Monday, 27 May 2013

Promotional Mail out

I've been planning what I want to do after finishing the course and I thought whilst trying to set up my own business it would be a good idea to get in contact with studios. I think having a full time job would really help me to get into a professional routine as a designer. Throughout the three years at the college I've become a really big fan of the laser cutter, I found a studio in London called Cutlasercut who are the pioneers of laser cutting, they laser cut crisps and apples working with a team of designers! Its incredible. The mail out below I directed solely at them and produced on the laser cutter. I was so please a week later when they got back to me offering me a full time job, I have the interview after module submission!

Below is also a bit of information about them and the sort of work they produce; 

Hello, nice to meet you! We’re an award winning laser cutting & engraving service in London and the UK specifically for the needs of creative industries. Cut Laser Cut are not your average manufacturer, but were founded by a team of talented designers.

You can do so many things with our industry leading machines it’s astonishing! Up to a whopping2400mm x 1200mm.

Below is the mail out I produced and sent to them;

I produced a pack to send to them that included some brief information about me as a designer including my talents as a designer and my skills within the line of work they do.  I included images and a brief description of most of the work I've completed on the laser cutters.

Below is a poster I designed and laser cut for them, It consists of three layers each on a different stock, It took me a lot of time to perfect the colour scheme but by removing and reveals sections of characters I think I've put together A successful piece of design.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Final Presentation

Below is my final presentation talking about my plans to travel and visit a lot of countries in Europe over summer, my plans to continue my status as a designer but try to set up my own business over summer.

Online Status

Since the start of third year I've been thinking about jobs after finishing University and the way to reach them. I've designed myself a significant Identity and applied it to business cards and a C.V but gaining online recognition for status to gain jobs is something I've been trying to tackle from a variety of angles. When emailing studio's and designers, I need to leave them with a place to visit my work, and a portfolio PDF still doesn't give people the ability to search and find my work. 

Below I've been setting up a cargo collective, Tumblr, and twitter to constantly build up online status. Eventually I want all three to be in sync, design wise, content wise and layout. All three platforms will look similar and can be linked to myself as a designer, I've been putting time into researching costings for setting up a website, I've been working on scamps and templates but will need to gain some further advice on coding in dreamweaver. 

Setting up the Univeres Pupils

During last Module I made a starting point and planted a seed for a clothing company I want to develop when I finish University. So far me and another student from the college want to both invest money into a boutique skate brand thats Unique selling point will be providing all artwork thats used on garments additionally to the clothes.

I've chatted to Fred and I'm still seeking more information but our plans our to stay in Leeds for the first 6-12 months of setting up, completing a Fellowship at the University and saving on printing costs by using the facilities available. We have a creative Advertiser, Marketer, accountant but still need to seek out other investors/creatives to work with. Once living in Leeds for the first year is over, we then intend on moving down to some premises In Brighton where we will be able to have our own printing studio. My partner in the business will be the main investor and we plan to go 50/50 on all rent and costs for the screen printing studio we plan on renting. The other roles needed in the business would be employed on a day to day basis for certain jobs that needed doing.

A good business plan will contain:

-an initial executive summary, summarising the detail of the business proposal

-a written overview of the business' aims

-its product or service

-management team

-financial forecasts and appendices, such as the CVs of key management members, market research data or technical product information.

The body of your business plan should cover several areas in detail.

Give the reason for the business being established - include business goals, for example, whether ambitious growth is desired or a regular, steady trading level.

Explain what your business will do in simple terms, highlighting any features that set it apart from rivals.

Include market and competitor information, outlining what part of the market you are targeting, key competitors and what differentiates you from them.

Financial forecast

Think about your sales and marketing strategy, include information on how the product or service will be priced, channels to market, advertising and marketing plans.

Details of key personnel and their relevant experience are also important, as is operational information like office location, special equipment and expected employee headcount.

Business plan essentials
Management background
Business aims - what are your future plans?
An assessment of the competition
Research to back claims and forecasts

State the financing you need, based on your financial forecasts.

Include details of any finance provided by the founder or management team and indicate the key risks to the business and any mitigating action you can take.

Your plan should also include a sales forecast, cashflow forecast and a projected profit and loss account for up to five years' ahead.

Larger businesses should also draw up a projected balance sheet.

The figures used must be reasonable - avoid being over optimistic. The involvement of a qualified accountant in preparing these forecasts is recommended.

Plans for Summer

Over summer, I want to travel around Europe on an International rail card and see some of the World that I haven't had a chance to see yet. This is also another opportunity to network and build long term distance clients, I feel that unless I meet someone in person they never usually grasp the sort of person I am. My plan is as follows.

