sketching at slice packaging design agency

Placements – Starting out as a designer in a branding and packaging design agency.

(A fair few) years ago I was leaving college and pulling my portfolio together with the exciting prospect of getting my foot on the career ladder. Whilst times have changed, the core principles of how to approach an agency for placements haven’t.

Here are my five key points to look at when you approach an agency for design placements (well actually in general for any role):

1. Be enthusiastic.

The whole interview process can seem a little scary but what really appeals to an employer is an enthusiasm in the role, and the industry in general. Be interested in the agency, the brands that they work on and most of all life!

2. Be different.

Just like a brand, you need to communicate your point of difference. How could you stand out from the crowd? When I’m advising people on approaching agencies for placements I always refer back to a fantastic story I once heard about Lionel Richie (Bear with me on this).

Lionel Richie was one part of a very successful band – The Commodores. Each member of the band wrote an equal number of tracks for their albums and it was always a big debate regarding which songs made the final album. Lionel Richie‘s ethos was always if everyone else is doing a dance record, I’m going to do a ballad if everyone else is doing a ballad, I’m going to do a disco record. That way, by approaching his creative work a little differently to the rest of the band, he always managed to get his ideas onto the final record, simply because he offered something different.

It’s a great way to think about it – as long as you’ve got the core skill sets the key thing is how do you stand out from others that may also have similar attributes?

3. Don’t be a prima-donna.

Its all very well being convinced that your idea is the best thing since Steve Jobs decided to do away with buttons, but remember, be open to others opinions – nothing positive ever came from lying on the floor in a ‘star shape’ refusing to change the hue of green as it questioned your creative integrity!

4. Roll your sleeves up.

Agency life and placements are incredibly exciting. Every day and every project is different. The most successful designers and placements I’ve worked with roll their sleeves up and have a go everything. Whether that’s a learning a new skill or helping someone else shine.

5. Don’t give up

This role may not be suitable for you but the next one might. Keep going, the right people end up in the right role for the agency, and also for them.

You can see some examples of our confectionary branding and packaging here. There are some more expanded examples on our Behance credentials page. If you’re interesting in placements with Slice, contact us here. Slice are ranked on Design Rush’s Top Food and Beverage Branding Agencies list.

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