OOTS get behind the folio with up-and-coming design mavericks at UoN
OOTS paint texture

OOTS get behind the folio with up-and-coming design mavericks at UoN

OOTS's spent the morning at the final year 2023 VisCom Portfolio Reviews.

There’s something electric about the atmosphere when creative minds get together, a curious buzz resonates in the air. It’s the sound of ideas forming, of feedback whirling, and the future of soon-to-be professional designers taking shape.

This was precisely the vibe at the University of Newcastle (UoN) during the recent Portfolio Review session for final year Design Visual Communication Students (VisCom).

Picture this: A room humming with the nervous excitement of students, their years of learning beaming off the walls in their portfolios. Each different folio revealing a story, a risk, a victory, or a lesson learned.

Enter us—local creative leaders ready to sprinkle some wisdom and check out what manifested during the countless hours of study, experimentation and creative exploration.

In the spirit of this collaborative learning environment, Wayne Thompson, a Lecturer in Design & Typography at UoN, highlighted the significance of these sessions:

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“Our current crop of final-year students are about to graduate, and they have spent the past semester supercharging their portfolios. So it makes sense that they receive some feedback from the people who may soon be their employer. We invited industry professionals in to view student portfolios in a mock interview style, with a brief to tell the hard truths. Portfolio reviews are a useful tool to help bring industry currency into design degrees, but they also give the professionals an overview of our graduates and their skillsets.”

Representing OOTS were Alison Smith, our adept Production Director, and Ryan Williams, Graphic & UX/UI Designer. They were in stellar company with Sarah Cook from Headjam, Dan Stevens from Enigma, and the independent powerhouse, Candice Carlin.

The projects on display? A kaleidoscope of creativity. From soul-stirring branding initiatives and sleek publication designs to quirky illustrations and profound photographic narratives. Not just confined to print, the digital realm was well represented with innovative explorations in typography, user experience, and app design.

"A solid portfolio is a critical asset for all graduating design students"

Alison reflected post-event. “This session wasn’t just an opportunity for us to engage with UoN, but a platform to share our trials, triumphs, and trade secrets. If our feedback helps these students finesse their presentations and approach, we’ve sparked a dialogue that extends beyond just one day.”

"Sharing our knowledge felt like passing the baton. Newcastle's creative culture is a cauldron of innovation because we dare to push, question, and reveal. Seeing the students embody this spirit, I'm convinced the future of design is not just bright; it's brilliant."
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One thing is crystal clear: events like these aren’t just about critiques.

They’re about connection, community, and contributing to a cycle of continuous inspiration. They remind us that every big name in design started with a portfolio and a dream, much like the students we met at UoN.

So, here’s to the bold dreamers. May the feedback fuel your journey, may your creativity defy limits, and may you remember this: the industry awaits, not just to see your talent, but to be challenged and changed by it.

There you have it! A day of creativity, critique, and camaraderie, all wrapped up in the shared journey of design. Until next time, keep creating, keep dreaming, and keep defying expectations.

The VisCom23 exhibition is a part of the VisCom 23 Exhibition and open to the public on the 3rd of Nov. Tickets are free, snag one below.

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