Thank you for inviting me to be part of Under Wraps—a full circle moment for me. I was 20 years old when I graduated from this very course and it’s a little scary to think that almost 20 years have passed since then. And so, with the benefit of (a lot of) hindsight, what would I share with you—the excited but slightly stressed designer, that is still relevant today?
Amongst the long nights, many deadlines, second guessing and uploading; take time to pause and recognise your years of hard work. You now know you have found your passion, you have found your people and you are the future of design.
Searching for work opportunities can be a challenge but it’s definitely not the hardest thing you will ever do. Cast your net wide and far form an online and offline strategy to research; and be sure to follow and connect with our community. Volunteer, enter competitions, like, comment, share and show up so you can be found. Understanding, learning, researching, immersing, writing, solving—these are all the skills required not only to find work but also to be a great designer.
In a world of mood boards, pins and posts, remain true to yourself and your process. Find solutions from within—be original!
Be ok with being shit
No one talks about their shit work and no one shares it. In my first few years out of uni I set myself some pretty epic goals. Awards and titles were high on my list but my work was far from award winning. It was shit and I felt like a failure. And I’m not talking for days, weeks or months, I’m talking for years. I wish I knew then what I know now. Things will shift, you can’t give up and it takes time (a lot of time); just keep working. Everyone experiences this, check out The Gap by Ira Glass.
Win or lose, I’ve always got a lot out of entering awards (and still do). They have provided opportunities to be inspired, to travel, to get work and to make connections with designers I really admire. Some would argue you can do all of these things without entering awards and they’re right, you can. At the end of the day it comes down to the work, how you share it with the world and whether awards are important to you.
Making a difference
As your experience grows you will have the power to influence and make change. You will see how your unique understanding and knowledge can help a business, a person or a planet for the better. Nowadays, this is what gets me up in the morning—knowing I can make a difference for my clients.
In parting, I just want to say; win, lose, succeed, fail… Just don’t keep your work under wraps!
Partner and Designer
To our Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) and our Master of Design (Communication Design) graduates. Congratulations in achieving your well-earned degrees. This is a great accomplishment and one to be very proud of, especially considering the added challenge of 2020. Not even a world-wide pandemic and state-wide lock-down could stop each of you completing your studies and achieving your very best. In particular, what stands out the most for me, was the flexibility, resilience, focus, dedication and commitment you demonstrated this year. No matter how complicated the task, you took the challenge and shaped it into something inspiring.
To become a successful Communication Designer and contribute to today’s society, demands so much more than possessing proficiencies in technical skills. It requires critical thinking, analysis and unique conceptual competencies, but it also demands skills in compromise, quick thinking, flexibility, organisation and character to meet challenges head-on. The nature of Communication Design itself involves change, and in today’s environment change happens much faster than it has in the past. This year you demonstrated how successful you are at adjusting quickly to new situations, reassessing your practices, and taking on every challenge thrown at you—and you thrived—as can be seen through the designs in your portfolios.
You have such an exciting lifetime of designing in front of you, solving design problems and finding ways to create new experiences through design. Now, as one stage of your design world concludes and another begins, remember to keep nurturing your talents, keep learning and challenging yourselves as you have done over the past few years. Think big, approach what you do with integrity and tenacity, strive for excellence, be curious, be brave and find satisfaction in the details of everything you do.
It has been my pleasure to see you develop into design professionals, and I wish you the very best for wonderful and fulfilling careers in design. Thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment throughout the program. I would also like to thank and acknowledge the 2020 Exhibition Committee, for their perseverance and dedication during such a complex year to ensure this online exhibition for us to enjoy. I look forward to hearing of your successes in the near future, and the positive differences you create through your design solutions.
Bachelor of Design (Communication Design)
University of South Australia
I sincerely congratulate you all—the 2020 Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) cohort—on completing your studies. In a year which will be remembered for significant upheaval and difficulties, it is impressive that you have demonstrated the flexibility, persistence and professionalism to complete the outstanding work on display in your portfolios and the underwraps online exhibition.
I can say from experience that challenges, obstacles and adversity can—often retrospectively—serve as a catalyst for unexpected positive outcomes and unique opportunities for growth and learning. In time, I hope and anticipate that this will be the case when reflecting on the last 12 months. It has been a pleasure sharing 2020 with you and I look forward to hearing about your creative pursuits and future contributions to the design community.
Congratulations to you all!
DBVC Teaching Staff
Congratulations everyone for finishing your DBVC studies - what a wonderful achievement in such a different and challenging year! It's very disappointing to not be able to see you in person and chat to you about your work and your hopes for the future, but please know that I'm thinking of you and very much looking forward to viewing your work online. It's been 18 months since I've seen you in class, but I have fond memories of working with many of you in Introductory Drawing, Computer Graphics and Design for Publication, and I'm sure your skills and aspirations have blossomed since then! I invite you to keep in touch if you'd like to, via UniSA email (I'd love to hear what the future brings for you as you carve your own niche in the world of design). All the best for an exceptionally well-deserved end of year break and stay well!
Lecturer and Course Coordinator
Congratulations to all students who have completed their studies in the Visual Communication program for 2020. I taught most of you in your first year and some in my creative thinking classes and it is always enlightening to see how you have all progressed from those tentative beginnings to the confident creative individuals ready to begin new and exciting careers. You will look back on your university experience as some of the best days of your young life remembering that the experience has provided you with the creative skills to be adaptable and responsive to a world ever changing but eager to accept the ideas you have that will create the future. Remember you can’t predict the future, but you certainly can anticipate it with the confidence to make a real difference which I know each and every one of you will.
Lecturer and Course Coordinator
Congratulations on completing the first step in your journey as professional design practitioners. That you have managed to survive and even thrive in a uniquely challenging year shows that you are ready to take on even the toughest of design briefs. Although you have now completed your studies your working life as designers will be full of opportunities to learn and grow and maybe even follow paths you never even dreamed of – I hope that I have been able to pass on something you might find useful somewhere down the track. Watching you bloom and grow over the last three years has been a privilege. I wish you all the best – and remember to tag @unisa_communicationdesign so that we can share your adventures!
Lecturer and Course Coordinator
Uncertainty—we designers embrace it every day. But, this year, the COVID year, uncertainty has tested us all way beyond the norm—and you’ve come out on top! You each deserve huge congratulations for keeping yourselves motivated and your talents focused on creative ways to make the world a genuinely better place, all while facing your own adversity. Although I didn’t get chance to teach you this year, I did visit your Visualising Mental Health exhibition and was thrilled to see such compassion and imagination hard at work. I had the privilege of working with you previously though, throughout First and Second year, across theory and studio, and would like to thank you for allowing me to be just a small part of your design journey thus far. I wish you all the very best in your time ahead and hope that you all continue to thrive and ‘make design do good’!
Dr Chris Thornton
Lecturer and Course Coordinator
Congratulations on the completion of your DBVC studies!
The saying goes, " it's not about the destintination but the journey"....well you can safely say what a 'journey' its has been, especially over the last 12 months!!
I have taught most of you over the last 3 years, whether in Drawing, Design Studio or Packaging, and have seen you mature as people and as desingers that will help shape our world in the future. I can't wait to hear of your successes as you make your way into the design community.
I've enjoyed watching 'light bulb' moments.... as you've solved a tricky problem, found the perfect solution for a challenging brief or have just been swept away in the joy of creating something really cool!
I wish you all the best as you embark on new adventures and challenges.