A few months ago we had a visit from a design agency called 'The Chase'. 'The Chase' are a design agency that formed in Manchester in 1986 and now has multiple offices, a staff of 46 and a turnover of 5.6 million. Needless to say, when it comes to the design industry, these guys really know their stuff.
The people from 'The Chase' gave a very interesting and informative talk to us all about the design industry. They also gave us some very useful tips on contacting agencies:
- When contacting an agency via Email, find out the name of the person who will receive your Email and be sure to spell it correctly.
- Be careful not to attach too many folders to the Email, only attach your strongest work.
- Follow up the Email with a phone call.
- When visiting an agency be sure to be nice to receptionists.
- Try not to get too nervous.
- Be sure to know something about the agency you are visiting.
- Be enthusiastic.
- If there are no jobs available ask if there is a brief that you can help with.
We were also given some top tips on creating and presenting a portfolio. Illustrators take note:
- Don't like it? Don't include it. Illustrators often include work in their portfolio that they are less than pleased with only to then dismiss it in front of a potential client. Which begs the question: if you don't like it, why include it?
- Have a good mix of work. A variety of briefs.
- Keep your folder clean and spotless.
- Layout is very, very important. A poor layout can overshadow even the best of work.
- Clients like to see an original piece, it gives them an idea of your technique.
- Don't put foam board in your portfolio, it is far too cumbersome and unwieldy.
- Find out how much time you have with the client so that you can use this time constructively.
- Don't take all criticism to heart. But do take notice.
- Practice talking about your work.
- Start and finish with your strongest work.
- Remember the importance of 'self promotion'. Clients like to be left with something tangible that they can keep (perhaps something self published), that will remind them of your work at a later date.
As you can see, we were given some very practical and helpful tips that will no doubt prove useful in the future. Thank you 'The Chase'!