Creative Lives — Bold moves and original ideas: How designer Kat Faid landed her role at Sail Creative

Posted 10 November 2020 Introduction by Ayla Angelos

It’s safe to say that bold and creative moves can leave lasting impact, especially if they come in the form of a bespoke, die-cut flyer. This is exactly what Kat Faid sent to Mandy Barker, founder of Sail Creative – a studio based in Newcastle – after spotting the studio’s work on Instagram. It landed her an internship, and now, Kat works full-time as a junior designer at the studio, working on a varied mix of design, tone of voice, branding, storytelling and concept creation. Here, we chat to Kat to find out more about her move into the role and what it’s like to work with clients that “disrupt the status quo”.

Kat Faid

Job Title

Junior Designer

Based

Newcastle

Previous Employment

Intern, Sail Creative (Part-time, October 2019)

Place of Study

BA Graphic Communication and Illustration, Loughborough University (2013-2016)

Website
Social Media

Kat

How would you describe your job?
Varied. We all have our unique strengths, but we’re generalists and all-rounders. We only take on projects with purpose; we work with clients that want to make change or disrupt the status quo.

This makes things interesting: one day I could be designing a brochure for print, and the next, delivering a tone of voice workshop. However, I have an affinity for branding. It’s always a good week when we’re working on brand strategy and concepts.

How did you land your current job?
I spotted Sail on Instagram. I was immediately engaged by their playful brands designed for third sector clients… There wasn’t a job going at Sail, but I wanted to meet the faces behind the work. So, I designed a bespoke die-cut flyer with a personalised letter and posted it to Mandy. I met with the team, got offered an internship, and after that, a full-time job.

Ethical Eve

Ethical Eve

Ethical Eve

Ethical Eve

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Do you run any self-initiated or side projects alongside your job?
Not so much at the moment, but I did before I started full-time. The types of projects that I’m interested in are very similar to the work we do at Sail. We also do pro bono work, which usually involves something close to our hearts.

Starting as a full-time junior in a small studio is quite a steep learning curve. There’s lots to take in regarding software skills, artworking and deadlines – real world stuff you don’t learn at university. Now, in my spare time, I find myself watching Skillshare, reading design books and messing around in Illustrator. Also, check out the Logocore challenge – one for sharpening your artworking skills.

“I’m constantly writing bits of copy on scraps of paper. For me, the words are as important as the imagery.”

Kat by the ‘inspo wall’

What skills and tools do you use most for your work?
My skill set is mostly geared towards concept creation; I enjoy problem solving and researching the chosen audience, including how to engage them and creating concepts that will move them to take action.

I also enjoy storytelling through imagery and messaging. I’m constantly writing bits of copy on scraps of paper. For me, the words are as important as the imagery. I also do the odd hand-drawn illustration, although this is rare – I’m very detail-focussed and this can take time (one thing most designers are short of). I’m currently sharpening my skills in Adobe CC Illustrator.

What do you enjoy most about working on the Sail Creative team?
We’re a small, close-knit team. Plus, the clients and the sector are great. We get some lovely projects through the door, as well as clients that – with our guidance – are willing to push boundaries. Exciting.

Work for Northumbrian Water

Work for Northumbrian Water

Work for Northumbrian Water

Work for Northumbrian Water

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What advice would you give to a young creative wanting to do the same kind of work?
Be human and care; find your passion. It’s not necessarily about creating the most polished design, it’s about problem solving, empathy and connecting with the audience. Let go of your perfectionism (I’m still learning this – and if you are too read Feck Purfuction).

Getting your first job in the industry can be hard. How can you stand out? Putting in the effort takes time, but it’s worth it. Be prepared to get a part-time job outside of the industry and focus on your practice in your spare time. Don’t give up, don’t let anyone tell you what is best for you, and remember, you learn more from your failures than you do successes.

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This interview is part of a series of articles profiling Newcastle-based studio, Sail Creative.
See the In the Studio With interview here.

Posted 10 November 2020 Introduction by Ayla Angelos
Introduction: Ayla Angelos
Collection: Creative Lives
Disciplines: Advertising
Mentions: Kat Faid, Sail Creative

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