I recently went on placement at the BBC’s Graphics Department in Cardiff and thoroughly enjoyed it!
I went in not knowing what to expect other than knowing there would be a large focus on motion graphics – something I am not all that familiar with. Nonetheless, I went in with optimism and excitement.
Throughout my time there I was able to work on numerous projects for the print department and even had work sent off to clients and approved for printing. This made everything feel very real and made me feel like I was making a valid contribution. One of the briefs I was given was to develop a poster for a general knowledge quiz on BBC Radio Cymru. I developed four versions of the poster for the client to have numerous options to choose from. Below are the designs:
In the end they decided to opt for the question mark design. Being told that a design I created was approved for printing (although may be something quite small) felt really good.
What I realised most was how different working in the BBC was compared to a smaller design agency. This is because the BBC is already an established brand and therefore there are quite a few brand guidelines that must be adhered to when doing any new piece of work. This does limit you to a degree in my opinion, but also challenges you to be creative within that. I also came to learn quickly from watching Sarah (the print designer) deal with the number of requests and projects that seemed never ending at times. The amount of work she would complete in such small spaces of time was impressive to watch. It provided me with a sense of the reality of working in industry – something you don’t get within a University environment.
As well as print, I did get to spend some time in News Graphics. Here I was taught some After Effects and shown what it entailed to work within the News Graphics Department. The change from general graphics was mind blowing, the whole way of working is completely different to the way I have ever been taught or known to work. They are given a number of different headlines that require graphics to accompany them and have a few hours to think of the concept and produce a final product ready to be aired on the 1:30pm news bulletin. It is an extremely high pressured job with people coming in and out all day requesting work to be done. But not only are they required to develop the graphics, they must work with the post production unit to animate the graphics live on air.
As I was told, the difference between general graphics and news graphics is that with the work produced in news graphics, you are able to see the work go from birth to final product in the same day and once the working day ends, there is no work to think of or still do, the next day is a whole new fresh day. Whereas general graphics have longer deadlines and the working day is not necessarily the end of the day.
Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at the BBC, I learnt a lot about the reality of working in industry and I could see how well both news graphics and general graphics worked together as a team. I realised that they relied on one another as each member has their own strengths to contribute. I could see how I did not need to be good at everything, I have my strengths and it’s okay to use someone else’s strength’s to help with a piece of work. It is all about collaboration and working as a team. Without it the work created would not be as strong as it is. It was also a bonus being able to create work that was being approved for printing and used.