It's been a busy year for Dan Jones, since graduating in 2010 Dan has managed to get a job working as a graphic designer where he's seen his first book design published and on the shelves at Waterstones. He has also been nominated for the University's 'Young social entrepreneur of the year award, and helped to establish the 'We're all Friends Here' collective, a group of current Photography students working together 'to slowly ensnare the world with their deadly charm'!
Read on to find out about Dan's experiences at University and his achievements since graduation.
Q: What made you choose BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography at Plymouth?
A: The towering frame of the Roland Levinsky building and the persistent glory of The Hoe brought me to Plymouth. As for the course, I was impressed by the graduate work I'd seen, and the emphasis on typography (with the letterpress facility to bolster this) made my decision for me.
Q: Once you got here did it live up to your expectations, in what ways did it differ?
A: I really had no idea what to expect, especially as I hadn't studied at foundation level. The briefs were initially much more conceptual than I anticipated (I imagined hours spent slaving away in Photoshop tutorials), and I think this helped us all get a good grasp of the crux of what the programme is all about. Ideas.
Q: How did the course help you in the development of your skills and prepare you for your career?
A: Of course, all the obligatory practical/software tuition was hugely helpful in a traditional sense, but there was one particularly notable module in our final year; dedicated to creating a personal identity in preparation for our first foray into the industry. The thoughtful accumulation of CV's, websites, portfolios etc, timed whilst still studying seemed to give us all a competitive edge once we graduated into 'real people'. For me this was the programme's shining moment.
Q: Tell me about the best bits …
A: The studio environment, we had a great group of friends which created a sense of friendly competition that really pushed our work forward. The tutors really emphasised the importance of coming into the studio, and even coming in to see my friends meant that I would accidentally do some work. The tutors were great, and I still maintain a good relationship with them since graduating. We also had a great series of guest lectures courtesy of the programme and the Designers Society. And of course, all the things that come with going to university, living independently, meeting new people…
Q: … and the worst bits...
A: …Living independently, meeting new people.
Q: What are you up to now?
I'm currently still crawling around the Roland Levinsky building working with The Bridge Creative Agency
which operates out of the Formation Zone. Essentially its a creative agency (graphic design, publishing etc.), but its main emphasis lies on bridging the gap between the degree and the real world - so we are working on projects with current University of Plymouth students/recent graduates, offering them an opportunity to work on real projects, gain real experience and be paid real money for it. I'm also working on freelance projects and running the We're All Friends Here collective.
Q: Tell us a little about the We're All Friends Here collective
A: We're All Friends Here is a photography collective that I've set up, consisting of myself and nine photography students here at the University of Plymouth. We have essentially come together as a group of friends who wanted to gain exposure and build something worthwhile together. We had our first exhibition last month where we SOLD OUT of our first (of many) book, and are planning to slowly ensnare the world with our deadly charm.
Q: What would you say have been your main achievements since graduating?
A: Curating the We're All Friends Here exhibition and its successful launch night was definitely a highlight, being nominated for Plymouth's 'Young social entrepreneur of the year', seeing my work on the shelf in Waterstones, but most of all the realisation that I can call myself a graphic designer with a straight face seems like an achievement in itself.
Q: Any advice you would give someone looking to go into a similar career?
A: Meet everyone you can, read everything, don't be afraid and don't slow down.
Q: Where can we see your work?
Q: Why should someone do a degree in BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with
Typography at University of Plymouth?
A: It has everything you need, great facilities, staff, environment and social life.
This Insight Interview was conducted by: