Shillington Design Blog https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com Creative Inspiration, Interviews and Resources Tue, 06 Dec 2022 16:40:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/cropped-shillington-32x32.png Shillington Design Blog https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com 32 32 Meet Sarah Galley, Shillington Graduate and Freelance Brand Designer https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/sarah-galley-interview/ Fri, 02 Dec 2022 15:59:40 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=46151 Shillington London graduate Sarah Galley was working in fashion but always knew she had a creative calling. Shillington helped her answer that calling—after our 3 month full-time course, Sarah’s life was completely changed. She came out of the course and immediately embarked on her freelance career. She’s now designing, creating branding for independent, creative businesses—and […]

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Shillington London graduate Sarah Galley was working in fashion but always knew she had a creative calling. Shillington helped her answer that calling—after our 3 month full-time course, Sarah’s life was completely changed. She came out of the course and immediately embarked on her freelance career. She’s now designing, creating branding for independent, creative businesses—and is loving her new creative life!

We chatted with Sarah a few months into her new freelance graphic design role about life after Shillington, what she’s been working on and more.

What have you been up to since graduation? You are now freelance, can you tell us about that?

Since graduating from Shillington my day-to-day life has completely changed!

I now work on a freelance basis doing graphic design for various different companies (one of which is Shillington!) and I have also recently launched my own small brand design business, where I design for independent, creative business owners. What I love most about post-Shillington life is how varied my weeks are, working on different projects and with different people every day.

Immediately after graduating, I really focused on furthering my graphic design skills and identifying exactly what my design aesthetic is. I did this by completing a lot of passion projects, starting a design social media account and continuously adding to my portfolio. This really helped me when reaching out to prospective clients, gave me a platform to launch my business and has made me feel really confident in my design abilities.

I also joined a mentor group, and a local entrepreneur initiative which has really helped me to feel a sense of community and connect with order creatives, which I feel is really important when you are a solo freelancer.

Can you tell us about a recent professional project? What’s been the project that’s got you the most excited so far?

I recently had the absolute joy of completing a full brand design project for an independent brand who use pompoms to create statement party accessories such as headbands and hair clips. The brief was ‘more is more’, so I was able to go a bit crazy with the design and create something totally unique, iconic and disco-inspired. It was a dream project for any designer and it has been so rewarding seeing the brand print the designs onto stickers, business cards and packaging and applied to their social media page. That is really the part of the job I love the most.

What’s your day-to-day like as a freelancer?

My days are always quite varied. I work from a co-working space and all of my freelance work is remote, so typically I will go there each day as it really helps me to focus and get into work mode! I spend 2-3 days weekly on contracted freelance work, where I will likely be completing assigned design tasks such as designing a flyer, social media posts or a newsletter for example and sending work over for approval.

The balance of the week I spend working on my business, so this might be working on a logo for an independent brand, researching inspiration for creative concepts or carrying out discovery calls. I often have some sort of mentor session or workshop throughout the week which I really enjoy as it keeps me feeling part of a community.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who is about to graduate?

My advice would be to try and be proactive in furthering your design skills when you graduate and that your portfolio is not a finished document—it is ever evolving.

I feel I gained a lot from working on my own briefs, identifying what my design style is and really flexing all the skills I learnt at Shillington post-graduation. It has helped me to become a stronger designer.

I would also say finally not to compare yourself too much to other graduates, everyone moves at their own pace and wants something different from post-Shillo life and there is no right or wrong.

Massive thanks to Sarah for sharing her story with us! Make sure to check out her website and follow her on Instagram to keep up to date with her branding projects. 

Feeling inspired by Sarah’s story? Learn graphic design with Shillington and change your life in 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time. 

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10 Fonts That’ll Be Popular With Designers in 2023 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/popular-fonts-2023/ Thu, 01 Dec 2022 17:10:34 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=46247 A new year is a time for reflection. And one thing that designers should constantly be reflecting on is whether their font choices have become too staid and formulaic. Don’t get us wrong: classic typography is classic for a reason, and there’s nothing wrong with returning to fonts that just—well, work—when they’re the most appropriate […]

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A new year is a time for reflection. And one thing that designers should constantly be reflecting on is whether their font choices have become too staid and formulaic. Don’t get us wrong: classic typography is classic for a reason, and there’s nothing wrong with returning to fonts that just—well, work—when they’re the most appropriate choice for a project. But valuing popular workhorses doesn’t mean you can’t stay alive to fresh possibilities. Discovering and experimenting with new fonts—whether new to the world in general or just new to you personally—is a great way to reinvigorate your practice and give you exciting new perspectives on your work.

