Grantham College student Paris Smith successfully completed an industry placement with local graphic design company Uppercase Media during the first year of his Level 3 studies.
Paris would like to run his own Graphic Design business one day, so his placement offered the perfect opportunity to find out how it all works. During this seven month placement, he not only cultivated his design capabilities, but also practised how to meet a client’s brief and how to communicate with customers to keep them happy.
While at Uppercase Media, Paris used a number of different design packages to bring to life his creative ideas and illustrations for clients. He produced logos for new branding and designs for both digital media and paper materials, including websites, flyers and brochures. For instance, in a project called ‘Hobbit Hall’, Paris created a songbook for a client’s Christmas event: imagining and developing a new typeface for the text, ensuring it was readable and reflected the context and mood of the event. The client was thrilled with the result. Paris had already been taught at college a number of the design packages he used on placement and he was able to develop his technical skills in using them. He also learned some packages on placement from scratch, so expanded his range of skills and knowledge.
But Paris developed much more than his technical graphic design skills on placement: he boosted his employability skills too. He demonstrated strong commitment, putting in extra hours to meet a deadline and ensure customer satisfaction. He worked as a team, collaborating on projects with his mentor Andrew Thompson, the owner of the business. This elevated his communication skills too, listening to new ideas, explaining his own suggestions and responding positively to feedback on his designs. Client meetings and Skype calls enhanced these skills too. Paris even took part - and confidently contributed his ideas – in a conference call with a client in the United States!
By showing his professionalism early on at his placement, Paris was entrusted to interpret a brief and begin design work with little support. For example, following a meeting with a frozen drinks producer, he refreshed the client’s website diligently adhering to their specific requirements.
In fact, Paris’s professional attitude shone out throughout his placement, as owner Andrew Thompson said, “Paris takes a considered approach to his work and acts on advice. He is always evaluating his designs with each new project and every design iteration.”
He added, “He had a fantastic year at Uppercase Media and became one of the team. He got on well with our clients and they saw him as one of us.”
Paris has, through his industry placement, proved he is highly employable – and built himself a great platform from which to launch his future design career!