July 1st - July 4th :Attend Life after college sessions to set up my own business

July 16th - August 16th : Spend a month working from The Netherlands down to Czech Republic looking for work.

I've made a list below of the sorts of Studios I want to Visit. They work mainly with print, heavily with illustration but some are also type based. I think this is the sort of place I'd feel comfortable working, or popping in for a chat about how they work whilst travelling.


A is a Name

Below is some of the research I've Been doing about interailing and the route I've been planning, as it goes a lot of people leaving University don't have the funds to go travelling so this is going to be a solo mission.

Comparing prices between companies there isn't that much difference to travel for a whole month in terms of price, I think this is something I want to do as soon as I finish as the ticket price changes as you get older, on some of them 22 is the cut off point for an adult.

I found the Article Below which I've also found really really helpful. It outlines all the things you need to consider when going travelling.

Interrailing is often a magnificent experience for those who've embarked on it. You can whip through so much if you want, or you can pace yourself and relax - or you can do both in equal measure. Its praises cannot be sung enough, but there's always the word of caution. The following was written by Blissy in their diary while on a train in the middle of the Czech Republic:

Interrailing can be really up and down. You arrive tired, bagged-down with no map, no idea of where you are staying, no idea what you are doing, usually hungry and almost always dressed inappropriately for the weather (leaving rainy Austria at midnight and arriving sunny Italy midday!!!) After the first evening everything becomes much better. Similarly, some places are glorious and some aren’t. Interrailing can be quite a mixed bag! When you’ve been up since 4am it is difficult not to be ratty by 9.30pm, so GO WITH SOMEONE YOU GET ALONG WITH!!


The InterRail Pass is a rail ticket designed for EU residents (Eurail is the equivalent for non-EU residents). To be an EU resident, you must have lived in an EU country for 6 months or more. There are two types: the Global Pass or the One Country Pass.

The Global Pass is valid in 30 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, FYR Macedonia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey. However, it is not valid in your own country of residence. You can choose from 4 different types of Global Pass, which are valid for different durations. You can choose 22 days or 1 month of continous travel, or 5 days of travel within a 10-day period, or 10 days of travel within a 22-day period. Overnight trains, if taken after 7pm, only count for one day of travel [the day of arrival].

The One Country Pass is valid in only one European country. You can choose from any of the countries above but be aware that Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are combined to form the Benelux Pass. Also available is the Greece Plus Pass which incudes ferry crossings to/from Italy. The One Country Pass lasts for one month. You can choose from 3, 4, 6 or 8 days of travel.

There are three categories of InterRail Pass [both for the Global Pass and the One Country Pass]: 1st Class Adult, 2nd Class Adult and 2nd Class Youth. Adult is defined as 26+, Youth is 12-25. Children between 4 and 11 years old pay half of the adult fare. Children under 4 travel free.

The InterRail Pass can be bought from the InterRail website [also useful for information about countries, railways etc]:

You do not necessarily need to buy an expensive interrail ticket. If you are travelling in eastern Europe (Poland down to Croatia and anything to the East of that, basically the places that don't have the Euro) it is a lot cheaper to buy your tickets as you go. Going between countries varies from £3 to £20 maximum. It is also often cheaper to get a budget flight out to an eastern country to skip past the expensive France, Italy, Germany etc.

Your route planning will obviously be dictated by the length of the journey and the countries/cities you wish to visit but here are a few tips:

Booking accommodation can be done just before or pre-planned. For those wanting to see lots of cities and countries with no set plan, booking the night before gives you incredible flexibility. However, if you have something really special in mind: book ahead. (We booked accommodation in Carcassonne for Bastille Day a few months in advance) It will give you peace of mind and also something to aim your journey towards.

Write a list of places you would like to visit before you go, but be prepared to drop or cut short your plans as this list is usually far too ambitious! Most major stops are not more than 4 or 5 hours away so we found night trains to be a nice idea but totally impractical. You will just have to accept the half-days of travelling! ^^ The above depends on your route. It's almost impossible to spend less time travelling from Barcelona to Paris than you do on a night train. Same goes for Amsterdam to Zurich. If you book early enough in advance, night trains can also help you save on a hostel for a night - and you arrive at your next destination in the morning!

Youth Hostels If booking Youth Hostels, you must have a Youth Hostel Association card (available from At you can check availability at all hostels and book some online. Those that can't be booked online have contact details. The hostels can be booked up to 6 months in advance or you can simply turn up on the door if you're feeling spontaneous (and prepared to be turned away if the hostel is full...)

Always check to see how far out the youth hostel is and make a note of any instructions of how to get there when you're booking.

Also be aware that there are independent hostels that may be more suited to your needs [eg no curfew, no lock out during the day], and don't require YHA membership. Good websites to check are and Both sites either have online booking forms for the hostels or contact details. Reviews of the hostels can also be found.

