visual direction and design identity for the campaign. We also worked with current students during a feedback session, something that I’m really keen to encourage through all the project work the university puts out.

In September 2021 I was offered a permanent role at UAL, ending my Arts Temps contract. Being my first full-time job out of university, I believe that my initial Arts Temps role really helped build my confidence with ways of working and design process as well as with collaboration and presentation skills. The full-time position was a great opportunity and as I had been with the team for almost a year, I felt confident in the interview and offer process. Our team is now made up of 8 members of staff, including 2 current and 2 former Arts Temps (including myself!).

I am always encouraging fellow graduates of UAL to sign up to Arts Temps, as I feel the flexibility of work and transparent pay grades really set it apart from other jobs boards. The roles are so varied, especially now that external companies and agencies can advertise through Arts Temps. I would definitely recommend signing up to Arts Temps, as you never know where it could take you.

Written by Lily Forbes
Junior Graphic Designer – Brand and Creative Services, Communication and External Affairs, UAL

iPhone mock-up of 6 Instagram posts, showing a collection of student work spreading across multiple posts
What does it take to create something from nothing? Graduate Showcase 2021 Instagram carousel post
Wooden shoe design by Yuzhao Huang, 2021 MA Footwear, London College of Fashion, UAL
Graduate Showcase 2021 | Yuzhao Huang, 2021 MA Footwear, London College of Fashion, UAL