Design Intern: Leonie Stevens

Hi, I’m Leonie; a student at University Centre Farnborough, studying a BA (hons) degree in Graphic Design. One of my second year modules required me to complete a design internship at a graphic design studio to gain insight into the design industry. For the last five weeks, I have been with Liven Creative, an integrated creative agency in Surrey for two days a week helping out.

On my first day, Andrew, James and Jamie were friendly in welcoming me to the team and they even treated me to a lovely pub lunch to start my time here. Getting to work, the first task of my design internship involved Christmas 2016! Every year, the team sends out a gift box of some kind, to their clients as a thank you. To serve as inspiration, I was shown previous year’s gifts. A paint tin containing the ingredients to mix your own cocktails was my personal favourite. It was a quirky idea, perfect for seasonal parties and certainly no ordinary gift box. Check out last year’s christmas card here.

The initial plan was all about research and idea generation. Later, brainstorming with the team, one of my ideas was taken forward. I won’t spoil it for any clients who might be reading this by saying what that was! In terms of design, it was up to me to create concepts for a set of Christmas cards. The cards were to be screen printed so that meant the designs needed to be more considered, making sure they would work in the specified medium.

I set to work on design concepts within Illustrator. The early stages were about coming up with as many ideas as possible. I’m often guilty of wanting to see a design through to completion before showing anyone, but in this environment, I’m learning it’s important to show the gist of where a design is going and then move onto another idea. It saves time in the long run. As well as the Christmas cards, I sat in on two client meetings, made alterations to a logo and saved it in the desired formats ready to be sent to the client. These were invaluable experiences in terms of taking information forward with me when beginning a career in the industry.

In later weeks here as part of my design internship, I helped Jamie out with the screen-printing of my final designs (which were developed by the team.) As a process, it created interesting results. Despite the design being the same, each card had a unique handmade look. I also began generating concepts for an eShot to promote Liven Creative’s services ready to be taken forward and developed further.

Overall, it was an interesting and worthwhile experience in a graphic design studio. My biggest learning curve whilst here was certainly the time constraints and how best to utilise my skills within that. From it, I also took that every idea doesn’t need to be perfected straight away; the best ones can always be developed further. Although I have a feeling I may have to keep reminding myself of that one when working in the future – I’m a bit of a perfectionist!

Now I’m finished, I go back to thinking about Uni work and my all important third year but leave here grateful to Liven for the opportunity to experience a little bit of life within the industry, so I extend my thanks to Andrew, James and Jamie for making my days here enjoyable ones!

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James Glass

An accomplished brand expert, I believe passionately in the integral role that effective design can play in solving business challenges. My approach when working with clients centres predominantly on strategic account planning and direction: listening, distilling critical information and providing innovative and commercially viable solutions which represent a client’s core values and unique strengths to ultimately address the challenges they face.