Developing Designers Of The Future

Back in June, Reading’s Department of Typography and Graphic Communication celebrated five decades of successful professional design practice through their Real Jobs scheme, aimed at giving students hands-on experience in the workplace. 

The scheme gives students their first taste of working in the real world, delivering on creative briefs set by clients and local businesses. From book covers to displays and logo creation, Real Jobs exposes Typography and Graphic Communication students to unique and powerful opportunities, helping them to gain professional design experience and secure jobs post-university.

Artistic innovation

Real Jobs has been a huge success with both current students and alumni, with experiences from the scheme informing their professional practice today. Some of the projects created by these talented students have even received prestigious awards.

For example, this summer, PhD student, Tomos Jones, built an interactive display of invasive plants at the infamous Chelsea Flower Show. Both Tomos and the collaborating academics sought to make gardeners think about their role in plant invasions and how to garden responsibly, yet creatively. Tomos’ display was praised by attendees and judges for its agricultural quality and clarity of message, leading him to be awarded a Gold Medal by the Horticultural Society – a great moment for not only Tomos, but the University itself.

It’s not only displays that have been created as part of Real Jobs, but students have regularly taken on the creative task of book cover designs. This summer, Laura Marshall, took part in the Penguin Student Design Award competition, redesigning the cover for children’s book, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.

More recently, June Lin, collaborated with Dr Madeleine Davies and the Department of English Literature to design, copyedit and typeset a book publication of Margaret Atwood inspired-works, Second Sight. Since this brief, Second Sight was awarded the 2018/19 University Collaborative Award for Teaching & Learning, and June was contacted again by the client to create poster-sized covers for the publication.

Gaining real-world experience

Through these great projects and the Real Jobs scheme, Reading has enabled students to unleash their creative ambitions, build their design skills and gain real-world, professional experience. These are the opportunities that students themselves have credited the University, and the Department of Typography and Graphic Communications for:

“It was through Real Jobs that I learned designing for designers is very different from designing for consumers. It revealed to me that I enjoy designing for a community that cares about the value of design and is willing to invest in it.”

Caroline Teng, BA Graphic Communication

“Through Real Jobs and internship opportunities, I was able to gain a better understanding of the industry and the challenges and rewards it brings. Being able to apply learning to a real-world setting helped build my confidence, develop my interpersonal skills and expand my technical knowledge.”

Emma Beckingsale, BA Graphic Communication

The best thing about Real Jobs is its ability to enable students to make a difference in the world around them, moving beyond the classroom and into local society. The experiences they have gained from Real Jobs have impacted their future career choices and allowed them to become informed, confident and skilled designers.

Find out more about the projects students have delivered through Real Jobs