James Urmston

Designer | So Design Consultants

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We asked James about his highs and lows, regrets, “gold nugget” life lessons, and if his experience at Lincoln Uni gave him that all important “foot-up” into the “big bad” Design Industry.

This is what he had to say…

 

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I graduated  from Lincoln Uni in 2013. I think my favourite project during that time would have to be the Metamorphosis Project. I did find the  D&AD Ted Baker advertising campaign a bit of the struggle though.

I thinks its an excellent course. I really enjoyed all aspects of it, which I believe really prepared me for  a job in the Design industry. The course offered a wide variety of projects which offered me an opportunity to explore them as I saw fit. With each of these projects I was always supported. If I was to do it again I would, in my first and second year, be more experimental with my approach to projects, as in the third year I really started really to shift out of my comfort zone.

My advice to someone starting the Graphic Design course is that ‘you get out what you put in’.  If you do work hard its always noticed and it does make a big difference to the end result. What really sticks in my mind about the course the moment I really shifted my attitude towards design and studying – It was after Christmas in my third year.  We started the D&AD Ted Baker project –  my toughest project. Every session went badly and I came up with new ideas every lesson. I found this pushed me to come up with a solution that was so far away from my comfort zone – but it worked. This experience made me realise that however difficult a project is I should try and push my ideas as far as I can. This was my turning point – from being a 2:1 student to getting a 1st at the end.

After I completed my study I interned with the S0 Design Consultant Bristol for 2 months and got offered a full time role at the end. (I got offered the internship as I was the only applicant to post a letter typed on a typewriter and presented a book that I had designed as my portfolio.)

As a result I am currently a designer at S0 Design Consultant Bristol. I Report directly to the Creative Director, working on a wide range of projects. From branding jobs, packaging design, to advertising campaigns, and visualising ideas for photo shoots. Our clients range from Orange, Royal Mail, The Royal Mint, to small boutique Hotels and local businesses. Going forward I would like to move up in my current company or progress at new one, I havn’t worked that out  yet. Within 5 years I would hope to be a senior designer/ possibly a university lecturer, I have always wanted to teach at some point in my life.

Another piece of advice and something thats possibly the most important consideration, is to be completely aware of design trends.  Its so important to constantly try to be ahead of the trends if you can try by predicting what might the next trend might be. Otherwise clients start to look at your work as dated and uniform.

On a personal note I find a balance between creative freedom and making money through freelance print making and self initiated projects outside of work. I think it easy to let design become ones job and not ones passion. I have really started to miss the traditional methods that I learned at uni. A reality is that clients don’t have the money/ or an understanding of this type of design.