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Date with Design Bridge

Ooooh the suspense since my last post!? Sorry, there was just way too much to fit into one post so I decided to break it in two!

After browsing some brilliant work at New Blood, I had a date with Design Bridge – using the word ‘date’ really loosely! 🙂

Dani, Bobbins and myself were really excited to be going to the 3pm talk, not only because Design Bridge are a super successful studio (alliteration!) but also employ Christian Bird who, like us, is an ex CoWA student! He came into college to help us with our FMP and it’s just really exciting and inspiring to see someone from our college be successful!

Before we set off to the Design Bridge studio, we met up with another ex CoWA student, Aaron Skipper who will be a 3rd year at Leeds College of Art in September. On the way to Design Bridge (a 45 minute trek across Shoreditch!!!!!) I had a little catch up with Aaron and got some handy advice – cheers Aaron! 🙂

And we arrived at the studio, greeted by the lovely Christian with bottles of Magners! Lovely! Christian introduced us to other members of the team and gave us a quick summary of what Design Bridge is all about.

The team gave us a lot of useful info and you know me, I took A LOT of notes, so I will try and summarise as best as I can:

Design Bridge is about having a ‘Great Idea’. Design Bridge’s ‘Great Ideas’ try to be: simple but bold, authentic to the brand, Engaging, enduring & memorable, focused & confident and brilliantly executed & crafted.

Design Bridge digs deep into the context of the brand/product by research and travel. They travel all over the world to get a feel for what the culture is like! (Sounds great!)

Being at Design Bridge isn’t ‘just a job’. The designers get inspired out of the studio, enjoy studio banter, celebrating birthdays etc together and really bond as a team. (Sounds like they have an AMAZING time if you ask me)

Design Bridge believe that it’s the message, not the medium that is important – an idea can be transferred to anything e.g. billboard, ipad app, sellotape etc

Design Bridge has several different sections which each specialise in an aspect of design and they all work together. (Means the best people for the job are chosen)

Design Bridge’s tips on how to become a Junior Designer

Keep your portfolio simple with the best ideas at the start and end. Keep it clean and tidy, with no scruffy looking pages!

Again, keep your CV simple. You could use a clever idea to make you memorable & show off some personality e.g. one of the team said he included instructions on how to turn his CV into a paper aeroplane 🙂

Enter as many competitions as you can – it can’t hurt!

Aim to have 1 placement at the end of your 2nd year at Uni (at least) and make sure you’re interested, ask questions and get the most out of your time in industry! Also… make tea and be nice 🙂

When going for an interview make sure you are well prepared – do your research about where you are going, what they do, their history etc. Also have an opinion about their work/ current design work of the time so you can discuss it with them. Have personality – you will have sent them some of your work already so they will know what you are capable of but they want to see what you are like. Your work will get you in the door but your personality is what will get you the job, after all if you’re going to be working in their studio they need to like you so get over your nerves and be yourself!

Also for interviews, practice talking about your work. Most importantly, be confident and proud of your work because if you’re not going to sell yourself, who is?

Afterwards there was a Q&A session and then we got shown around some of the studio…

The Design Bridge studio is beautiful! I wish I’d had the balls to take more photos, but didn’t want to seem too creepy haha The spaces are are light and airy, organised and have nice little details like quotes on the walls – They have a beach set up in their reception at the mo(for the launch of their Mahiki Coconut bottle design)!! Now, I haven’t seen many design studios but a beach in the reception is pretty up there on the scale of coolness, right? (Just a thought – I’m thinking about doing a post on beautiful design studios… is that something you guys would like to see?) They definitely seem to have a great work hard, play hard ethic!

If Design Bridge sounds like the kinda place you would like to be designing, then the best way to get your foot out of the stream and into their studio seems to be by winning their Student Awards! I requested this screen printed Dogs Bollocks Awards 2011 poster earlier this year from Christian, but unfortunately the awards are only open to 3rd year students…

… still, it’s a nice poster.

I really enjoyed the Design Bridge talk, so thank you to all of the team for being so inspirational! You do an amazing job and also you either live in the studio or walk for 2 miles from the underground every day so well done to you 🙂

One comment

  • Christian Bird

    07/07/2011 at 5:34 pm

    Great blog post, and thanks for coming to our talk. Keep in touch!

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© Natasha Nuttall | January 2022

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