You Win Some, You Lose Some. A Designer’s Job Search Insight.
For anyone looking for a design job, you know the task at times can seem like a daunting one. Not only do you need to create a resume that gets you noticed for your skills but it’s also important that graphically your resume stand out from the rest without being overtly “designy” and that can be a difficult line to straddle. As a designer, we also have the portfolio piece. Oh ya, that little thing. We want our work to show an aesthetic and point of view while still demonstrating that we’re capable of working within different styles. If we’ve played our cards right, these two pieces might be enough to get us noticed and get the interview. Whew! Once we’ve got our foot in the door all we have to do is convince them that our work is the best, our experience is exactly what they’re looking for and make everyone love us. No pressure at all!
Say everything up to this point goes perfectly and you get yourself a second interview. Great! Now, you might be asked to do a design test. I think in many design jobs this piece is fairly common but obviously, the scope of the test can vary. I think it’s valuable for the organization to see what kind of work you do in a real world situation but I also think it makes it tough not to become emotionally invested when you’ve put a lot of work in and you want the gig. I know this is a fairly lengthy post but it was a valuable experience for me and that’s why I want to share. Below is the creative brief I was given as part of a design test for a job I recently interviewed for. Seeing the brief will help you understand why I made the design decisions I did. I chose to create a full identity system and the creative solution was a direct mailer and follow up email.
Business Objectives: One of our business units is transitioning its name from X to Y. It is critical that we communicate to our existing customers that our name is changing but not our commitment to the industry or them. This event is sure to increase visibility for the brand creating an ideal opportunity to restate to potential customers what makes us different.
Top Things to Communicate:
• The name change reflects our transformative growth and is symbolic of our commitment to providing greater access to a broader range of world-class systems, software, products, facilities and expertise.
• We strive to position ourselves as a companion in furthering the practice of animal health care.
• This new identity is a (bolder/vibrant), fun, more personal one that elevates experiences over things.
• Companionship is synonyms with one of our core brand attributes…partnership. Identify classic animal companion archetypes and relate with how we are delivering on our promise of helping build healthier businesses and furthering the practice of animal health care.
• Ideation Keywords: Loyal (Man’s Best Friend), Friendly, Shared Interests, Part of the Family
• Potentially include slight image modifications to theme based on Practice focus (Companion vs. Equine
IDENTITY SYSTEM & EMAIL:
Ultimately, the organization chose to go with another candidate. But, as I said this was a valuable experience. In the end, you win some and you lose some and you have to pick yourself up and move on. As I’m learning, patience is ultimately the best skill you can possess when you’re looking for work. If you know anyone in the Minneapolis area who is looking for a graphic designer let me know. My contact information is here. I’m also available for freelance work. Thanks for reading and as always, I welcome your comments and feedback!