4 Designers London

Mon 20th Feb


Matthew Shannon

Brash brands – @bigbearone; matthew.s@brashbrands.com
Group Executive, Creative Director and Group Content Director: Brash Brands

  • Understand whats going on in the world: opportunities and influences for projects
  • MENTOR: when graduating look for someone who can mentor you in business, e.g. in internships

1. Approach

Example of his design: Rebrand of Skoda (METADESIGN)
– Rebrand SkodaAuto: logos, developing film and photography (great advertising)
– Research: Skoda was seen as shit; used this within campaign
– “It’s a Skoda, honest” (from advertising campaign) – playing on jokes from research
– Rebrand is not just about a great look, it’s about the message

  • Think about the problem and brief: 1. Think, 2. Re-think, 3. Do
    • 1. research, interrogate brief, design; 2. check over design, re-design; 3. make it (easy part if 1 and 2 are done well)

2. Agility

  • always be agile
  • never know what going to happen
  • need to be aware of current trends and technology so you can better your work

3. Adapt

  • adapt as quickly as possible when trends change
  • and also, adapt when it’s right
    • e.g. BP crisis – they used social media channels to show that BP were helping to fix it

4. Affect

  • tell a story
    • e.g. Sainsbury’s: their campaign was videos of employees telling the story of Sainsbury’s

5. Alternate

  • ValueRetail – using bloggers and vloggers from Russia/UAE/China to promote the brand (main buyers); be aware of the worldwide need of communicating
  • create content in different ways and people will share it

6. Ambition

  • to effect change you need to be the change

Joanna Davies

ZAK; owner, based in Clerkenwell

Small studio, audience focused


1. Creative

  • find a person brand
    • how are you different?
    • talk/look/what you do/BE INTERESTING
    • internships – be unique
      • authentic to be – not just about your portfolio

2. Smart

  • street smart/how to communicate their work/agility – can adapt

3. Brave

  • stand up/challenge the status quo
  • be confident/think differently

4. Ambitions

  • desire/drive/create best the work of your life

5. Grounded

  • down to earth/honest/loyal

Find your perfect partner

  • check out who your interviewing with
  • CLIENT VS AGENCY: do your research; work experience
  • know the brand
  • meet the team: important to know if you’ll fit in
  • training – offer any training package
  • opportunity? can you progress?

Got it, keep it

  1. Make a strong first impression: make yourself invaluable to the team
  2. Live the company’s values
  3. Deliver excellence

Be an agent of change

  • take pride
  • be a brilliant team player
  • manage your expectations
    • if you’re not sure, ask for help
  • be confident in what you’re doing
  • take ownership

Questions: Matthew & Joanna

  • Don’t get emotionally attached to work
  • take on criticism, its a piece of work: push and develop it
  • give reason to everything you do
  • always go back to the brief – THINK
  • reason why you’ve pushed the brief or adapted it
  • fully understand the company you are working for
  • The brief: take inspiration from everywhere – not just computer
  • use computer for DO – pen and paper for idea and design (more important)
  • Ethics: where do you stop? where do you start? – can’t always ensure a company is squeaky clean
  • Get work experience: develop style/develop portfolio – don’t rush to start on your own
  • do your research on where you want to work
    • meet people;open contacts; start connections early
    • find the people you want to work for
  • Don’t work for free

Matt Baxter

Creative Director at Baxter & Bailey – @baxterandbailey


  1. Know where you’re going
    • or DON’T: take other opportunities if you want it, don’t have to stick to a plan
  2. say yes to everything: enter all competitions
    • or NO: ETHICAL: choosing who you work for – design for good
  3. fake it ’til you make it
    • KEEP FAKING IT: if you stop struggling it might get boring
  4. go places: get experience through the world
    • or STAY LOCAL: can have benefits
  5. don’t do free work – don’t do placements where they won’t pay
    • sometimes free work can pay off (e.g. charity work, do it if you want to)
  • always read the words – read the words to design
  • spellcheck
  • be nice
  • KEEP IN TOUCH: graphic design is a small series of connections
    • keep hold of connections

Advice from people Matt Baxter has worked with:

Trickett, Trickett&Webb

  1. Never talk yourself down
  2. Always do something you’ve never done before

Giff, black

  1. Show your commitment; over deliver
  2. before you go home, always ask if there’s anything else to do

Bret Phillips, 3deep

  1. you need to be committed in the direction you’re going – go with your luck

Heidi Lightfoot, Together Design

  1. Don’t worry about not having an answer

Enter competitions! – even if you don’t win, that’s work to show


Portfolio: simplify the project, tell the story of your project; simplify how you’re presenting your work – simple and articulated ideas (cut through the noise by showing your work in a simplified way
– tell the story, what was it? who was it for?

Brian & James Webb

Webb&Webb, founded in 2003

Brian: 1977, founded Trickett&Webb; 2003, founded Webb&Webb

  • Protect your identity and work
    • don’t be mugged off
  • Flattering you far
  • Change! – thing change quick in the industry
  • Enter all competitions
  • ask the hard questions
    • always know more about the job then the client
    • e.g. the subject and for company
  • search for the answer
  • avoid the obvious – know your market but don’t do whats already been done

Author: ellenreiddesign

First year Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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