Liverpool Design Symposium

Wednesday 4th November 2009

D&AD Student Awards Talk Notes

Fergal Kilroy

Students Awards Manager

Digital briefs are on increase as the industry moves over to digital.

Judges of the awards are 70% from the industry including head designers and 30% the client.

84% of top creative designers say that winners of yellow pencils are 1st choice at interview.

An idea that covers all types of media- print/film/web is the way to go.

Research last years briefs-look at how they’re executed.

Next was Andy Sandoz from Work Club

Creativity-originality and appropriateness is the way to get noticed.

“the ability to make unexpected connections.”

1. Insight (truths)-think about the consumer, brand and business objective.

2. audience What you talking to? get your ideas talked about.E.G. Audience ratings, internet comments.

3. technology What can you do? E.G.Linking data by tagging.

4. Advertising- is perhaps not the answer. e.g. iphone apps, online currency (credits)

The online currency approach was the way he said he’d approach the lloyds brief-looking at social investments like the orange community ticket.

Ian Thompson-Creative Director of Brand Partners


What are prospective employers looking for:

  • An insatiable desire to learn fast
  • Enthusiasm
  • Freshness
  • Skills,skills,skills-programmes- if you know dreamweaver more employable
  • An idea of what you can bring to them
  • A willingness to work
  • No fear of doing boring stuff for a while
  • An outline understanding of why people pay us to do this
  • Commercially minded designer
  • You talk about the world not just the design world
  • You read design mags, papers and books
  • you demonstrate a real interest in the brief
  • Show you are self sufficient
  • Ask q’s about the business-ambition for the business
  • talk about audiences or market
  • you want your work to be effective

Why will you get the best jobs

  • Because you’ll get the best results
  • Good results make design

“Genius is excellence plus constraints.” Malcolm Gladwell

“Quality is the best business plans.” John lasseter Pixar

Cause related design- the way people think and feel, we can really make a difference to these things via communication.


How did you start how did you end up and why

Presentation needs a narrative

Portfolio feedback – Stephen Woowat from Elmwood

It was very daunting as i didn’t really believe my portfolio was worth showing as all I had was work from the 2nd year to show.

Donatos was a good idea but the brand identity needing sorting out, typographically it wasn’t strong enough. Philharmonic needed more to show the idea. The narrative needs to be assessed. Market brief he believed was the strongest piece aesthetically strong, needs to be branded to show what it is. I couldn’t believe the feedback on this brief as I believed it was my weakest idea. Kleenex we spoke about how group briefs never work if people don’t pull their weight. We spoke about deadlines too.

Roses always a good competition to enter. He liked the idea of sending the bands back to postie.

Michael Wolff

“If he did work like people he admired it would be good.”

“Talk to the person not the uniform.”

“Be honest and open people wont put you down.”

“Portfolio illustrates yourself- a portfolio doesn’t get you a job the person does.”

Wolff delivered an inspiring talk on branding the city, he doesn’t use imagery and presentation he just talks about what he knows and cares about making it more personal. I have seen him before in London at the 4 designers  conference in 2008.

Overall the design symposium was a great experience I gained feedback on my work which created a positive feel to the day. I enjoyed learning about how to approach d&ad briefs and when applying for jobs. It was worthwhile.


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