Rebecca Matthews graduated from the BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography course in 2014, having also won the YCN Student Award in her final year. She now works for branding agency Spencer duBois.
What was your proudest achievement during your studies at Plymouth University?
Winning the YCN student award in my final year.
What was the most valuable thing you learned during your time here?
A brand is not a logo.
Tell us a bit more about the project(s) you prepared for your Arts Degree Showcase.
For my final project I rebranded the Swiss national association for netball. It was a live brief and I designed their logo as well as concepts for their kit, promotional material, their website and even a bespoke typeface. Since graduating I have continued the project and have recently designed and created their new website with designer Felix Proctor. The kit I designed has also been made and is now worn at all their tournaments.
What kind of feedback did you receive and how valuable has that been in shaping your practice since?
In my job so far I have found that all the feedback we received in tutorials about typography, whether the detailing in editorial pieces or playing with type to create exciting brands, has been invaluable. Type is so important and having those skills already has been so helpful.
When you left the University, did you have a clear vision of how you hoped your future career might pan out?
After doing a charity branding module in year 2, I knew that was the sector I was really keen to work in, reinforcing my thoughts from when Spencer duBois (the agency I now work for) came to give a talk in my first year. I didn't, however, expect to have made it into this sector so soon!
What are you doing now and what does that involve on a day-to-day basis?
I work for a branding agency so my day to day work involves working with the rest of the design team on all stages of the design process, from coming up with logo concepts, creating concept presentations, developing selected concepts, creating brand guidelines, etc.
Tell us about some of the projects you have been involved in (and any awards you have won) since leaving the University.
Whilst working at Spencer duBois I have worked on a number of different projects including the rebrand of Recovery Focus, a mental health charity and a number of campaigns for the NUS. In my own time, I have continued to work on the Swiss Netball brand as well as working with the Turkana Education Fund (a Geneva-based charity which sponsors the secondary education of students in Turkana, Kenya). I have been developing their brand and also creating their website (which will hopefully go live later this year).
How do you apply the lessons you learned here in Plymouth to your current work or study?
The course at Plymouth has really given me a great foundation to build on in terms of my knowledge about design. I think the focus on idea development at university was brilliant as that is such a crucial part of what I do now.
What are your future plans?
I just want to continue what I'm doing!
Is there one piece of advice you would give to current students as they prepare for HOT ’16, this year’s Arts Degree Show?
During the final major project it’s really easy to get so focused on your own work that you forget to talk to anyone else. So make sure you keep the conversations going with your peers, share ideas, give each other feedback… the more people you share your work with and talk to the better your work will be!