Shillington is here to help. Running a graphic design bootcamp means we know a fair bit about type—so here’s a list of 10 popular fonts that more designers have taken note of lately.
Some are brand new, and some are old favorites given a new lease of life. But they’re all worth checking out, and some of them may be just what you need to kick your graphic design portfolio into gear in 2023.

1. Touvlo

New from Monotype Studio’s Emilios Theofanous, Touvlo – which means ‘brick’ in Greek – captures the spirit of early British grotesque typefaces while letting its own lively personality and energy shine. With a total of 24 weights in three styles across three variable fonts, this zestful, modern interpretation of a classic genre is flexible enough to work well in even the most complex typographic layouts or unexpected and peculiar settings.

2. Binate

Binate combines the characteristics of a workhorse sans-serif and an elegant brush-inspired display style. Its apertures are crisp and rigid, evoking a utilitarian approach. But at the same time, experimenting with some of Binate’s lower hooks can help your designs look more approachable and friendly. Meanwhile, its impressive weight range makes it suitable for everything from tiny details on packaging to large formats such as billboards and posters.

3. Golger Sans

Golger Sans is a classic contemporary sans-serif, with bold weight stroke and a fun character, not least from its smattering of ligatures. Designed by Gilang Maulana, this font supports an impressive 100+ languages. A good choice for logo design, social media, movie titles, books, short and long texts, and for coupling with script fonts.

4. Ogg

Ogg is a calligraphic serif superfamily designed by Lucas Sharp with the help of Connor Davenport, Wei Huang, Greg Gazdowicz and Noe Blanco. Its design was inspired by the lettering of 20th-century calligrapher Oscar Ogg, and the font captures the unique mix of calligraphic and typographic form Ogg achieved through his use of hand-carved pen nibs, brushes and white-out. It comes in five weights and a total of 10 fonts.

5. Neue Haas Grotesk

Neue Haas Grotesk evolved, in the late 1950s, into Helvetica. But over the years, designer Christian Schwartz believes Helvetica lost some of the features that made the original typeface so good. This digital revival is his attempt to set the record straight. With eight display weights, from Thin to Black, plus a further three weights drawn specifically for text, this is a versatile font for the contemporary world but with all the cleanness and legibility of the original.

6. Garnett

Garnett is a sturdy, contemporary grotesque infused with the affable quirkiness of 19th-century metal type. Designed by Connor Davenport, originally as part of an undergraduate thesis project, its sans serif design also incorporates a touch of American Gothic influence. The family is available in six weights with matching italics.

7. Migra

Migra is a serif font inspired by migratory birds, which aims to add sparkle and grace to any of your designs. It’s notable for its condensed proportions, with sharp and spindly serifs. Created by Valerio Monopoli, this font is available in eight weights and 16 styles, with 568 glyphs each, including gestural Italics and sundry special ligatures.

8. Bookmania


Designed by Mark Simonson, Bookmania is a fresh digital revival of the Bookman typefaces of the 20th century, which were known for their ornate swashes. Bookmania features a generous 680 swash characters and is a good choice for evoking a vintage 1970s look within your designs. This font is available in five weights, each with matching italics and small caps styles.

9. Portrait

Portrait is a serif font designed by Berton Hasebe. A minimalist depiction of French Renaissance typefaces, such as Garamond and Granjon, Portrait marries classical proportions with triangular Latin serifs. Available in four distinct subfamilies – Portrait, Portrait Text, Portrait Condensed and Portrait Inline – it’s aggressive in its simplicity but nuanced in its details and covers a wide range of tones.

10. Ofelia

Ofelia is a geometric sans-serif font designed to perform well in any situation. This versatile family comes in two optical sizes, Text and Display, and the former contains five weights, ranging from Light through to Bold. Its overall geometric character speaks in a contemporary neutral voice, while earmark glyphs provide a gestural touch. These fonts are equipped with small caps, old style and tabular figures, and alternate versions of ‘a’ and ‘l’.

There you have it, 10 amazing typefaces to use in your design work in 2023.

Though, there are still loads of other fascinating fonts out there, check out our popular fonts of 2021 and popular fonts of 2022 for more inspiration.

Loving the look of these fonts? Want to get more hands on with type? Shillington’s on campus or online graphic design course is the best way to become a graphic designer—in just 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time.