Documents to Take

Thomas Cook European Time Table (AKA the bible)

The Thomas Cook European Train Timetable (£10-odd from Thomas Cook shops or was a real lifesaver for organising our journeys in advance and also for spur-of-the-moment plan changes.

· Passport

· Interrail Ticket

· YHA Membership Card

· ISIC Card (worth getting - good for student discounts and using as ID when you don't want to leave your passport

· Travel Insurance Documents

· European Health Insurance Card (i.e. the EHIC, the card which has replaced the E111 form)

· Traveller's Cheques and information about their serial numbers


Photocopy, or record the details of each of these documents and put into an envelope. On the front of the envelope write down any emergency telephone numbers and reference numbers (such as your passport number) for quick reference and to cut down on the bulk of items you need to take with you. I kept this envelope in a separate but secure part of my rucksack from the actual documents. If you are travelling with someone else I suggest you take a copy of each others' documents so if your backpack goes "missing" you have your details with someone else. It is also a good idea to email yourself scanned copies of the above documents just in case EVERYTHING goes pear-shaped, you know your details are sat in an email account waiting for you to access.


It's easy to protect your belongings. Keep your purse/wallet so it touches your body. Keep your traveller's cheques/documents somewhere inaccessible in your backpack - somewhere that can only be accessed by physically touching you (e.g. the very bottom compartment of your backpack whose zip touches your back)

Keep your interrail ticket and passport in an inside pocket, but not one too awkward to get to seeing as you will need to get them out regularly. I found the inside pocket of the head part of my rucksack the best.

Take a combination lock chain with you. Most youth hostels provide lockers but not all - you can push it through the handles of cupboard doors or lock your rucksack to the foot of the bed. DOn't take a padlock with a key because they are very awkward.

Don't go down dark streets or do anything you wouldn't do at home. Have your wits about you and try not to scream tourist (even with a big rucksack on your back, try to speak English quietly, don't brandish your map and ask for directions in shops instead of on the street)

Just because your purse/wallet touches your body though, and may even be in zipped pockets, don't just assume you will feel it should someone try to take it. So please PLEASE split up your money, credit cards, ID, and tickets twice, even three ways BEFORE you leave home. My advice is to put some into your wallet, get a money belt (there are ones that look like normal belts, but have small hidden zipped compartments for folded bank notes into) to hide the majority of your money, keep a credit card hidden in your backpack (this way, should the worst happen, you'll still be able to eat and get home), and perhaps a document waist belt. Don't be silly and have everything in one wallet thinking you'll split it up when you get back to the hostel in the evening of the first day, only to find its too late and your left with nothing! But remember, wherever you are from, the most important thing you carry while abroad is your passport. Know exactly where this is at all times.

Make a record of all document numbers, telephone numbers, and serial codes in advance (passport/credit card numbers, lost/stolen card hotlines etc, camera serial number etc). It makes cancelling things and getting replacements much quicker and easier - the first thing anyone who gets your wallet is going to try and do, is to get as much cash out as they can, so the quicker they get cancelled the better. Email a copy to your parents so they don't lose it. Also, this way if you lose something, all you need to do is call home and get your parents to call round for you. Oh, and backup all your friends numbers from your mobile phone before you, its a pain trying to find them all again when half of them are at uni with no internet, trust me.

Worst-Case Scenario Advice

No one wants to read much about the bad things that could happen, and everyone thinks there's no way its going to happen to them.
But should the worst happen and you have something important stolen, this is what you need to do:

1) As the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy says, DON'T PANIC. I did and it didn't help - then again I'd lost all my money, identity (except passport thank god) and mobile, on the first day, and on my own.

2) If you still have means to do so, call home and get someone to call round cancelling whatever's been stolen.

3) Find out where the nearest police station is (your hotel/hostel should be able to help). There should be somewhere open.
As harsh as it sounds and as much as you'd like some, don't expect too much sympathy from anyone, hostel, police or embassy

4)Go straight there. Once there, tell them whats happened. Ask to speak to your embassy for advice on collect calls, getting money out etc

5) Call home immediately after leaving the police station using the collect call details obtained (it doesn't matter what time of day/night it is at home).
It is important to get everything cancelled asap, Banks are not obliged to refund any fraudulent transactions much longer before the time
you reported the cards stolen, either to them or to the local Police.

6) Insurance companies also like to be informed quickly, often within 24 hours, so make sure you do this as quickly as possible.

What to Pack

When Interrailing, like with any sort of travelling, space is limited so you need to pack lightly. You Also need to be sure to pack all the essentials. Read the guide on What to Pack to make sure you leave nothing behind and don't get overloaded with excess baggage.

