Industry Talks at Shillington are a great chance to find out more about some of our favourite design studios. We aim to invite in a range of studios to enrich our students minds with dazzling work, inspiring anecdotes and most importantly what’s possible for after the course. A recent visit from Manchester based studio Nine Sixty was no exception. We were thrilled to learn more about the small Manchester based studio who work predominantly on branding and digital projects.
Following their inspiring talk we followed up with a few questions which delved deeper into their process as designers as well as how they promote themselves as a studio and what they look for when adding a new member to the team! Read on to hear more from Andy Mallalieu and Mark Bebbington.
Nine Sixty is a small independent studio — do you have any thoughts on the advantages in working in a small studio compared to a larger one?
We find working as a small studio more rewarding and satisfying. We’re involved in projects from start to finish, we get to really know our clients, speak to them face-to-face, find out what makes them tick and build relationships.
Before Nine Sixty, Mark and I worked together at a larger agency. It was a great environment to work in and develop our skills but it was time to move on and do our own thing. We definitely feel we wouldn’t be in this position today without first gaining experience from being part of a team in a larger agency.
Your portfolio is comprised of a mix of branding and digital work, in which illustration often features. Would you say that illustration is becoming a more sought after medium from clients within these two genres?
We’re doing more and more illustration, it’s something we really enjoy. We find clients are really open minded towards illustration these days—this wasn’t always the case! When we worked on the website for 24 Lever Street, the brief was to deliver a creative/playful response to that talent that resides in the building—illustration was the perfect medium for this!
You have an active social media presence, sharing a range of professional and personal projects on your channels. Do you think social media is fast becoming an effective tool to share and discuss design?
Yes, definitely. It’s a great source of inspiration for us. It’s also a good way to keep up-to-date with trends, design tips and new software/techniques that might be worth investing some time in.
We’re big fans of Dribbble and Instagram—both are great to share snippets of work and show what we’re working on.
How do you normally approach a new website, can you give us a summary of the steps you’d take when working on a brief?
What is your number one tip when designing for digital, any words of wisdom with regards to software, process or even research?
When designing for digital it’s important to understand that you don’t have control over how someone will be viewing your work. Your work needs to be flexible as it will be potentially viewed on mobile, tablet or desktop; users might be interacting with a mouse or on a touch screen.
Our graduates are often so eager to get into the design world but sometimes become intimidated by the application process. What methods of application really impress you as an employer?
We hope that helps, now go out there and land that dream design job!
Do you live in Manchester and want to learn more about graphic design? We have a full-time class starting in April and part-time classes in September. Go to shillingtoneducation.com for more details.
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