How to make it in a top studio

Landing a gig in a top design studio is a dream for many graphic designers all around the world. But while getting a foot in the door can seem like the biggest hurdle, there are still more challenges to face even after you're settled into your own studio desk.

As part of our latest video series with Purpose, we chatted to senior designer Amie Herriott and designer Greg Deacon to discover how to make it as a professional designer. Here are their five tips on how to survive and thrive in a top studio.

01. Spend time with the brief

“Dissect it. Possibly rewrite it,” is Amie Herriott’s advice for dealing with a brief. She recommends starting with a blank sheet of paper, and although thorough research is essential, she adds that the best ideas can come when you give your subconscious time to digest your thoughts – for example, when cycling home from work, or on the tube.

02. Work from a core thought

“We tend to work from a mission statement at the start, which is purely words, and then build around it,” reveals Greg Deacon. “It’s a bit of a shortcut in that aspect.”

03. Stick work on the wall

“There’s no point having a small idea sat in a corner of a journal,” insists Deacon. “Everything here goes up on the wall. Great ideas have come from someone going into the kitchen, digesting something and then having a conversation across the desk.”

04. Talk to your creative director

“Creative directors are not these big, scary people that you have to book in meetings and be too formal with,” says Herriott. “Try to get as much face time as possible.”

05. Get stuck in

“We always try and get along to focus groups so we can see first-hand what people are saying, because sometimes there are surprises there,” reveals Herriott. “It’s interesting when you’re so deeply engrained in a project to see the people who are just that one step further.”

This article was originally published in Computer Arts magazine issue 264. Buy it here.

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Nick Carson

Nick is a content strategist and copywriter. He has worked with world-class agencies including Superunion, Wolff Olins and Vault49 on brand storytelling, tone of voice and verbal strategy for global brands such as Virgin, Pepsi and TikTok. Nick launched the Brand Impact Awards in 2013 while editor of Computer Arts, and remains chair of judges. He's written for Creative Bloq on design and branding matters since the site's launch.