Reading University student James recently finished his year in industry as Right Angle’s student graphic designer. Here’s what he had to say about the experience.

“Coming to the end of my year at Right Angle, I’ve been asked to reflect upon my time here. The past year has flown by and exceeded all my expectations. At Right Angle I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in all aspects of the company, whilst being able to learn and develop my skills as a designer.

My role as a student graphic designer has been a diverse one! No two days have ever been the same, with a constant flow of client work of all sizes, you have to adapt quickly and work efficiently. I’ve undertaken placements before but for shorter periods, none being as intensive. Adjusting to starting everyday at 9am, for five days a week took some time, however once I settled in to the routine, I actually preferred it to the student lifestyle. This has not only helped me prepare for the ‘real world’ once I finish university but also I’ve been able to apply this work ethic and time management to my university life.

When I applied for the role of student graphic designer I expected to be ‘bottom of the food chain’ and rarely work with senior members, however I was surprised to learn this was not the case!

James O Right Angle Creative team member headshot

On my very first day I was working closely with the Creative Director on a new project that had just come in. Then within my first week I had been taken to my first client meeting. This was a great experience for me, as early on I got a good understanding of how to successfully take a brief and the best practises for interacting with clients. I used my previous customer experience to develop and maintain positive forms of communication via email and phone calls.

Of course there’s been challenges, especially when it came to the written word, as that wasn’t my strong point. In the first few weeks using the correct tone of voice was drilled into me and I had to become comfortable with calling clients to discuss projects over the phone. Time management was also tough to begin with. At university you’re given a lot of time to deliver a project (e.g. branding) however, I soon learnt that in the real world you have to work at a steady rate, meeting client expectation, otherwise you’ll go over budget.

I was definitely ‘thrown in at the deep end’, however I’m grateful for this as I learnt a lot, in a short period of time. I’ve always been treated as an equal member of the team with the ability to voice my opinions and ideas. I’ve learnt a lot from this placement, web development skills being at the top of the list. Before I started at Right Angle I had some experience in HTML and a broad knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud, however this past year has really helped me to develop and hone my skills in both.

Number 8 Events branded business cards stacked Thumbnail

I’ve worked closely with the Right Angle team on several key projects over the last year, one of my favourites being ‘Number 8 Events’ branding and website design.

This project really tested my web development skills and ability to turn conceptual ideas in to live web design to meet the client’s vision. We’re incredibly proud of the final outcome and Right Angle continue to work with the client to this day.

Ki Agency branding portrait logo

During my first few weeks, I was able to work on a project for a small business called ‘Ki Agency’. Following Right Angle’s design process to produce concepts for a logo, then adapting it to work successfully across business stationary and online use was completely new to me.

I really enjoyed following this process and working with other designers in the studio, which helped me to explore potential design options. No matter the company or project, Right Angle always follow their design process to achieve the most successful outcomes for their clients.

Hero view of Pink Key promotional BLE stand advert design showing different licensed brands Thumbnail

I found producing promotional print work equally as enjoyable. Being able to follow the journey from design concept to artwork and sending to print is always satisfying and provides the whole studio with the sense of accomplishment.

My Particular favourites were the adverts we produced for a ‘Pink Key Licensing’ exhibition. These were produced later on into the project, so we had to ensure consistency across the campaign, whilst also creating something visually eye-catching that’s adaptable for different advert specifications. This project taught me the importance of considering the spacing of elements and selecting the right crop, which is something that I hadn’t considered as much before my time at Right Angle.

I particularly appreciated developing my CSS and HTML skills throughout my placement, as web development is so valuable to businesses and will continue to evolve over time. Fixing problems with custom CSS was particularly satisfying, as it allowed me to control design elements that Wordpress traditionally doesn’t even offer!

To summarise, the Right Angle studio provides a great working environment, everybody gets along well and there’s always a buzz around the studio. The team at Right Angle do their best to make you feel comfortable, encouraging you to come out of your shell and help develop your design skills. The result is a much nicer working environment than some of the larger, more corporate studios, where you’d be seen as a cog in the machine. As long as you work hard, listen and learn from any feedback or criticism given, you’ll thrive.

I like to think I’ve had a positive impact at Right Angle and the experience I’ve gained to help me in my career is invaluable.”

If you’re interested in joining our team we’re always on the look out for the right people: (contact us)