I spent a postgraduate gap year working for the brand and design agency Ingenious Rapport, first in business development and then shortly after as Creative Account Manager. In addition to working with some extraordinary colleagues (indeed, some leaders in the field), I had the opportunity to work on thrilling accounts, including a major UK bank, government agency, and several popular restaurants. The experience was as eye-opening as it was edifying. From thinking about how to use super high-speed personalized printing to promote books and cars, to tracking down someone who could make me a giant illuminated sign in 48 hours, my days were filled with extraordinary (and often extraordinarily fun) commissions. I also learned a bit about print and digital design, social media, and the business world in general through the process, all of which has contributed to my approach to teaching, research, and academic practice.
- Design does matter. It was fascinating to see the design process take place. A key part of my job was to meet with clients and figure out what it was they needed and how they wanted their brand to be communicated through print and/or digital media. I then translated that into a brief for the designers, who would take it from there. Serving as the intermediary between the designers and the client, I was often right at the centre of debates between design and practicality, between function and form, and I took one important thing away from this: people choose to spend their time with the objects that intrigue them most. This doesn’t just apply to advertising and websites, but to everything around us. And, because of this, I have maintained my interest in design and typography into my academic life. Is it something to become obsessive about? Perhaps not. But using BlairMdITC rather than Times New Roman for a syllabus is a simple detail that can make a difference to how your ideas are viewed, understood, and remembered. Continue reading