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26 March 2019

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Top Ten Tips from Comms Design Graduate

Since graduating from MA Communication Design in 2017, Samuel Cooke has worked at two different creative agencies and has recently launched a new website for his personal work.

Under his alias, ‘monitor’, Samuel has been working with clients such as the University of Exeter, Exeter City Council and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. He has also worked with a collection of emerging musicians and a new sci-fi magazine called Infinite Worlds.

Samuel told us: “Now that modern designers are expected to have such a broad skill set, it’s becoming increasingly important to step outside of your comfort zone and learn something that gives you an edge – whether that’s in competition for a job or just to stand out from the crowd.”

Completing the MA gave Samuel the ability to work across different platforms, expanding his skill set in preparation for the industry. “The part I enjoyed most about the course,” Samuel said, “was being encouraged to learn different disciplines, ways of working, pieces of software etc. that you wouldn’t normally have discovered or thought about trying.”

Samuel added that “the scope of the course, the variety of disciplines covered and the quality of teaching and guest lectures were fantastic. I think it’s invaluable to have such a wide foundation when going into today’s constantly evolving industry. Having those experiences and advice to draw on after you [graduate] is a great resource.”

His top ten tips for new practitioners looking to join the industry are:

  1. Learn as many new skills as possible 
  2. Do and share as much work as you can 
  3. Read design books 
  4. Never forget your fundamentals 
  5. Keep up-to-date on industry news and issues 
  6. Engage in dialogue with other designers and artists 
  7. Hijack a mentor (or several) 
  8. Start your own personal projects alongside client work 
  9. Remember that inspiration can come from anywhere 
  10. MOST IMPORTANTLY: take care of yourself 

“If you’re not eating, drinking and sleeping properly,” Samuel explained, “then you won’t be doing your best work.”