Sailin’ as an intern

Ben ridler

Interning and sailin’ by Ben Ridler

Hi, I’m Ben. Among things, I’m a second year Design for Industry student at Northumbria University and Sail Creative’s first Graphic Design Intern. I first found out about Sail almost completely by chance, chatting to Danni at a charity dinner back in November. When I mentioned that I was looking for an internship, Danni said that Sail could, maybe, be open to taking on an intern, so we exchanged email addresses and shortly after this, I gave Sail a look up online.

Based on a read of Sail’s website, I had a feeling that I’d gel pretty well with the company because of their focus on social issues, the arts and the cultural sector as well as their diverse portfolio (it gets really boring designing the same stuff all the time). I was also interested in the company because I really needed to learn more about branding, as it had suddenly become an important part of my uni course and because they’re based right here in Newcastle, meaning I didn’t have to move across the country (or even abroad as some of my peers did). As a result, I sent across my portfolio, not really expecting anything to come of it, and a few months, lots of emails and an interview later, I found myself with a position!

Thankfully, my initial impression that I’d fit in was right. Sail has been an incredible place to work, not only because of the people and the company culture (more on these later), but having the opportunity to work in such a small company has given me direct and sustained contact with the people making the decisions, allowing me to get a feel for how a design agency operates in a business sense. I’ve also been encouraged to attend design talks and other design and business related events to further my understanding of this aspect of professional practice.

Mandy and Danielle been really friendly and great to work with, not to mention that they’ve been really supportive of my professional development. The company culture of minimal hierarchy has made Sail a comfortable place to work where, even as an intern, I’ve felt that my opinion matters and that my ideas are valued. On top of this, I’ve been trusted to do work which actually has an impact on projects and to meet with clients on a regular basis, both of which I have a feeling are somewhat rare in an internship.

Now that I’m coming to the end of my short time at Sail (it’s flown by!), I’m confident that what I’ve learned from: the creative freedom permitted by designing in 2D; the level of concept that should be achieved; and the level of attention to detail that graphic design demands, will serve me well in my usual discipline of industrial design, and I’m confident that the understanding of branding that I’ve gained will help me to design products that are better suited to the wants and needs of their target audiences.

It’s now Mandy…Ben has been that awesome we are taking him on part time over summer 🙂 See you again very soon Ben!

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