December 17, 2018

Maris

Now that I’m in my final year studying Graphic Communication at Cardiff Met it seemed like a good time to look back on my experiences on the course so far and see exactly what it is that I love about studying here. So without sounding too cheesy, here goes…

1. The range of projects

Obviously when you’re studying an art and design degree you’d expect to work on a lot of projects, but what I didn’t realise when I came here was the variety of different things I’d get chance work on.

I’ve been able to work with live clients on projects that can actually make a difference to people’s lives, and worked collaboratively on briefs, both within the course and across the Cardiff School of Art & Design.

One project that stands out was the Mind Your Own Business brief; I was able to work with a Product Design student and two Textiles students to create a business in just five weeks.

I brought my Graphics skills to the table to brand the company, and was able to learn new skills from the other disciplines. Our business was entered into the Big Ideas Wales competition and won the Environmental Impact Award!

I’ve also had chance to work on single day projects, competition briefs, branding, editorial, typography, persuasion and lots more – probably enough to take up this entire blog!

2. The staff

With it being an undergraduate degree, there are lecturers of course. What are they like I hear you ask? Well, pretty great to be honest.

It’s quite a small team, but each member of staff has their specialist areas, whether it be print, typography or even interactive design. This means that whatever you love within Graphics, there will always be someone on hand to help.

Their office is also based in the studio, so you’re never far away, and they have an open-door policy. If you have any problems, you can just pop your head in and someone will be there to help. They really are a great team, plus you can always have a good laugh with them.

3. The studio culture

The studio is a great space and I always feel welcome

Being a Graphics student, my life pretty much revolves around the studio. We work in a shared studio space between all first, second and third years – which is a little daunting at first. But it’s actually a great space!

I’ve always felt welcome and I’ve never had trouble finding somewhere to work. You can genuinely ask any of the other third years and they’ll tell you I basically live in the studio – it’s pretty much my second home!

I think that goes to show the sort of environment it has, plus there are loads of sofas in there… can you really ask for more?

4. The freedom

Now, I know this may seem like a bit of a strange one, but let me explain… anyone who knows anything about Graphic Communication will know how big of a discipline it really is. There are so many potential avenues someone can go down – it’s a bit of a minefield really.

So rather than trying to push you down a certain avenue, the team give you complete freedom to become whatever kind of designer you wish to be. They’re really keen for you to find what it is you love and are passionate about, and support you in developing that passion.

You also have the freedom to try new things and to make mistakes – it’s all about discovering and learning. You really do have creative freedom!

5. The opportunities

I know I’ve already spoken about the range of projects offered to us throughout the three years on the course so, it might seem like I’m repeating myself – but trust me, I’m not!

There are so many other opportunities that are available to everyone. I’ve been able to go to Morocco and take part in competitions, and even win some. I have been offered work placement opportunities, chances to take part in projects outside of the curriculum.

I’ve been to design studios and conferences in London, visited galleries and museums, worked with people in industry, listened to successful designers talk about their experiences and a whole lot more.

I wholeheartedly feel I have grown as a person through taking hold of as many of these opportunities as possible – I mean in all honesty why wouldn’t you? I’ve been able to meet so many people and make so many more friends through them all, and have done things I never thought I would!

Before it gets too cheesy, I thought I’d finish there!  There was so much more I could have said, so it was pretty hard narrowing it down to just five. 

It really is a great course and I really will miss it once I finish, so I’m going to enjoy the rest of the time I have here and make the most of everything before going out into the real world… now that’s a scary thought!

Check out work from Maris and other final year CSAD students in our 2019 Summer Degree Show video: