Six students from our BA (Hons) Illustration and BA (Hons) Graphic Communication course won placements with personalised cards and gifts company, Moonpig, achieving a week in the Moonpig design team to develop their own winning card range designs.
We spoke to students Phoebe Munger and Sarah Easter about their placement experience.
How did you win your placement at Moonpig?
Phoebe: Moonpig came in to launch a brief with us. They then shortlisted the top six and offered the people who placed a week's internship. They also said the successful candidates would receive freelance work with them.
Sarah: After the Moonpig team visited my Illustration class to give a presentation about the competition I decided to enter even though the card industry wasn’t a career pathway I’d really considered before. The project I submitted wasn’t perfect as the timing of it clashed with the writing of my dissertation which I had to give priority to, however they clearly saw potential in my ideas and I placed fourth which I was very surprised and excited to find out. Originally there were only supposed to be placements for the first few winners, but Moonpig were gracious enough to squeeze us in and offered me and a few other runners up the opportunity to attend a placement which we were thrilled to accept. The brief entailed creating a unique card range that Moonpig didn’t already have on their site that as a consumer you thought they should have. I chose to do dog adoption cards as I knew the pet community in the UK was large and I thought it would be heart-warming for new owners to receive cards that congratulated them on the arrival of a new family member.
What did you do during your week long placement?
Phoebe: I spent the week developing the designs that I originally submitted. They showed me their biggest selling points so that I could include this in my work. After I developed the ranges, I began to design an additional range based on vegan cards. This is an area of the market that they are going to be branching into in the near future. It was really good to see how the company operate and the different roles that the designers have.
Sarah: At the beginning of the five day placement we met the design team who each told us a bit about their roles which was valuable insight into how many different types of work go into the process of making one card. On the first day we also got feedback about our projects and how they wanted us to build upon them during the week. Days two, three and four were spent generating ideas and then developing them into the different card ranges, considering different audiences as well as the customisable elements such as the recipient's name or incorporating photos. We were also invited to attend some of the Moonpig presentations and workshops which really made us feel included and valued. The final day was spent updating and presenting our final work to the team, explaining the processes we went through to get to final card designs. In just a few days I created nine cards, three for each theme. Although the perfectionist in me could’ve happily worked on them for another week if possible, I was happy with what I managed in the time limit and I think the work was well received by the team.
What was the highlight of the week?
Phoebe: The whole week was a highlight. The team were really engaging and really valued me being there, which is not always the case with placements. They were happy to help with any queries and each member of the team made sure that they had shared their area of skills with us.
Sarah: I think the highlight of the week was just getting to create in a really positive work environment. Everyone was so kind and helpful which really allowed me to feel comfortable enough to make some successful illustrations. Even though I typically work quite secluded at my desk in my bedroom, it was a nice change of pace and gave me the motivation to strive towards a career in a company like Moonpig. The team seemed just as excited as we were about the placements which definitely boosted my confidence in myself and my illustrations.
What is the best piece of advice you took from your placement?
Phoebe: Trends are vital in the card industry. It is really key to keep up to date with what is popular so that your work stays relevant.
Sarah: Enter any opportunity that arises even if you think they won't like your work, as you never know what could’ve happened if you didn't try.
How did your placement help you with your studies and career aspirations?
Phoebe: This placement confirmed the area of design that I want to go into. It allowed me to expand my portfolio and get a brilliant reference for my CV. They were a really great company to work with.
Sarah: The experience has shown me that I am able to adapt my illustration style to be commercial and that I possess the creativity to tackle micro-briefs that I previously might not have considered because they were out of my comfort zone. It also gave me the motivation to continue on confidently with my final major project, as now I know that there are many more types of design jobs out there that I can pursue when I graduate.
Phoebe Munger's designs
Sarah Easter's designs