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Eleven https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/eleven/ Wed, 30 Nov 2022 12:04:12 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=46236 The post Eleven appeared first on Shillington Design Blog.

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Clemenger BBDO https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/clemenger-bbdo/ Fri, 25 Nov 2022 11:32:15 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=46229 The post Clemenger BBDO appeared first on Shillington Design Blog.

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Boldspace https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/boldspace/ Fri, 25 Nov 2022 11:30:26 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=46227 The post Boldspace appeared first on Shillington Design Blog.

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Vovi https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/vovi/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 12:04:34 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=46159 The post Vovi appeared first on Shillington Design Blog.

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BetMGM https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/betmgm/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 12:02:21 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=46148 The post BetMGM appeared first on Shillington Design Blog.

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Wienerberger Ltd https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/wienerberger-ltd/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 09:30:11 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=46161 The post Wienerberger Ltd appeared first on Shillington Design Blog.

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Make it Clear https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/make-it-clear-3/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 12:16:56 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=46143 The post Make it Clear appeared first on Shillington Design Blog.

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Meet Claire Grocott, Shillington Graduate and Founder of Studio Kokomo https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/meet-claire-grocott-shillington-graduate-founder-studio-kokomo/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 19:00:21 +0000 https://blog.shillingtoneducation.com/?p=45546 After having worked in many different roles across a range of industries, Claire Grocott had never seen herself as a creative person—but she realised she loved all things graphic design—there was a stone left unturned! So she listened to the nagging voice, telling her to give graphic design a go as a career, took a […]

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After having worked in many different roles across a range of industries, Claire Grocott had never seen herself as a creative person—but she realised she loved all things graphic design—there was a stone left unturned!

So she listened to the nagging voice, telling her to give graphic design a go as a career, took a deep breath and enrolled in the part-time course in our Sydney studio. We chatted with her about her Shillington experience, love for all things graphic design and how she ended up founding her very own freelance studio working with amazing clients from all over Australia and the world.

What were you up to before studying at Shillington, why did you decide to take the plunge and study graphic design?

After finishing a Philosophy degree I worked in many different roles across a range of industries—I was a PA at a corporate finance company, an Account Executive at an ad agency, ran a little wedding flower business and even did a stint as an Event Manager at a speed dating company! I’d always wanted to study graphic design but I was never an ‘arty’ kid and didn’t see myself as a creative person.

I eventually realised though that I just really love all things graphic design-related, and if I didn’t at least give it a go as a career I would be forever kicking myself. So I took a deep breath, put my big-girl pants on and enrolled in the part-time course at Shillington Sydney.

What advice can you offer to someone who wants to transition careers?

If there’s a little voice in your head nagging you to study design—listen! I was super nervous about retraining, starting from scratch as a grown-up is super anxiety-inducing, but if you’re passionate about design and driven to learn and grow you will have zero regrets. Even if it doesn’t lead to a whole new career, you will have gained some new mad skills!

Shortly after graduating from Shillington, you began freelancing and started your studio—Studio Kokomo! Can you tell us more about that?

The plan was to try to find a part-time, in-house design job after I graduated at the end of 2019, but the pandemic had other ideas. By early 2020 there were no jobs in sight and I was home-schooling two young kids—not ideal conditions for launching into a new career.

Luckily, I’d started picking up small freelance jobs for friends and through word-of-mouth while I was at Shillington, and that work continued to come in.

My client base has been growing steadily since then and now I run my little one-woman studio, offering branding and web design, graphic design for branded events and activations, illustration and general bits-and-pieces design services.

All with Studio Kokomo’s trademark colour-drenched feel-good vibes, of course.

What does a typical day-in-the-life look like for you? We’d love to see some of your work!

This is such a cliche, but every day truly is different. Sometimes I will be deep in research and idea-generation mode for a branding project, other days I will be juggling a bunch of smaller projects—quick little stationery layouts, actioning feedback, organising production quotes. If I’m feeling stuck on a creative brief I’ll usually permit myself to look through my books for a couple of hours, go for a beautiful bushwalk, play with some paints or wander around the Art Gallery—all activities that never fail to get me unstuck! Then, of course, there is the time spent on the boring old admin side of running a small business—quoting, proposals, bookkeeping. But it’s all great!  I love the variety, I love that there are big creative problems to solve and smaller technical jobs to cross off the to-do list.

