The Graphic Design industry is constantly evolving, as technology plays a powerful role in making things faster, advanced and more trend-focused than ever before. So, for the Explore Stage of the TICE Programme, we wanted to showcase that. What businesses are thriving in the North East? What are the different departments we can apply our design skills to? Mentor, Mark Pattinson, had two days packed with skills development and some of the best guest speakers and tours in the industry.
Students from Hebburn Comprehensive School and John Spence Community High School arrived bright and early at the Apple Store, Eldon Square. Today at Apple, the recent addition to the shop experience, put on a wonderful ‘Art Walk’ workshop based on discovering colour. The team at Apple guided students around Newcastle City Centre as they began to take photographs and gather their very own colour palette. Using the Procreate app on iPod Pro, they each created an abstract painting to take home. It was a wonderful little warm-up for the day ahead.
The next stop was Gateshead College – a great opportunity to explore educational pathways. For many, it was their first look at the top performing college in the region. They were given a whistle-stop tour of the facilities and were shown what courses are available to young people. Even the tutors themselves stopped by to chat with students, as well as a couple of Gateshead College students who kindly shared their personal experience. Of course, plenty of questions came flooding in.
Soon after, students were introduced to industry standard software, Photoshop. Mark began with the basics. Why do we use it? What can we do with it? And most significantly, how do we use it to the best of its ability? With the support of Gateshead College tutors and handouts, students tackled the challenge of creating an iTunes music festival poster. Mark wanted them to firstly harness the software skill before thinking conceptually of the end product, so it was all about the experimentation and having that foundation of understanding. A few moments in and students were already getting the hang of it. There were some pretty impressive end results and plenty of positive feedback during their peer walkaround.
For the final day of Explore Stage, it was quite a busy one! Tours, tours and more tours – starting with a trip to Imprint Group in Newburn. Imprint is one of the largest printing companies in Europe, working for the likes of Links of London, Office Shoes and Kurt Geiger. They were warmly welcomed by Tony Neal, Client Services Manager at Imprint. With 10 years of experience at the company, he had plenty to share with the group regarding the company’s experience, ethos and systems.
To give an even deeper insight into the company, students were split into groups, given bright yellow safety jackets (watch this space, TICE Fashion) and were shown around all the different departments. They checked out the Guillotine, finance departments and even met Graphic Designers who showcased 3D visuals and software technology. The state-of-the-art equipment and tech they use had truly blown people away, including the recently installed £1.6m machine. Many jaws dropped when they heard that figure…
After learning more about what printing is, the logistics and process involved, students were given the opportunity to ask a few questions.
It was a great way to kick off the morning, and next, they were on their way to Toffee Factory for a tour of various creative business across digital, graphics and AR/VR specialisms including Luminous, Evolve Search and A-N (Artist Membership Organisation). It was a great opportunity for students to meet various designers across a range of creative sectors, ask questions and experience real life working studios. Luminous even gave them a taste of the VR experience which caused a few giggles!
After lunch (kindly provided by Toffee Factory), it was time to walk over to Hedgehog Lab – a digital product consultancy that designs and builds software for businesses all around the world.
“We are ranked in the top 3 app developers globally and specialise in mobile app design and app development.”
They were introduced to Jack – a Junior Designer who after only 9 months of graduating, got the job at Hedgehog Lab. Jack kindly showed the team around all the different rooms and departments, including the kitchen where they supposedly agree and disagree on their project developments. The kitchen is apparently not just for the food…
They all eventually settled in, ready to hear more about Hedgehog Lab, their portfolio and growing success over the years. Jack also shared his personal journey, particularly touching on his college experience in Graphics and moving to digital at University. He even showcased his portfolio for the students to see.
What a brilliant Explore Stage for TICE Graphics! A massive thank you to everyone involved. You never know who you could’ve inspired. By the looks of everyone’s faces at the end, we think plenty. We can’t wait to see what our talented team come up with for Create Stage…
See more photos from TICE Graphics Explore Stage here: