Rob Watts graduated from the BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography course in 2013, the same year he won a prestigious RSA Design Awards for his Headspace walking guides. He now works for Bond & Coyne, a design agency based in London.
What was your proudest achievement during your studies at Plymouth University?
The RSA award. It gave me confidence in what I had been doing for the past three years.
What was the most valuable thing you learned during your time here?
How to make a start in the creative industry.
Tell us a bit more about the project(s) you prepared for your Arts Degree Showcase.
My key project was a series of city guides – called Headspace – which carried the hope of treating and drawing attention to mental health through mindful travel.
What kind of feedback did you receive and how valuable has that been in shaping your practice since?
I received a lot of mixed feedback. Having a thick skin and knowing when to listen is important.
What are you doing now and what does that involve on a day-to-day basis?
I now work in strategic design thinking. This involves working with clients to first understand what questions we should be asking, before developing their brand.
Tell us about some of the projects you have been involved in (and any awards you have won) since leaving the University.
I've helped everyone from charities, universities and international organisations explain the importance of what they do. Some of these have gone on to win various marketing and creative industries awards.
How do you apply the lessons you learned here in Plymouth to your current work or study?
- obsess over the details
- know when to listen and when to critique
- bring ideas
Is there one piece of advice you would give to current students as they prepare for HOT '17, this year’s Arts Degree Show?
During your degree show people will come to you and want to see what you’re about. Post-university you’ll be invisible so make this time count and take those opportunities. It’s a lot harder six months on.