Hamilton-Brown’sGraduate Programme 2022

Written by:
Bethany Lawrence
Graduate Trainee Graphic Designer

An example of a double-page spread designed in InDesign within one of the projects on Hamilton-Brown’s graduate programme

Being a university graduate, scrolling through thousands of job adverts can be a stressful and discouraging experience. I found that when applying for junior graphic design jobs potential employers were asking for experience of two or more years, as well as asking for in-depth knowledge in every software available.

This is the main reason why Hamilton-Brown’s Graduate Programme caught my attention, as it offered support and training in industry used software, as well as the chance to join a London graphic design agency.

The initial part of the training programme is classroom based. This allows for an easy learning environment where questions were quickly answered and following the training was easy. As a group we were trained in PowerPoint, Excel, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Google Slides, as well as a few other programmes such as Ceros and XD. The training, specifically in the Microsoft Office Suite, is invaluable. I was surprised at what PowerPoint could do for the purposes of design. The trainer has a vast knowledge of the programmes and will help with any question or problem you might have.

Being a university graduate, scrolling through thousands of job adverts can be a stressful and discouraging experience. I found that when applying for junior graphic design jobs potential employers were asking for experience of two or more years, as well as asking for in-depth knowledge in every software available.

This is the main reason why Hamilton-Brown’s Graduate Programme caught my attention, as it offered support and training in industry used software, as well as the chance to join a London graphic design agency.

The initial part of the training programme is classroom based. This allows for an easy learning environment where questions were quickly answered and following the training was easy. As a group we were trained in PowerPoint, Excel, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Google Slides, as well as a few other programmes such as Ceros and XD. The training, specifically in the Microsoft Office Suite, is invaluable. I was surprised at what PowerPoint could do for the purposes of design. The trainer has a vast knowledge of the programmes and will help with any question or problem you might have.

“The Graduate Programme offers a great starting point for a career in graphic design. I received a lot of training and support from everyone at Hamilton-Brown which has really helped to develop and refine my skills as a designer. I’m excited to continue learning and gaining experience through the different opportunities that arise.”

Ciara Short – Graduate Trainee Graphic Designer

There were many projects that we did throughout the training section where we applied the new techniques to design work. For example, our main project was to design an information memorandum following a brief with notes and edits from the ‘client’ throughout each stage. We followed this as a group, where we could apply what we were learning into an active project. We got daily feedback from our trainer which enabled us to learn where we needed to improve and enhance our skills.

It was also useful as this project incorporated a range of different content, such as text, images and data. This meant that we were working with formatting tables, charts, maps, and images. We also learnt about PowerPoint’s master slides, text levels and colour themes to ensure a well set up document. We did this whilst following a specific set of brand guidelines, which meant there was a need for consistency throughout.

There were many projects that we did throughout the training section where we applied the new techniques to design work. For example, our main project was to design an information memorandum following a brief with notes and edits from the ‘client’ throughout each stage. We followed this as a group, where we could apply what we were learning into an active project. We got daily feedback from our trainer which enabled us to learn where we needed to improve and enhance our skills.

It was also useful as this project incorporated a range of different content, such as text, images and data. This meant that we were working with formatting tables, charts, maps, and images. We also learnt about PowerPoint’s master slides, text levels and colour themes to ensure a well set up document. We did this whilst following a specific set of brand guidelines, which meant there was a need for consistency throughout.

Examples of PowerPoint pages from a project covered within the training programme.

Working with charts and tables also meant that we needed to work with Excel as it works hand in hand with PowerPoint. At first, I was a bit daunted by this and, although its still not my forte, the training gave the basics and the confidence to use Excel for this type of project.

The images within the document also needed to be edited and we were shown how to find stock images that would fit a client’s brand guidelines. We could then make the required edits to the image within Photoshop to then be imported into the PowerPoint document.

We had a project where we made a document within InDesign. For me, and I know its similar for other graphic design students, the Adobe programmes were self-taught in University, so to have someone teach you the easiest and industry/studio standard way for setting up a document was so useful. There were lessons on things such as paragraph, character and object styles as well as, saving and loading swatches and how to use ‘Parent’ pages effectively.

Working with charts and tables also meant that we needed to work with Excel as it works hand in hand with PowerPoint. At first, I was a bit daunted by this and, although its still not my forte, the training gave the basics and the confidence to use Excel for this type of project.

