Wednesday, 27 May 2015



Today I finally visited Leeds based branding and packaging design firm Robot Food for my prearranged studio visit. 

Currently, I am still putting the finishing touches to my professional portfolio and so did not have a finished set of presentation boards I could take to the studio to showcase my work. To surpass the problem, I quickly put together some digital impact boards in the two hours I had spare before the visit, giving me something to both display and talk through. 

As a designer with a love for print and the hands on production process involved with the creation of many of my outcomes, I decided that taking some physical elements to support the digital portfolio would help to communicate who I am as a designer and help to further showcase some of my work.

Therefore, as well as the quick portfolio I created I took physical elements consisting of;

  • Transition Newspaper - Screen printed using vegetable inks (COP module).
  • Robot Food - Tailored gift for the studio (PPP module)


In preparation for the studio visit I created a bespoke gift, the primary function of which was to help create a lasting impression and showcase my individual creativity. 

Images of the gift can be seen below.

After speaking through my digital portfolio, I gave the Robot Food gift to Martin, the design director at the firm, who was both impressed with the concept and design of the outcome. Creating intrigue, the Robot Food slowly made its way around the members of studio who inspected the piece individually. 


Upon arriving at the studio I was greeted by Martin, the design director at Robot Food, who showed me round the office and introduced me to the individual team members that wrre working that day.

After the introductions, I was seated and shown some of the recent projects the studio have been working on, a process which covered the various steps of the project from initial research through to the refined final outcome. Talking through the various projects was fascinating, as I found the journeys projects undertook had a number different stages that accumulated to form an informed final resolution. 

While going through the projects I also asked questions about project timescale, workload division, client input and how problems (if any) were overcome. 


The methodical process applied by the Robot Food team when approaching a brief allowed them to consistently create innovative design outcomes that impress both the client and their customers. When talking about this process I defined aspects I can subsequently utilise to help improve my design practice. 

  • Research - Review products outside of specific area of focus.
    • Example - If researching beer, review beer related products, such as bar snacks etc.
  • Competition overview - what are the competitors making? 
  • Brand positioning - where will the brand lie?
    • Luxury, cheap?
  • Mock ups - Show product in context against competition. 
    • Helps to show impact.  


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the studio, meeting the Robot Food team and learning a bit about their creative process and projects. 

Additionally, I feel that the visit was really successful, the digital portfolio of work I talked through created interest amongst those reviewing it indicating that they were impressed by the design thinking and standard of work. Furthermore, the gift I presented to the studio was well received and seemed to impress the members of the team who got a chance to review it. 

Upon finishing my visit, me and martin discussed my progression plans for after I finish university, specifically inquiring if I had any work placements arranged. I subsequently informed him about my placement with the guys from Something More, to which he took the dates and asked me to send through the digital portfolio I presented so he could show it to Simon, the creative director, who did not get a chance to look through it. Hopefully, he will be impressed, as I would love to intern for the studio. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


After I finished the process of physically producing the Robot Food I finished the project by taking a set of professional images showcasing the product and its concept. 

Unfortunately, it is a really busy time of year for all courses within the college, therefore I was unable to book a photography studio to take images of the project. To surpass the problem, I rented a lighting kit and camera allowing me to take the images from the comfort of my own kitchen. 


I have found much previous success in retrospective projects by simply spending five minutes planning the art direction for the photo shoot before it takes place. Aspects of the shoot, such as the background colour and any additional contextual media, are all carefully considered to ensure the images showcase the product to a professional standard.  


The final set of edited images can be seen below;


Unfortunately, on Monday morning I received some bad news about a bereavement so was unable to attend the studio visit I had organised on Tuesday.

I messaged Simon to inform him I could no longer attend the visit, to which he was more than understanding and helped to reorganise the visit for the following Tuesday at 3pm. 

Saturday, 16 May 2015


The other day I finally got round to emailing Simon Forster, one of the main men behind Leeds based brand and packaging agency Robot Food, to organise a trip down to their studio to meet the team and see their studio. 