For InterRailing, considering you're going to be walking, getting on and off trains etc, I wouldn't recommend a rucksack any bigger than 50 litres. For two weeks I managed on 40-45 litres, and what you use for two weeks can be simply washed and used for a month. My friends took 60-80 litres, fine if you're happy to carry it, but there was quite a bit of complaining about heavy/big bags etc. Also by taking a smaller bag you actively force yourself to take less of the unnecessary things.

I also recommend taking a wallet with you, for unexpected train tickets and border costs, so you don't have to be fiddling through your backpack trying to find some spare cash.


I always say to allow between £25 and £40 a day [depending on how lavish you are] for your accommodation, food, travel (trams, buses) and entrance fees to museums etc. Remember to factor in the cost of your ticket, backpack and other equipment ON TOP of this. Overall, don't spend all of your money on the first day, and bear in mind that a little goes a long way. There are some unecessary items you can cut down on like unusual sovenirs, but my advice is to ALWAYS KEEP A BUDGET! Don't go over, otherwise you soon find out the consquences. You can get an estimate for the cost of your trip at

Useful Websites

· Rail Timetable - This can replace the Thomas Cook timetable; just plug in where you are and where you want to go and it'll give you the required connections, without supplements if wanted

· HostelWorld - The place to go to book hostels. Seems to have them all on and makes it easy.

· Wikipedia - Great for looking up potential destinations and checking out pictures of where you're going. Also very useful to get up to date with a location's history

· - Very useful for sharing your pictures with the people you travelled with when you get home

Life After College

I've been attending the life after college sessions to help grasp an idea of what it's like to set up your own business and understand how to get a job as a creative. I love the idea of working for someone else but since being younger I've always had the vision of setting up my own clothing company. I plan on attending the Life after college sessions throughout july and august with my business partner as In September I'm going to try and open a clothing company called 'The Universes Pupils'. This experience is offered by the company life after college to Yorkshire Universities  its £90 and is a 4 day course in Doncaster so I'm rather excited to get going. 

During the life after college sessions I made a lot of notes that were and will be very helpful to me in the future. I pitched my business Idea to the rest of the group and gained some feedback. I will be updating my PPD with a business plan further down the line. 

Some of my notes from the Session are below...



7% to GDP Gross domestic product

Employ 6,000,000 people

As soon as you offer goods, let alone sell them, you need to be registered self-employed. HMRC Register online. Keep all receipts, invoices and document ingoing’s and outgoings.  

-Pin board of receipts, divided into months is a good device to cut down on coasts for an accountant. 

The Creative Entrepreneur 

10 attributes for success

Creative entrepreneurs are driven by the work itself.

-For others, being in business is an end in itself.

-For creative entrepreneurs, being in business is a means to an end. 

Creative enterprises are characterised by freelance or micro business.

-Portfolio workers adapting their skills to a range of employers.

-But minimises need to take on responsibilities for leadership, management, human resource development etc.

-Limits potential for business growth. 

The reality

-The sector does not conform to traditional industrial definitions.

-Prototype, equipment, reproduction and distribituion. 

-Sector is often more collaborative.

Creative entrepeneurs appear to be financially risk averse not because they are airheads but;

-They want to protect their integrity.
-They want to retain control.
-They take unintelligible risks

-They may not know the business rules of the game
-But they will improvise. 

Creative entrepreneurs tend to go for local markets.

-Fear of strategic planning.

-Weakness in making connections.

-But knowledge economy makes global business an opportunity even for new creative entrepreneurs.



-A clear sense of values and beliefs underpinning creative business decisions. 

-Values are an anchor for business, express your values before starting a business plan etc. 

-Particularly in difficult or challenging circumstances.

Conceptual Thinking

Uses fresh approaches.

Comes up with crazy new ideas leading to new or radical change. 

Listens to new ideas without pre-judgement

Project Management.

-Planning and managing to turn into reality.

-Managing critical links between people, ideas and information at all stages in the project lifecycle. 

-Understanding how to negotiate, how to communicate with tact and reach agreements, which are acceptable to the project.

-Evaluating effectiveness of project planning an implementation. 

Risk Taking

-Operates from hope of success rather than from fear of failure.

-Persists in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks.

-Sees setbacks as due to manageable circumstance rather than as a personal flaw.

-Learns how to assess choices responsibly.

-Weights outcomes against values and responsibilities. 


-Builds total capability of the team-Including freelancers!


Uses imagination to devlop new ideas and insights. 

Turns innovative ideas into products, services, business process 

Where’s your head? Where’s your heart?


So far I've been working on putting my portfolio together to take around studios over summer and to keep building up with the finalised work from my FMP. I've got a few sessions over the next few weeks where I can gain some feedback on my portfolio, so there is room for improvements.