For the last two weeks we've had a new team member—Cardiff School of Art and Design student Alex Meek, who joined us for a two week placement. He was kind enough to write a post about his experience. We're rather chuffed that he seems to have enjoyed his time here...
My time at Toward
As a third year graphic communication student, we’re always encouraged to venture out into the wild and gain valuable experience in a design workplace. To help us along the way we have experts from the design industry visit every week to offer advice and guidance on various topics.
Tom visited our studio to give us a lecture about the correct and appropriate way to get in contact with design agencies, so there was no pressure when I sent Tom an email and asked to visit the Toward studio. He said yes!
So I popped into the studio for a chat and portfolio review, and after receiving valuable feedback and advice regarding my work, I was offered a two week design placement. I was chuffed! So during my Easter break from uni, I became, as Mike put it “Toward’s fake eyelashes”
The first day was a tad daunting, but after a warm welcome and project briefing I set up camp and cracked on. I spent the majority of my time working on a live brief for an up-and-coming innovative Asian takeaway that will launch later this year in Cardiff. With the help of Tom and Gareth, in week one I composed a research presentation ready for a client meeting on the Thursday. I also started to develop some concepts for the brand, which meant whacking out the paints and going a bit mad! The client meeting went really well, it was even filmed by the BBC!
I think it’s fair to say that the first week in particular was a pretty exciting week for all. Toward not only announced Blocks, which was received extremely well, but also welcomed its latest team member, studio assistant Bryn (Glyn/Bin/Drew) so I was only the newbie for one day. It was fun to be part of such an exciting week.
Here's Alex smashing some records on the GoGo, setting a blazing time of 7.96 seconds and taking 5th place on the leader board.
Notable highlights had to be the daily gogo challenge, the infamous points system (typically got stitched-up on day one!) and of course the doodles! These made the experience a lot more enjoyable, and were amongst the reasons why there was never a dull moment in the studio.
It was great learning about the Toward story, and I’ve been considering for a while that maybe I’d like to follow the same path as Tom and Mike—get a couple of mates together who are passionate about design, and just go for it and start an agency together, and just like Toward, somewhere that maintains an exceedingly professional attitude whilst having a great time in a community driven environment.
Without a doubt the experience and skills I’ve gained are invaluable (I’m now not ashamed of using live trace in illustrator!), and it’s made me a little bit more relaxed knowing that design agencies like this exist. I’ve enjoyed it throughout, I’m very grateful to have worked on such an exciting project, and the guys have been brilliant to work with (not to mention hilarious!) and I’d like to end by thanking the boys of Toward for putting up with me and I wish them well with all the exciting prospects that lay ahead. Cheers!
Alex's record of achievement at Toward:
Points on the 'messy chart' — 4 (4th worst)
GoGo time trial record — 7.96 seconds (5th best)
Wagamamas — 1
Welshcakes — 1
Friday pint clubs — 1
Client meetings — 2