Robot Food is an agency I have found inspirational since first discovering their work while in Second year. Not only do the company specialise in design sectors that have direct relevance to my design practice, but they also produce a range of high quality work that forms one amazing portfolio. 

In preparation for the visit, I created a bespoke gift that I plan on giving to the team after I have finished looking round the studio (something which I eagerly created before I had even organised to visit the studio). 

Messages documenting the communication between me and Simon can be seen below;

The visit was organised for the afternoon of Tuesday the 19th of May, which falls on a very busy time of the academic year, just three days before the submission of my final two modules. However, feeling relatively confident I will have time to finish all my projects to the desired standard, I decided that Tuesday was as good a day as ever to visit the studio.


The other day, in preparation for the construction of my printed portfolio, I used Boardpushers custom skateboard printing service to print one of my second year illustrations onto the bottom of a skatebaord deck.

The illustration was originally created for one of Boardpushers monthly skateboard design competitions and was submitted as part of my responsive module. Unfortunately, the design did not win, but left me with a portfolio piece which evidences my skill as an illustrator.

Currently, the project is featured on my Behance page but lacks any decent contextual images of the design itself on a skateboard. In preparation for my integration into the design industry I am currently building my personal website and developing a printed portfolio. Therefore, I decided that printing the design professionally and taking a range of images of the final outcome would be hugely beneficial. 


A day after ordering the skateboard from boardpusher I received a nice email from Steven, one of the companies employees, asking if they could feature the design on their website and social meida outlets, essentially using it as a promotional piece for the company. As the creator, they would reference my website and any additional information I deemed relevant to their audience of consumers, making for some relevant personal promotion for me. 

The opportunity presented me with the chance for some free exposure and promotion, so I replied swiftly to let Steven know I am happy for them to feature the skateboard design.

The email received from Steven can be seen below;

Also attached to the email was an image of the printed design! 


Thursday, 14 May 2015


It has been a few weeks since I submitted the final draft of the Kim Woozy article to Samantha and although the final submissions for both the PPP and Extended Practice modules and fast approaching, the editorial design work experience programme will continue running for a few months after I actually finish university. 

I am expecting to receive the brief for the next digital publication in the following week, so although I will be insanely busy preparing for the submissions I will have to put my organisational skills to the test and complete it alongside the heavy workload. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015


Today, I attended the final 'Start up Wednesdays' session of the academic year.Once again Keith Evans took the session, however this time he discussed the steps we now need to undertake to get ours businesses started.

Due to the busy time of year, only me and another student turned up to the session which meant that we got a personal, one on one session with Keith. 

Initially, to give him an understanding of where we are currently at with our ideas, we talked through the journey so far, covering what first inspired the idea and any current progress we have made.

Notes taken during the session can be seen below;

  • Matt Smith - Works at the Key Fund. 
  • Costing needs to be spot on from the start.
  • Always maximise on trade-offs.
  • Become obsessive about your customers, get to know them!
  • Identify the key players that will help your business excel.
    • Individuals in locations.
    • Groups.
    • Organisations.
    • Other businesses. 
  • Networking is key.
  • The back story is hugely important to customers.
    • People want to know about how you started, beliefs etc.
    • Show process of making product.
    • What makes the product individual?
    • Highlight values.
  • Structure your marketing - who has the most relevance to the business?
  • Set goals.
  • Create a growth plan.
  • Create a pitch about your business and product.
  • Marketing should start with why you started the company, not with the product.
  • Research, research, research.
  • Break down large tasks as it makes them easier to manage. 
  • Express what you do without overselling.
    • How the product is made.
    • How transported.
    • Why it is better than the competition.

Thursday, 7 May 2015


As part of the PPP module I decided to produce a portfolio website additional to my behance and other social media outlets I currently used to display aspects of my work and practice. 

The website is being built using squarespace, an online website builder I have had previous success using.

The website will form the main touch point for interaction with clients and potential employers, acting as a portfolio and CV.  

A link to the finished website will be posted as soon as the site is live.