World Ocean’s Day

So where’s the connection between a design studio and World Ocean’s Day???

It’s all in the name . . . SALT.

Over thirteen years ago Salt Design began. What had been a lifelong passion to design well and to create, solve, challenge, question and produce great, beautiful effective design – needed to find a home.

To start, we had one huge question to answer – what would the studio be called?
It needed to be something catchy, memorable, slightly off-centre and unpredictable – with an ‘ahah!’ moment response.
But it also need to be something meaningful to us. A name/word which captured life’s journey thus far, encapsulated our approach to service delivery, whilst holding a subtle reference to the things most important to us.

And so ‘Salt’ became our name.

It’s a word which epitomises all that we are – ‘Salt of the earth’, ‘worth our Salt’, humble, unassuming designers who add that vital ingredient to projects which enhances flavour and taste – bringing out the best in all that we create!

Stradbroke Island
Like so many Aussies, we have many childhood memories of times spent fishing, swimming and beach-combing during many endless summers. The ocean is a special place where solace is found, calm restored and creativity revitalised. Our special place was and always will be North Stradbroke Island. We recently traveled there and saw whales, dolphins, fish and sea birds. We also took some amazing photos to share… {see below}

Recognising the value of our oceans
Fisherman lament to living with a ‘deep respect for the sea’ – they value all that it can give and to recognise all that it can take away. Sadly, we are guilty of not always giving the oceans the respect they truly deserves. Pollution, over-fishing, mining and climate change are having devastating impacts on our oceans and its creatures.

The significance of our oceans should not be overlooked, nor taken for granted. Sure, we are but humble designers – however we can make changes in our daily lives to help our oceans remain safe and the abundance of life they sustain remain plentiful for generations to come. Consider the amount of plastic and toxic cleaners we use; support a local environmental group; get involved in the next local ‘clean up day’; buy sustainable, farmed or line-caught fish and seafood; DON’T buy shell product unless you know they have been fished sustainably…
There are many ways we can help make a difference.

Additional links

Small changes may seem like a tiny drop in the ocean – but the wave of change begins with a single ripple…

‘Swimmingly yurs Dudes! (channeling our inner Nemo!)
salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!
SALT.Shaker

 

 

Images: Turtle + GhostNetsAustralia // What goes in the ocean goes in you // Albatross by Chris Jordan // Coral Brooch 1 and 2 (recycled debris)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worth your salt // Part 4 – Industry experience

Following on from our post about Applying for a design position and Crafting on your resume + portfolio, we’d like to inspire those who perhaps don’t fit the industry experience criteria.

So the advertised position requires minimum of three years industry experience! Unfortunately, that means if you’re a graduate or you currently work in IT but dream of one day being a graphic designer – we can’t consider you for the position.

However. . .
Rather than scream “how can I gain experience if no one will give me a job?”, why not write an application as someone to be considered for the position you can fill.

Admit the obvious – you lack experience, all you have in your portfolio is assessment pieces. Instead, find a way to prove visually that you have potential and could be considered for a junior or graduate position, should the opportunity arise.

The latest GSM Magazine by BJBall Papers offers some advice for aspiring designers looking to break into the industry:

  • Mentoring – Find a mentor and get involved with the design … resources for inspiration and mental support.
  • Design is a business – It’s not about doing what ‘you want’, you’re not designing for yourself – you are designing for your client.
  • You are your own brand – Own it! Sell it!

A couple more to inspire you

At Salt, it’s important for us to find the right designer to join our team. Equally important though is supporting the many keen, passionate creative minds yearning to work in this industry.
We certainly don’t claim to know it all – but we hope these posts help.

Keep in touch and let us know your ideas, feedback and when you score that dream job!

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!
SALT.Shaker

 

Images from our Pinterest boards // Go the extra mile // Excellence // You’ve got this

The changing workplace

Sometimes it’s the obvious which appears a revelation when presented from a new perspective. Like understanding (and actually accepting) that work is but one element of our complicated lives. For most of us it’s a pretty big part – and often one which impacts on other areas of our life and the lives of those around us. Equally we must accept that work can be effected by the other areas of our lives in both good and bad ways . . .

This was the central theme to a presentation Salt attended yesterday to mark the launch of 2015 Mental Health Week.

In many workplaces it is considered ‘unprofessional’ to let our personal lives effect our performance at work – but can we really be expected to leave our worries, hassles, loves, anxieties, highs and lows at the door each work day? Potentially this misguided expectation can compound emotional issues to a point where we may struggle to cope and perform our job.

The challenge to acknowledge, respect and accept that mental health issues may at times affect a person’s ability at work. We would recognise this if someone arrived at work with a broken arm! So why are we expected to ‘suck it up’ ‘get on with the job’ and leave our personal issues at the door?

David Cooke, the first non-asian Managing Director of Konica Minolta (Australia) provided an insight into how he has approached this issue and changed the workplace culture of his organisation. He explained how through even the smallest of gestures we can encourage, empower and support our staff. And by doing so we can enrich their working lives and improve the efficiency and productivity of an entire organisation.

If we can identify a computer not working correctly and take steps to repair it – we need to enact a process to support and assist any member of our team if they are not functioning at their best. The awareness of mental health as a medical issue is increasing. However we appear to still struggle with accepting and dealing with it in the workplace as practically as we would if it was a broken arm or a head-cold. If we value ourselves and our staff, workplace culture needs to evolve to one which is more understanding, supportive and accepting.

Useful links
Human Rights
Open Minds
Queensland Mental Health Commission

Pictured // Our information pack including neon piggy banks!

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!
SALT.Shaker

Worth your salt // Part 3 – Designing your portfolio

Following on from our previous posts about Applying for a design position and Getting started on your resume, we’d like to inspire you to be creative and informative with your portfolio.