The images within the document also needed to be edited and we were shown how to find stock images that would fit a client’s brand guidelines. We could then make the required edits to the image within Photoshop to then be imported into the PowerPoint document.

We had a project where we made a document within InDesign. For me, and I know its similar for other graphic design students, the Adobe programmes were self-taught in University, so to have someone teach you the easiest and industry/studio standard way for setting up a document was so useful. There were lessons on things such as paragraph, character and object styles as well as, saving and loading swatches and how to use ‘Parent’ pages effectively.

“The graduate scheme has taught me so much and was such a great transition from University to the workplace. The most valuable part of the training for me was most likely learning new software such as PowerPoint! There is so much potential when it comes to designing with PowerPoint that I wasn’t aware of until we learnt about it in the training!”

Elliot Hughes – Graduate Trainee Graphic Designer

We also had a project on Adobe XD where we made a prototype site to see how we could fit content previously used in a brochure within a website. It was interesting to see how the same content used for a brochure could also be used for a website when designed differently. To do this we followed the digital version of the brand guidelines to create a prototype website.

We also had a project on Adobe XD where we made a prototype site to see how we could fit content previously used in a brochure within a website. It was interesting to see how the same content used for a brochure could also be used for a website when designed differently. To do this we followed the digital version of the brand guidelines to create a prototype website.

|   An example page from one of the prototype websites created on Adobe XD.

We were briefed a social media task where we worked as a group to design a campaign that advertised Hamilton-Brown’s graduate programme. We used a range of programmes to complete the task such as Adobe After Effects for the animated/interactive Instagram posts, and Adobe Illustrator for the static posts. Then working as a team to complete a pitch to present to an audience. This was useful as we received some useful feedback from the senior team which was useful for further work as well as for this project.

We were briefed a social media task where we worked as a group to design a campaign that advertised Hamilton-Brown’s graduate programme. We used a range of programmes to complete the task such as Adobe After Effects for the animated/interactive Instagram posts, and Adobe Illustrator for the static posts. Then working as a team to complete a pitch to present to an audience. This was useful as we received some useful feedback from the senior team which was useful for further work as well as for this project.

|   An example of a static Instagram carousel post designed for the social media campaign we called #ReadyToHB. This encouraged graduates to apply to Hamilton-Brown’s graduate programme by asking them questions about what they want from their future.

In addition, there was a section of the training where we were taught how to use Google Slides. This was a programme I had never really used before, or even thought of using for graphic design. However, due to its collaborative nature some clients opt to use it over other software’s. The training teaches you important skills in a range of different programmes.

Overall, the training programme has given me the confidence in my design skills, in moving from my graduate trainee position on to a team within the studio. It has made the transition from a university graduate to a graphic designer a much smoother and a very rewarding process.

In addition, there was a section of the training where we were taught how to use Google Slides. This was a programme I had never really used before, or even thought of using for graphic design. However, due to its collaborative nature some clients opt to use it over other software’s. The training teaches you important skills in a range of different programmes.

Overall, the training programme has given me the confidence in my design skills, in moving from my graduate trainee position on to a team within the studio. It has made the transition from a university graduate to a graphic designer a much smoother and a very rewarding process.

“I love learning new technical skills and being able to design with software I hadn’t considered before. What also made a big difference to me was being part of a grads team when starting out in the industry. It helped me feel like I belonged right from the beginning.”

Elsa Delmas – Graduate Trainee Graphic Designer

"I really appreciated the patience and kindness of our trainer who helped me solve every issue I found on the way. Everyone in the Studio has always been supportive and motivating with useful feedback and advice."

Valentina Carta – Graduate Trainee Graphic Designer

“I thought it would be great to start my design career by joining the trainee programme, just to lay the groundwork as I didn’t come from a design background. And it actually is, I’ve been learning a lot and I’m glad that I have decided to come here.”

Carissa Chi – Graduate Trainee Graphic Designer

"The graduate training scheme exceeded my expectations in ensuring I was well-prepared for work at Hamilton – Brown and taught me valuable skills that I will be carrying long into my design career. From the first day everyone at the office was so welcoming and made sure we felt part of the Hamilton – Brown family, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career!"

Darcie Richmond – Graduate Trainee Graphic Designer

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