Meet Amelie—Shillington London to Berlin and Beyond

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Meet Amelie, born in Germany she moved to London for University where she studied Fashion Design. After finding herself more besotted by the tags which hang from the clothes and the look-books which promote them she enrolled at Shillington London where she found her true calling in Graphic Design. 

Following an internship at Nearly Normal  Amelie is now working as a freelancer, recently completing a project for Polina Joffe and Kamil Korolczuk in Berlin under their temporary project Meanwhile Studios in Berlin!

We take a look at a few of the top pieces from Amelie’s Shillington portfolio as well as a peak at some of the work she’s been doing since graduating as she tells us of her journey into the design world and why the Shillington experience still continues after graduating. 

Looking through your portfolio from Shillington it’s obvious that each project has a great deal of consideration to every aspect of the design process. Was there a project that you were most proud of and why?

That would be White. Everything just came together so nicely. I remember that when I read the brief to design an identity for a laundry service I knew I would keep the aesthetic very clean. My research on the colour white led me to chess. This happy accident formed the base for the logo, graphic elements and even tone of voice and roll out strategy. It was one of those moments where everything made sense, was locked nicely in a concept, and then the design came out so easily. 

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You sight research as one of your favourite things about working in design, what is it you like about doing research so much and how important do you think it is when working as a designer?

I think I am a curious person by nature. I love learning and exploring. I find design for purely aesthetic purposes frustrating because the results most of the time feel hollow and can be very predictable.

Research adds depth to a design and can lead to very unexpected outcomes.

It’s great to learn about things that have apparently no relation to your field of expertise and then translating that into graphic design. Research allows me to pick up many different pieces of information, then at some point I try to link everything together. Design turns into a sort of equation and that’s when it gets exciting.

Research is very important as it forms the base for any good idea which then leads to a concept. I believe that there are some rare instances where approaching something naively, without prejudice can be a good thing too. But overall, my aim is to create work that is compatible on both aesthetic and conceptual levels.

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How have you found entering the design industry as a Shillington graduate? Do you feel the course prepared you for finding work?

I think the hardest part was applying for the very first job or internship, the email bit. I spent a large amount of time e-mailing people, researching studios and writing very personal cover letters. Not hearing back or getting negative answers can be a bit disheartening but Shillington was such a great experience for me and I was eager to continue the search. It can be hard when enthusiasm seemingly goes to waste in unanswered e-mails—however, once I had my first interview that was it. I got the internship a day later. I was very well prepared for the interview and the job itself.  I think Shillington has done an outstanding job preparing me but no one can prepare you for the frustration and doubt that will rise up during that first painful part of applying.

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What’s been your favourite moment working as a designer so far and why?

The realisation that I am actually a graphic designer and that people trust in my skills and opinion still shocks me every time. The last memorable great moment was at Meanwhile Studios in Berlin. We were asked to create an identity and roll out for a Berlin based underground techno collective. Within two days I learnt about a whole new area of music and an aesthetic far removed from my own.

On the second day we designed a logo in only a few hours and I had a fantastic time breaking and playing with rules when we designed posters, flyers and record sleeves. The outcome was something I would have never imagined myself designing. So I guess, me realising that I’m progressing has probably been the most rewarding moment.

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Have you got any tips for our recent graduates on how to secure a job?

Be a nice person! I don’t think it’s necessary to go overboard with treats and goodies and all those things. Rather than that show genuine interest in the studio and their projects (research), be prepared for your interview and once you are on the job give everything, be reliable and pleasant person to work with. That is all I can say for now.

Any advice for students currently enrolled at Shillington? Knowing what you know now is there anything you would have done differently while on the course? 

Be dedicated and enjoy every second of your time at Shillington. If I could, I’d do it all over again. Even though there will be moments when you are exhausted or having self doubt, tell yourself why you are there. And make friends. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the other students are competition. I have found so many fantastic and interesting people at Shillington.

During stressful times it is worth more than anything to have someone by your side who knows exactly what you are going through and can give moral and design support.

Our group still does that nowadays. We meet up, go out, talk about design, send each other newly discovered typefaces, share job offers and give one another feedback. The Shillington experience continues.

Keep a look-out for Amelie’s exceptional visual diary she compiled during her time at Shillington—we will shortly be sharing it on the blog. Don’t forget to take a look through Amelie’s website to see more of her work. 

Our next intake for full-time and part-time courses at our UK campuses is in September. If you’re curious about a career in graphic design check out our upcoming Info Sessions dates and come along to find out more about studying at Shillington.