We always try to do at least one work experience placement a year at Toast – whilst it can be a challenge as we’re often very busy, it’s a worthwhile exercise to give a student the experience of working in a design agency for a week.
This year we welcomed Jess Wilson from the Warriner School in Banbury into the studio.
Jess was tasked with naming and designing the branding and packaging for a Trinidadian Pepper Sauce.
After some initial briefing discussion (during which Jess demonstrated a very good understanding of both the audience and the process), she set off to start work on the project.
As all designers know, the ability to draw and sketch out loose concept ideas for a design project is a very important stage of any project.
We often see work experience students struggle somewhat with this stage – mainly because you’re looking at a blank page in a sketch pad and it can be difficult to know where to start.
However, this stage proved no problem at all for Jess – she dived straight in and began to produce some initial concept designs based on research she’d done into the Pepper Sauce and Trinidadian culture.
We were very impressed with both the quality of Jess’ work and the thinking she employed at this stage of the project – the initial sketch concepts were of a standard we’d expect to see of a design undergraduate!
After a few rounds of tweaks and client discussions (thanks Sharini), Jess refined the designs and the thinking and moved over into Adobe Illustrator to start working up the concepts.
Now, anyone that uses Illustrator will know what a complex piece of software it was, and Jess had never used it before – but did that stop her? No!
We were incredibly impressed with Jess’ attitude to work and her ‘do it yourself’ mentality. Where a lot of work experience students have struggled, Jess was shown the basics and then just Googled anything she wasn’t sure of to find out how to use Illustrator.
With very little direct guidance from our creatives, Jess was able to produce a very professional design in illustrator, covering the logo, label design and organisation of all the content (which is a fair bit for food packaging).
It’s one thing being able to layout something, but as designers, we also need to make sure that everything is properly artworked ready for print. The final packaging illustration design Jess produced was 100% press-ready and she also created the illustrations and patterns for the label from scratch – again, very impressive!
The entire team were very impressed with Jess.
The final design she produced was on brief, professionally completed and looks great!
It was a real pleasure to work with Jess during the week and we all think she has what it takes for a great career in the design industry!
Well done Jess!
Dave is Toast’s Managing Director and also heads up the digital team. He’s been a designer, illustrator and WordPress designer/developer for over 25 years and has worked on various projects across many industry sectors. Dave’s primary area of focus nowadays is website planning, design and UX, SEO and website optimisation, which makes a real positive difference to businesses bottom lines.