Can you share details about any recent projects? What’s the most exciting opportunity you’ve had since striking out on your own?

A couple of recent highlights have been working with the puzzle company Journey of Something to illustrate designs for their gorgeous embroidery kits and creating the branding and supporting graphics for Bloomville, a super fun branded activation by Sugar Republic for Woodlea Town in Melbourne, and designing a motorcycle helmet for Cyclecraft in Bondi to tie in with the branding I did for them when I was fresh out of Shillington. Just a really fun variety of colorful jobs with great people, and the end products have been beautiful, tangible things. I’ve also just finished off a couple of other gorgeous branding projects but they are yet to launch—stay tuned!

What do you love about being a designer?

I’m a big believer in the ability of design to bring little moments of joy into our everyday lives, and I love that I’m able to do something as simple as combine colour, type, imagery and other graphic elements to create something joyful. The idea generation and research processes are hugely satisfying, there’s nothing like collecting and being immersed in reference materials for hours at a time and emerging from that process with something entirely fresh. I also just really like working in the Adobe suite. Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign all feel like old friends now and I enjoy the technical process of using them all. Very nerdy.

What inspires your design work? We’d love to hear about any particular experiences or influences on your practice!

Inspiration is everywhere! I love colour, texture, nostalgic flourishes and imperfection, so I’m particularly drawn to things like old signage, off-beat typography, beautiful textured paper stock, 60s surf culture, Polaroid and 35mm photography, and handcrafts like weaving, embroidery and collage. Interiors are a great place to find unexpected colour combinations. Art galleries are chock full of visual inspiration— again colour palettes, approaches to using materials, and new approaches to composition. Flowers and plants remain inspiring to me, even though they’re not the medium I design with anymore. I have a large (and growing) collection of gorgeous coffee table books on design, art, gardens, film, interiors and printmaking, and diving into those never fails to inspire me. The list goes on! Also…Pinterest.

What does the future hold for you! Where do you see yourself in 12 months?

I would love to know the answer to that! I hope I’m still working on fun briefs with my long-term clients while expanding my client base. I’d love to take on more illustrative projects and maybe paint my first Studio Kokomo mural. I’d just like to continue to grow as a designer, make genuine connections with clients and collaborators and put more joyful design out into the world in the form of brands, products, events, prints—anything designable.

Back to Shillington, did you make any lasting connections with teachers or fellow students during the course?

Yes! I made some great friends and built relationships with lots of my classmates—such a great bunch of humans.

Shillington brings together groups of people who may be from really different professional backgrounds, but everyone there is passionate enough about design to be committing to the course, so you’re bound to connect and vibe with each other.

I’m also still in touch with my wonderful teachers (hi Liv and Julie!) who are so inspiring and were wonderfully supportive during my time at Shillington and beyond.

What was the most surprising thing about the course?

I learned that idea generation is a thing! I always assumed that great, fully-formed ideas just landed in the heads of ‘creative people’ but no, there is an actual process that you can learn and follow to come up with ideas. Who knew? The Shillington course teaches you that process and gives you plenty of opportunities to use it.

What would you say to someone who is skeptical about the Shillington course?

I’ve done so many courses—a bachelor’s degree, TAFE certificates, and lots of industry-specific courses, and Shillington by far equipped me with the most practical technical skills and knowledge of any of them.

The course is so well structured, you’ll be working in the Adobe suite from day one and building from there—that’s the only way to learn the programs.

Is it like the Matrix where you can lie down and learn design (or kung fu) with your eyes closed? Nope!! It’s hard work, and the more you put into it the more you will get out. But if you knuckle down, you will leave with a gorgeous portfolio and all the skills you need to be able to confidently call yourself a Designer with a capital “D”.

Anything else you would like to share? Surprise us!

A couple of years ago I discovered risograph printing and I am obsessed. For those who haven’t heard of it, riso printing is a very cool 1980s printing technique that uses a machine that looks like a clunky old photocopier but it’s so much more than that. Risograph inks are so vibrant and super-saturated, and the texture of the printing is imperfect and gorgeous. I kind of want to keep it a secret for myself, but I also kind of want everyone to go and look it up and get on board.

Big thanks to Claire for sharing her creative journey with us! Make sure to follow her on Instagram and check out her website

Like to follow in Claire’s footsteps? Learn more about Shillington’s 3 months full-time and 9 month part-time courses Online or on-campus in New York, London, Sydney or Melbourne. 

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