We recently welcomed three Graphic Design students from Ravensbourne to join the team for the week, as part of our ongoing MozFest partnership with Mozilla.
The placements were awarded as a result of a brief challenging the students to analyse and communicate weather-based datasets in infographic form. We then helped to feedback to the students giving tips and advice on their submissions…of course this feedback was in the form of a handy infographic!
With the help of both Mozilla and Ravensbourne the selected students were invited to work with our team, preparing graphics for a MozFest Fringe Event and working as part of our MozFest team to prepare activities for the event.
We tasked them to work on a live brief, developing promotional material for the international Graphical Web conference, a MozFest Fringe Event, being organised by the Informatics Lab and held at the Met Office in November. This is a high profile, global 4-day conference, attended by over 30 speakers including Google, Mozilla and Amazon.
They were briefed by the Head of the Lab, Design Lead and Senior Designer and worked quickly to understand the context and brainstorm ideas of assets to develop. They portioned the work between themselves according to their particular areas of interest – Nathaniel looked at packaging and way finding, Cherin working on animation and social graphics and Natasha developing a booklet, posters and lanyard designs.
They got stuck in to the challenge – we discussed and set tasks at the start of each day, and they worked to manage their own time to ensure milestones were hit. We reviewed the progress at the end of each day and set them the challenge to present back at the end of the week, in front of the wider team…and they presented clearly and confidently on their ideas and designs. The Head of the Lab commented that he felt that all of the work could be used, and was very impressed with the amount produced in a week. They each pushed the boundaries of the brief as well. Nathaniel showcased his projection ideas across the walls of Kaleider, the collaborative workspace we attend each week; Cherin explored, researched and prepared a SnapChat geo-filter for the conference; Natasha created a bespoke lanyard design incorporating the schedule as part of the pouch to save printing costs.
As a result of their great work, we have offered them free passes to attend the conference to see their work on show first hand.
We also threw in the odd challenge along the way. They all produced and presented back on a logo brief to create an identity for a new computer system being worked on by the wider team. They were briefed by scientists and coders within the team and were given an hour to see what they could come up with – it resulted in a bundle of designs from each of them, any of which could be implemented.
We also gave them short notice to prepare for a mock interview. Each presented their portfolio for critique and answered a number of questions, similar to how we would conduct an interview to join the team. They each came across as enthusiastic, knowledgable and keen to learn.
It was a pleasure having them as part of the team for the week – we really appreciated their hard work and they represented Ravensbourne and in turn Mozilla very well. We wish them all the best for the future and are looking forward to seeing them at MozFest and Graphical Web!
Here’s what the students thought:
My experience at the Met Office as a Design Intern
Before coming to the Met Office I was all prepared to make sun and cloud icons and change the red colour indicator to hot pink but it was all different. In a very good way.
Thanks to my university (Ravensbourne) I was chosen to be a design intern at Informatics Lab with 2 of my friends.
Informatics Lab is not your usual design studio nor developer lab. As I entered the lab I found myself looking at a suitcase full of sand, a rhino and data visualisations all over on the wall. An hour later I learned how to use After Effects for the first time.
I had a chance to work on an upcoming design conference. I was responsible for social media graphics and anything digital. I walked in with very limited knowledge of motion graphics but by the end of the week, I walked out as a motion graphic designer.
This internship gave me an insight of what’s going on inside of a big company where people work on all kinds of different things.
During the week I was also challenged to make a logo for an upcoming computer system and had to present it back to the scientists, developers, and designers. This taught me how quickly you can come up with working ideas and how different are developing ideas and getting feedbacks from not students and tutors but people in the industry.
I really liked working for Met Office - Informatics Lab, I hope I will work with them again in the future.
Ps. As I’m writing this the developers made an automated bell ringerer in like 10 minutes. Amazing.
From this internship I have learnt about the creative industry and was given an insight to the
Met Office/informatics Lab and the work they do. Before coming I thought that the met office design team only designed data visualisations and made visuals for the weather and climate change. However, since then I have discovered and experienced how diverse the Met Office/ Informatics Lab is. I was unaware that scientists and coders collaborated with graphic designs, but I have learnt how these different areas of expertise work together to create some amazing work. It was interesting to see how much animation and interactive design the team do. Such as a rhino covered in LED lights, an interactive sand pit as well as a speaker that interacted with you.
As part of the internship we were able to design graphics for a global design conference called graphical web. I have never been involved in a design conference before and was unware at how many different graphics are needed for a design conference from social media gifs, screensavers to lanyards and roller banners. From this It makes you aware of how important it is to keep your designs consistent because a design conference is one event, the visuals need to match and to relate to each other. It was interesting to start to look into way finding design, as this was an area of design I had never really explored or looked into. As part of this project I was in charge of creating the lanyard design and programme for the conference. The idea of keeping the agenda of each day for graphical web on the lanyard came about from a previous design event I had been to. The idea was to keep the daily agenda attached to the lanyard so that the guests coming to the event can always have a copy of the timetable on them to show them where they need to be at what times. This idea then developed by merging the lanyard and program together. By having a lanyard pouch to keep a fold out program inside so that you would have the entire conference program as one little booklet. I enjoyed the responsibility of being in charge of the page layout design of the conference because this is the area I want to go into in the future, and designing this a professional environment for an actual event was great experience and opportunity.
As well as working on graphical web we also started on logo design for a new app the informatics lab is working on called Jade. We were given just over an hour to come up with some logo designs. I found this a good way of working because it helped you to come up with lots of new ideas due to the short amount of time, allowing item to try many different ideas to see what could work. It was also useful to pitch back my ideas at such as early stage in the design process.
Overall I have really enjoyed my time at the met office/ Informatics Lab and experience form this amazing opportunity. It was great to feel so comfortable really quickly in an unfamiliar environment. It was great to have industry look at my portfolio to get a different opinion my my work from an industry point of view, which has given me a lot more confidence in my work. As well as gaining professional experience by pitching my ideas to a team and doing mock interviews for experience to help me in the future.