Our second day in New York we visited Pentagram, which is a well known design firm with branches in New York, London, Austin and Berlin. Some tips they gave us while we were there are, first, to have a good skill set with handling type. Also have a good idea behind your work, but also be able to talk about and explain that idea to other people. This is somewhat of a re-occuring theme while on this trip. many people have said that it is very important to be able to talk about why you did what you did. Someone who does good work, but can’t explain their thought process is not as valuable as someone who can defend and elaborate on their work.
Other pointers are:
> Don’t show things in your portfolio that aren’t worthy (another re-0ccurring theme)
> Have good time management
> Have atleast some basic web design skills (this has also been mentioned by almost everyone we have talked to)
They also mentioned that getting internships are very helpful because you think you know a lot about design until you get your first job. This first job shows you how much you really don’t know, but helps you learn a lot of what you don’t know.
We also visited The Mill, which is a company who specializes in video design. They have done high end commercials for Nike and many other companies and are on the cutting edge of their field. We didn’t talk for too long, but one thing I though was interesting was how they also mentioned you should be able to show that you can think. Show your thought process.
We finished out the day by visiting Massimo Vignelli. He was extremely generous, inviting us to his house for a question and answer session. Here is some knowledge from him:
> Web designers need a good print design base
> Copy good work in order to learn from it, then throw it away
> The space between the letters of a typeface is the important space (not the actual letters themselves)
> Concept comes before form (basically, get a good idea before you start anything)
> His mentality on type is that you don’t need to use more than 6 typefaces. Find a couple good serifs, a couple good sans serifs, and maybe use some hand done type, but that’s all you need
Massimo was very inspiring. I personally think it was awesome that he was almost just as excited to talk with us as we were to talk with him. Seeing him was definitely a highlight of our trip!