May 8, 2009

Degree student? It's show time!

“Finals!” “Portfolio reviews!” “End of Year Shows!” “Jobs!” “The World!”

If this is a snippet of what is going through your mind at the moment, we can sympathise. It wasn’t that long ago that we were busy, eager, just a little nervous, and heading for graduation ourselves.

For design, art and photography students, now is the time to pull a whole year’s work into one exhibition; impressing tutors, fellow students – and more importantly, VIPs that might have jobs (and a pay cheque) up their sleeves.

So how do you make the most out of your end of year show? What materials do you need to help make a good impression?

One of the first places you could start is with an invitation. Maybe you’re having a group invitation, designed in tandem with your course – or perhaps you can work on a design of your own. If you have a list of people you know you’d like to invite, Postcards can be great for this. Available in small packs of 20, or larger packs of 60, you can put a different image on every one. Want a packaging company to see your show? Send them a shot of your packaging work. Want design agencies to come too? Send each agency a different example of your work that you know will appeal to them. One of the best things about using MOO is the chance of printing multiple images in one order, at a reasonable price.

These Postcards are a great example – they’re invitations to a solo exhibition, created by Ladydesign. Each has a striking image and really makes the most of her strong portfolio.

Once people are at your show, of course they’re going to love your work! But don’t forget, they’ll be seeing a lot of different artists, so giving them something smart to remember you by is the next thing to think about. Business Cards and MiniCards are perfect for this – they can feature your work on one side, and your details on the other. New contacts can take away their favourite piece of work in your folio, and have a good way of contacting you in the future.

We’ve shown this shot by the awesome PhotoCharlie before, but it’s a colourful set up, easy to create, featuring MiniCards, and Postcards. As you can see, you can show a wide range of work, and each item is easy to unclip and take away:

Simple washing line and pegs are also eye-catching, interactive and effective – as you can see here, in this great shot by °Giulietta°

Or, when space is tight or more formal, a simple card dispenser on the wall is a handy addition, as demonstrated by rachelmoon:

When money is tight too, make use of the FREE Business Card holder you get when you buy MOO Business Cards! Our lovely ex-MOO-project manager, Iain, took this shot, when he spotted a case being used as part of a small art installation:

Another great idea we’ve seen to get people to interact with your work and take it away are these bookmarks, by fashion fucsia. Featuring beautiful illustrations and brightly coloured ribbon, they’re quick to make and *really* appealing!

These are wonderful too – by redmeg8, they’re different examples of work, joined in one corner. A take-away-folio!

Once the show is over, don’t forget to keep a pack of Business Cards or MiniCards with you at all times. You never know when a chance to show and share your work might strike – as this great post (also full of tips!) demonstrates. As David Moore found out, with different examples of your work on every card, it really is like a mini portfolio for your pocket.

However you do it – GOOD LUCK!

You might also like to know, some of the very best art schools in the world (University of Arts London and Pratt, NY) have joined up with MOO to offer their students some extra good deals on these products, as they prepare for their shows.

If you attend an art or design school, or teach at, or are affiliated with one, and want to put together a special offer for all the students in the school, why not get in touch? We’d love to help.

And in the meantime, why not think about attending an end of year show near you? They’re a great way to network, find new talent, meet other creative types and possibly blag a little drink or canapé!

Here are a few that we’ve spotted;

London, UK: University of Arts London.
May 18th – July 10th

NY, USA: Pratt Institute
May 12th – May 15th

NY, USA: Parsons School for Design
May 15th – May 23rd

California, USA: California College of the Arts
Throughout May

Rhode Island, USA: Rhode Island School of Design
May 30th

Portsmouth, UK: University of Portsmouth
June 5th

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