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How to get design work experience in the Creative Sector?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Ziplip888, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Ziplip888

    Ziplip888 New Member


    I am interested in finding out how graduates / Junior designers go about getting getting work experience / building their portfolios?

    Any input is greatly appreciated!
  2. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    Friends, family and self-written briefs all help to build a folio.
  3. Ziplip888

    Ziplip888 New Member

    Cheers Harry!

    When you say self written briefs, do you mean to just create a brief for a company and design something for them?
  4. Aarlev

    Aarlev Member

    Hi Chikoby

    You could do some self initiated projects. A Wordpress Theme, a site for a fictional company, or some digital artwork for example. Or you could do some design work for a local charity at a reduced cost.

    Or as Harry says, ask around your circle of friends or family. Maybe someone needs a logo or a website?

    Hope that helps.
  5. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    Yeah, a fictional brief for a real company, and fictional brief for a fictional company, all sorts. Another good one is personal projects. I've done loads of personal projects and that got my portfolio beefed up quite nicely.
  6. matt

    matt Member

    Yeah, what they said, especially the bit about offering your services to a charity for cheap/nothing.

    Also, competition briefs. They're good to beef up a folio if you don't have any commercial work, and if you do a good job they can really get you noticed in the community too. Try D&AD for starters.
  7. Ziplip888

    Ziplip888 New Member

    I would try approaching design agencies that are local to you as well as companies that have creative departments / need design work creating. Its very competitive at the moment so even working voluntarily is tough but if you can build up your portfolio and CV then you will hopefully break the viscious circle of "got no experience so cant get a job".

    Try and get commercial briefs before anything as these are what employers will relate to most and put you in the top percentage of graduates / juniors out there.....

    One of your first self briefs could be the design of your own marketing: flyers, branding, stationary, HTML emails etc. You can use this too illustrate your abilities as well as to get your foot in the door of interested parties....
  8. Ziplip888

    Ziplip888 New Member

    Thanks for this advice - all much appreciated!

    I have tried applying to design agencies but it seems that the only a small percentage of graduates get taken on as most of them have only got room for one designer at a time - its just like trying to get a job!

    I think i will try and set my own briefs but this still doesnt change the fact that my CV states no work experience?
  9. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Chikoby,
    Welcome to Design Forums, good to see you're getting some useful advice from the forums already :)

    If you can get some commercial work examples then you can always add your experience to your CV as a freelance designer? Remember that if you do start taking payment for work completed you would need to become registered as self-employed (within 3 months of starting). But if you're just taking on freelance projects for friends/family, charities, then I don't see why you can't add that as freelance experience on your CV.

    Hope that helps,
  10. Ziplip888

    Ziplip888 New Member

    Check out this company: They help grads get voluntary work experience with companies that you can do at home and in your own time (you also get them as an employer on your CV whilst you work for them - bit like a virtual agency).

    Otherwise i would agree with Greg - any work you do for yourself means you are freelancing which is valuable experience and relevant to the industry. Because everything is so competitive at the moment you have to do what it takes and that means passion, determination and creativity!
  11. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    That looks like an interesting concept, I would still probably prefer to find my own work experience/projects in that position (personal preference) but interesting to see there is a company trying to bridge that gap, I guess it's kind of like a recruitment agency for getting your foot in the door.

    Welcome to Design Forums by the way ziplip888, 2 new members in one thread! :up:

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