(guest post by Victor Platon, DD34)

The final Industry IQ studio visit for Digital Design class 34 arrived on a rainy afternoon in February. With umbrellas in hand, we headed south towards Yaletown and over to Noise Digital marketing agency. Once we arrived, we made our way upstairs where we were greeted by Creative Director Brian Krenzer. He quickly showed us their spacious office area, and brought us to the very back where the designers, writers and producers work in an open concept work space. Brian tells us that this format allows everyone to collaborate and work together more effectively. We saw many interesting paintings hung up along with an eclectic mix of design-inspired decorations. They also have a mini photo studio that allows them to do in-house photo sessions for smaller scale projects (complete with green screen). We were then escorted to their boardroom where we sat facing a very large flat panel display. Here Brian introduced us to Jessica Liew (Copywriter) and Clayton Whelan (Visual Designer).

The three of them proceeded to show us samples of Noise’s previous work portfolio, an impressive list of clients ranging from Sony Playstation, BCLC, Sugar Crisp cereal to Sapporo beer. Throughout the presentation the trio would explain the process and design decisions that occurred behind the scenes. They encouraged us to ask questions about their techniques, and were very generous with sharing the ups and downs they faced with every project. It was encouraging to realize that a large and established design agency like Noise faced some of the very same challenges we experience as design students. They highly suggested that we pay close attention to who our target audience is and to ensure that we speak to them in ways that are clear and concise. They also showed us their love for using data as a driving force for their design decisions. They look to data to provide insight, and to measure success. They believe that without the ability to objectively measure your project for results, you cannot gauge how well you solved the initial design solution.

In wrapping up the presentation the team was kind enough to provide us with advice for submitting our own portfolios for work. They gave us pointers on fine tuning, making sure our portfolios are well thought out, and most importantly to take our time with portfolio preparation. The team reminded us that they see about 50 resumes per week, and that it would be in our best interest to ensure that our resume/portfolio was polished and thoughtfully prepared so that it stands out from the pack. Very valid points, and advice we take to heart.

As up-and-coming designers, it truly helps us understand the industry of design by visiting design studios like this. The three places we visited were very different from one another and gave us a good idea of what to expect when we graduate. We want to give thanks to Noise Digital for taking the time to show us their world, and to offer their guidance. You have inspired us and we will take your advice to heart. We also wanted to extend special thank you’s to Head of Department Louise Lee for arranging the studio tours, and to Danny Chan & Grigor Cheitanov for coming with us.

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