John Lewis’ Senior Designer and Head of Design give us an insight in to what they find so important about working with New Designers and what they look for in graduates. They also offer some valuable advice.

Pip Prinsloo – Head of Design 

→  Why do you find working with New Designers so important?

Its the best event to meet and see the work of a wide cross section of design graduates from most of the UK Art Colleges/universities. Most of the designers in the studio (including me!) exhibited there and its a great spring board for graduates getting into industry.

→  What do you look for in graduates and their work?

I look for graduates who are super keen and excited to be starting their careers, have a unique and interesting design handwriting along with a beautiful sense of colour, composition and materiality.

→  What advice would you give to graduates? 

ND is a great opportunity to meet and speak to other designers, industry professionals and creative people – never assume that if someone doesn’t look like a ‘professional’ its not worth going over and saying “hi”. Sometimes the least likely looking person is the one who can introduce you to a great opportunity or say something which influences your next steps. A student you chat to may be a future collaborator or have some invaluable feedback on your work. Consider every opportunity that you are given as you never know where it will lead you!… and try to enjoy it! its a stressful time for a lot of students (as I know from personal experience!) but its a one in a lifetime experience so grab it with both hands!

Caroline Driver – Senior Designer

→ Why do you find working with New Designers so important?

It is our opportunity to see tomorrow’s future talent under one roof and to make those early connections with Designers as they embark on the beginnings of their careers.

→ What do you look for in graduates and their work?

A personal viewpoint, new ways of thinking, creativity & innovation.

→ What advice would you give to graduates?

Use New Designers to make connections with graduates from other colleges – those connections may well be inspiring and indeed useful in future as you become the new generation of British Designers.

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