University of Wolverhampton students were recently given an insight into what it takes to become a designer for a top London agency.
Ryan Jones, a graduate from the Wolverhampton School of Art, gave a talk to Visual Communications and Graphic Design degree students at the University, sharing the story of his journey from studying at the university in the mid-1990s to his current role as a Design Partner at SEA Design.
SEA Design, based on Old Street in London, are an award-winning graphic design agency working with global partners such as Monotype, Christie’s, Regatta, Jamie Oliver, and Gordon Ramsey.
Ryan shared his experiences with students of both his time at University, and how it set him up for a future in the industry. He cited examples of the high-profile clients he had designed for, ranging from Nike, to popstar Björk, work that he undertook as he built his career working at agencies and in a freelance capacity.
Giving advice to students in a question and answer session, Ryan said: “It’s easier now to set up your own design business than it has been ever before. You don’t need a big office space, you don’t need infrastructure around you to actually do the job – if you’ve got a laptop, you can work from a café. There’s nothing stopping you.
“Just do something interesting. Just do something that no-one else is doing at the moment. Just challenge stuff.”
Third-year Graphic Design student, Dan Edwards, said: “I think it’s essential to have talks from people with knowledge and experience in the industry. To actually have the opportunity to speak with people who have had this experience and to ask them questions, and to get this level of communication going – it’s brilliant.
“It helps you to learn the ways in which these people’s minds work. When we finish here, those are the sort of people we have to approach, and those are the sort of people that we have to impress. So – what do they respond well to? What do they respond badly to? It’s essential.
“As a student it’s brilliant to actually have the chance to hear from a professional, especially someone that you can respect at that sort of level, who’s been able to work all over the world, and continues to work all over the world with really big brand clients.”
Speaking about his time at the University of Wolverhampton, Ryan said: “There’s a feeling about this place, it just felt right; I felt at home.”
Ryan Jones is currently working with the University to update the designs and branding for the Wolverhampton School of Art Annual Degree Show, a celebration and exhibition of student artwork throughout the year, taking place in June.
Anyone wanting to study in the Wolverhampton School of Art should register for the next Open Day on Saturday 15th June 2019.