London visit proves inspirational

Nine creative and photographic design UCEN Manchester students all smiles during their trip to London

UCEN Manchester students explored the creative design and photographic industries 

UCEN Manchester students across three courses enjoyed an inspirational trip to London. 

A total of 20 students from the Graphic Design and Advertising FdA, Creative Media and Visual Communication – BA Hons Top-Up, and Contemporary Photographic Practices FdA travelled to the capital to network with industry professionals and explore career progression.

The graphic design and creative media students attended the 4Designers Conference, a gathering of hundreds of UK and international students, where four speakers explained their different approaches to graphic design, and their route into industry.

Conference speakers included boutique creative agency Renwick Studios; the world's largest independently-owned design studio Pentagram; digital based agency C3UK; and advertising-based agency Mr President.

During the visit, the students networked with the four speakers, attended a talk for industry professionals at Pentogram by graphic designer Jim Sutherland, visited Renwick studios, and met with UCEN Manchester alumni Cameron Scott, who works as a senior designer at Publicis Sapient on brands such as Nissan, RBS, Nestle and Audi.

Tutor Alex Komlosy said: "This annual visit is important because the four speakers are carefully chosen from high profile names within the industry and with an aim to demonstrate a wide range of approaches. Students leave having identified with a specific speaker, which in turn helps them choose a direction to their work and career path. 

"The conference also shows students career possibilities that they may not have been exposed to in an education setting. Not only does it open their eyes as to what they can achieve, but it also helps to bring an extra level of understanding to their work.

"At UCEN Manchester, we know some of the biggest names in the London industry and knowing people can make things happen. Students can see that doors will open for them if they ask – something which some did when they asked Renwick to be their mentor - and that tutors will support them if they do." 

Photography students headed to the The Photographer's Gallery, in Soho, to view the show All I Know is What's on The Internet, which features 11 contemporary artists investigating social media and the internet age.

They also viewed work by Polish photographer Roman Vishniac, and visited Tate Britain to view a retrospective on Don McCullin spanning over 50 years. In addition, the students connected with the industry by visiting fine art printers The Print Space and took part in a workshop printing off their own images to a professional standard.​

Andrew Moseley, photography tutor, said: "The visit was a really inspirational trip which allowed students to engage with internationally acclaimed contemporary photography.

Lots of students have never stepped into a photography gallery before so being able to see the work of major artists is something they don't get to see. They have been massively inspired.

Student Michael Hawkins, who is in his final year of the Creative Media and Visual Communication course said: "The visit was really interesting and 100 per cent worthwhile.

"Establishing industry links and making contacts has been really helpful, as has understanding where they come from as a designer and listening to their experiences of getting into the industry."

Find out more about our Creative Arts and Digital Media courses.