Seeing is not believing

Your portfolio is the single most important introduction to who you are and what you are capable of.

It’s not just a showcase of pretty pictures – every piece is the result of a process. Explaining your experience during that process is most important element to a prospective employer.

We don’t necessarily want to hear about the client and what they do – unless of course, they were a contributing factor to the result. If they were difficult to work with, set in their ways, insistent with a particular colour or image – explain how you worked with that challenge.

Explain how you created each piece.

  • What design software did you use?
  • Why did you choose a specific font or colour?
  • What was the client brief?
  • How long did you have to develop the design?
  • What was the budget?
  • Was it printed – if so how?

If it’s a branding project – we’d love to see your workings. Tell us the story of how you developed the logo, selected colours, the research you carried out. Include design concepts that worked and perhaps some that did not – along with an explanation of why they were not accepted or why your creative direction changed.

Don’t be afraid to explain who else was involved in a production. Was it professionally written by a copywriter? Were you directed by another creative? Did you brief another designer on part of the production? How did you work with a printer to achieve the particular result?

It’s all part of the story which unfortunately we don’t know unless you tell us.

So our words of wisdom are to consider what to include in your portfolio not for how the finished product looks – but for the story behind it. How it showcases your creativity and ability as a designer.

Give your portfolio the edge // handy links

Our next post in this series is on Industry experience – applying for a position when you don’t quite meet the experience level…

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!
SALT.Shaker

 

Images // Book Binding // Talent // Font Pairing like a Pro // Creative book covers

 

Worth your salt // Part 2 – Crafting your resume

Following on from our post about Applying for a design position, we’ve listed a few handy tips on crafting your resume!

Reading between the lines

Often it’s what we don’t read or see that speaks volumes in an application.

If there is a gap of time in your work experience or a quick succession of positions – explain this time. Don’t leave it open to interpretation. Explain what you did during that time …

  • did you volunteer at an animal shelter?
  • help a sick friend? or
  • just sit on the couch watching multiple episodes of GOT or Ellen?

Spell check!

Even after you have spell checked – read everything you have written out loud. Be certain it makes sense and reads well. Ask a friend or see if the cat is free to listen to you present your portfolio!

Also be sure you’re addressing the right person at the right place. (Yes we received an application letter which was addressed to another studio!)

Understanding the company you are applying to may also inspire you to develop a different approach for your presentation – everything tastes better with a sprinkle of Salt!

Getting it write // handy links

  • Check out grammarly – Grammarly helps you to write better by finding and correcting up to 10× more mistakes than your word processor.
  • Type it Write – A lovely pocket sized guide to preparing your documents professionally.
  • Hub Spot Blogs – Think Grammar Doesn’t Matter? It Could Be Holding You Back From a Promotion.

Our next post in this series will focus on your Designing your portfolio and how to best represent your work.

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!
SALT.Shaker

 

Images // Type it Write // Grammar quote

 

Worth your salt // Part 1 – applying for a design position

Thanks to the wondrous powers of social media – we’ve hired ourselves a new creative to join our seasoned professionals! Narrowing down the design candidates to join our Salt team proved to be an enlightening learning opportunity.

Over the next few blog posts we’ll be reviewing a few key ways to improve your resume and portfolio, because as fellow designers we know it’s sometimes harder than it seems to show others just how creative we can be!

What we encountered

When applying for a position as a designer, it’s an opportunity to showcase your creativity and skills. Every form of communication will be viewed and critiqued – from your email applying for the position all the way through to presenting your portfolio.

Even how you write an email to apply for a position will be judged. So writing “Heya…” may feel cool and casual to you – it doesn’t instill confidence and may cloud an employer’s perception of you. This may seem straightforward – but apparently it’s rocket science to some!

Part 1 – Your resume & getting started

Sure – You’re passionate about design, You’re a team player, You have an attention to detail, You love challenges, You can work to deadlines – but doesn’t everyone?

As a candidate for a design position, try thinking of more creative and innovative ways to express your confidence. Just what is it that makes you different/more creative/more passionate?

Be creative with your resume. Try presenting it like an annual report, journal or a magazine interview. You can still include all of the relevant historical information – AND you can include examples of your work, your opinions, experiences in life – all the things that make you, you.

Give your resume the edge // handy links

  • Purple Goat – We agree with Purple Goat – there are plenty of hints and tips out there for designers, but we too were also shocked at how some experienced designers presented themselves. They provide a good summary of tips on their blog.
  • Creative Bloq – 20 brilliantly creative resumés
  • Australia Internships Blog – for tips on crafting an amazing cover letter!

Our next post in this series will be Part TwoCrafting your resume and how to best represent your work.

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!
SALT.Shaker

 

Images // Creative Bloq – Brilliantly creative resumes // The Style Files – Creativity takes courage

Why use Salt?

Here at SALT, we live design and we love applying our creative expertise to increase the profile and most importantly, the success of our clients’ business!

Operating across a variety of disciplines, we’ve seen and done it all! And we strongly believe every project will benefit from our experience.

If you’ve been following our blog – or are a first-time visitor (welcome!) – here’s an overview of who we are and what we do:

Why Salt? Let's get creative together!

  • branding development and application
  • corporate literature and annual reports
  • magazines, newsletters, promotional catalogues
  • promotional material (brochures, posters)
  • direct mail
  • press advertising
  • event materials and displays
  • signage
  • multimedia presentations
  • web development.

To see even more great work from our portfolio – head over to our website. And please contact us, via email or phone (we do love a chat!) so we can work together and be creative!

salt-shaker-signoffBecause everything tastes better with a sprinkle of salt!
SALT.Shaker