After being made redundant from her marketing role due to COVID, Winnie Vuong didn’t have a clear direction of where her career path was headed. But what she did know, was that she wanted to pursue something that would allow her to express herself creatively.
So she researched some graphic design courses, found Shillington and the rest is history! Read on to find out more about her creative journey, landing a job at HOYTS, amazing photography skills and much more.
Why Shillington? What made our design course stand out from the rest?
I was weighing up different graphic design course options and Shillington’s 3-month graphic design “boot camp” really appealed to me.
Recently you landed a job as Junior Designer for HOYTS, congrats! How did that come about?
Thank you! A few weeks after graduating from Shillington, I saw that HOYTS was looking for a Junior Designer to join their team, so I jumped at the chance and applied. They asked me to complete a short project (where I showcased some of the design skills I picked up from Shillington), then I received the news that I had landed the role!
The entire process happened pretty quickly, but I was ecstatic that I would be part of the design team for one of the largest cinema chains in Australia.
Can you tell us about what you get up to at HOYTS? We’d love to see some of your work!
For upcoming movie releases, I am in charge of creating artwork to promote the films via the HOYTS website, EDMs, social media, and print. I also design movie-themed food and beverage menus, seasonal e-gift cards, social tiles (such as this Easter post), and Instagram stories. In the past year, I’ve even learned how to create animated assets using After Effects—this Lunar New Year gift card promotion was challenging but fun to make.
What do you love about being a designer?
It’s a lot of fun! I love the process of starting with a single idea and then developing that concept into graphics that are engaging and aesthetically pleasing. I enjoy the collaborative aspect of it as well—sometimes the best work comes from bouncing ideas off of other designers, and I’m grateful to be part of a team of like-minded creatives.
What were you up to before Shillington? Why did you take the plunge and enrol?
After being made redundant from my previous marketing role due to Covid, I didn’t have a clear direction of where my career path was headed. However, what I did know was that I really enjoyed the graphic design aspect of my marketing job because it allowed me to express myself creatively. So I looked into some graphic design courses, found out about Shillington, and the rest is history.
What was your biggest challenge during the course? Why?
In the early stages of the course, my biggest challenge was underestimating the time I needed to work on certain briefs. Thankfully my teachers, Tim and Jaimee, helped with my time management by allocating clear time slots for researching, thumbnailing/sketching out ideas and designing.
Did you make any meaningful connections with teachers or fellow students during the course?
Definitely! I am grateful to have had the guidance and support of my amazing teachers, and to have spent three months honing my design skills with my wonderful classmates. We still keep in contact via our WhatsApp group chat!
What was your favourite brief on the course? Tell us your process!
It’s a tie between ‘Enigma‘ and ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’. For ‘Enigma’, the brief was to give an existing museum a new brand identity in order to attract new visitors to the space. My allocated museum was the German Spy Museum. I was inspired by decoding cryptic messages and solving clues to reveal information, hence the use of the rotating type treatment (similar to the letters on a combination lock) which is carried across the rebrand. I chose a black and yellow colour palette because yellow is attention grabbing (it symbolises clues and highlighted information, like a torch light in the dark), and black is enigmatic and mysterious.
For ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, we were tasked with reimagining either a movie poster, album cover, or book cover, and I chose to hand-embroider my own take on the ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ movie poster. The dual tie design was inspired by the titular character’s choice of attire, but it also hints at a pivotal moment in the film. The piece took approximately 12 hours to complete, and needle-less to say, it’s one of my favourites.
Where do you see yourself in 12 months time?
Working on larger campaigns and rollouts whilst continuing to build on my own personal design portfolio on the side.
What would you say to someone who is skeptical about the Shillington course?
3 months may not sound like enough time to learn graphic design, but it is absolutely possible. The testimonials speak for themselves—Shillington teachers are super knowledgeable and are passionate about helping you grow as a designer, so you will be in great hands.
It’s very rewarding to see your portfolio and design skills develop in such a short period of time, and the amazing classmates you meet are the icing on the cake.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting at Shillington, what would it be?
Manage your time well and apply yourself—the quality of your work will reflect the effort you choose to put into it.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us!
A concert photograph that I took was projected onto the Sydney Opera House sails as part of their ‘Where Memories Are Made’ event in 2021.
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