On Tuesday 13th March Jon Hill, design editor for The Times came into Uni to give a lecture on his professional career. Admittedly, this lecture was aimed at graphic design students but I thought it would be interesting to hear about his line of work - as he is the sort of person that will hopefully commission me.
He talked about his life at Kingston University and how in his second year he was told to go and find a work placement. He found such an opportunity at Atelier, where he worked for two weeks. After the placement the company asked him to go back whenever he had spare time and after finishing Uni this was where his first job came from. After working there for about 18 months he was put in touch with another company who happened to be looking for a senior designer. Esterson Associates are a design firm based in Hoxton and Jon stayed here for about six years before deciding to relocate to Wilmslow in order to start a family.
For a couple of years, Jon was self employed and used all of his contacts from his previous jobs to source work of his own. He said he really enjoyed working on his own things and although he wasn't hugely successful money wise - he was having fun, which says a lot. He worked in his attic until he collaborated on a large project which in turn presented the opportunity to become design editor at The Times. The jump from rural Wilmslow to the hectic lifestyle of a London editor must have pretty mad!
The next part of the talk was centred around his role at The Times which was all really interesting but perhaps more aimed at graphic students. He spoke a lot about grids and typography which was all about confusing but I tried to keep up! However, it was interesting to see how a newspaper comes together, especially when they do special supplements for big stories. I particularly liked a double page spread which when folded out became the exact size of the capsule that the Chilean miners had to stand in to escape.
Overall it was a great talk and Jon seemed like a genuinely nice guy. At the end of the talk three of us went and spoke to him and asked if we could visit him when we went to London. He said he was giving a tour to some graphics students and we were more than welcome to come along!