Graphic Design students flourishing at leading design agency

Tuesday 22 August 2017

EMC Design is the leading print and digital design agency for publishing, based in Oakley near Bedford.

The company has employed a number of students from the highly successful Graphic Design department at Bedford College’s South Bank Arts Centre. This year they took on two from the first cohort of BA Graphic Communication students, which is run in partnership with the University of Northampton.

Representatives from EMC Design visited the students’ end of year exhibition at the Bunyan Basement in Bedford and spoke to a number of students whose work they were particularly impressed by.

Josie Kilby and James Feaver were offered Junior Designer roles before they had even graduated and are now on their way to successful careers within this influential company.

James says: “I loved doing my final major project at College. I invented an electric car company called ‘Element’ where everything is sourced sustainably. EMC Design saw the work at our end of year exhibition and said they’d be really interested in talking further – and here I am!”

Josie says: “EMC are a great company to work for and they really look after you. As a Junior Designer I’ve been involved in some digital illustration work and given my own job to do, which has just moved over to the production team for checking. I’m looking forward to progressing as a designer here at EMC over the next few years.”

James

After finishing school with too few GCSEs to go on to sixth form, I now have; a job as a Junior Designer with the leading print and digital design agency for publishing, a first class degree and national YCN award under my belt. And that’s all thanks to Bedford College.

After a flying visit on GCSE results day I started on their Level 2 Art & Design course and worked my way up the levels in Graphic Design. I choose to stay here for my undergraduate study partly because of the rising cost of university, but mostly because of my tutor Jeffrey’s expert teaching.

I loved doing my final major project at College. I invented an electric car company called ‘Element’ where everything is sourced sustainably. EMC Design saw the work at our end of year exhibition and said they’d be really interested in talking further – and here I am!

I’m learning a lot in my new role including how to do things efficiently and to a high standard first time every time, plus lots of new keyboard shortcuts for InDesign! I’m just in the process of liaising with a client about some amendments for a pack of educational flash cards to be used in Mexico.

The best thing I have taken away from my tutors at College is to embrace any criticism you are given. I learnt that you become a better designer if you push yourself to explore a number of ideas rather than focus on one. 

James - Graphic Communication BA (Hons)
Junior Designer at EMC Design

Josie

I wanted to study Art & Design when I finished school, so my teachers suggested the Foundation Diploma at Bedford College. If you’re unsure about going to university then it’s a great option, as you spend the year sampling different disciplines before deciding what to specialise in. I had experience in illustration but the Graphic Design tutor, Jeffrey convinced me of the brilliant career prospects for graphic designers. I progressed on to the Graphic Design HND and when the opportunity for the BA opened up, I went for it.  

Highlights of the course were going to the D&AD exhibition in London and winning a YCN award. It prepared me for following a real life brief, deadlines and receiving criticism to improve things. I’m looking forward to progressing as a designer here at EMC over the next few years.   

Josie - Graphic Communication BA (Hons)
Junior Designer at EMC Design

Director at EMC Design Sophie O’Rourke says: “We have a long history of taking on graduates and training them in-house on the very specific editorial work we do. It’s a method of recruitment that suits us particularly well and provides long-term career progress for our staff.

“There’s so much to learn when you start your first job and we believe that doing it in the supportive environment of the studio and within our defined graduate scheme is one of the best ways to learn quickly. Josie and James have made a great start and we’re looking forward to nurturing them into some of the best editorial designers in the UK.”

Find out more about Graphic Design courses at Bedford College

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