When we launched FUEL 16 years ago, one of the goals was to ensure that Eastern Iowa maintained a healthy design community.
And that those interested in a design career would have professional opportunities locally without having to jet to the big city.Like any business, good intentions often get shoved aside for the good of the client work. But we’ve learned plenty along the way.It’s time to impart some of that knowledge to the next generation of designers.Last week, we held our first Portfolio Review here at the studio.We organized this informal meet-and-greet to allow aspiring designers to get to know us and gather feedback on their work. By keeping it casual, people got the opportunity to build confidence, not just in their own work, but also with the anxiety-laced proposition of walking into a room full of strangers and laying your ideas on the table and then having to talk about it. (The more you do it, the easier it allegedly gets.)During our first session, each guest had a chance to take our team through their work, ask questions and get some pointers along the way.Our sense is that a forum like this is going to remove some of the anxiety around the formalities of a traditional interview, while creating an environment for learning from each other – much like the design process we employ at work every day.
We’d be lying if we said we weren’t keeping an eye out for the area’s next great designer. But if we can help further the skillset of anyone interested in the craft, it’s a benefit to us all.
The plan is to do one of these events every quarter.
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Bill Bollman is FUEL’s Creative Director. Before co-founding FUEL in 2001, he worked for Horizon Communications, JW Morton and Basler Design Group. Bill studied Illustration at Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo, Iowa. An expert in the “old ways” of hands-on print production, these skills influence his work in the digital world to this day. His work throughout his career has been featured in international publications including Graphis, How International Design, Communication Arts, and The One Book as well as numerous design annuals and reference books.