On the 13th March I decided to email Mike from A to M. I really like some of the work they produce, so I thought I'd get in touch. A few weeks went by and I didn't think I was going to get a reply but yesterday Mike's name had popped up in my inbox asking that I could go in with my Portfolio on the 8th April at 3pm. I am really pleased that Mike got in touch and I'm looking forward to getting some of his advice on my work.
On 8th April at 3pm, I went to A to M to show Mike my portfolio in progress. I arrived 15 minutes early and got buzzed in, their studio was located on the 5th floor. A to M is only a small company with only two designers, Mike and Ben. Even though it was originally Mike I was supposed to see, Ben sat down with us and also looked through my work. Firstly I showed my second year folio, and they generally liked my work. Mike liked my Observer Magazine and how I had made the type on the second spread mimic the image on the first spread. Also they thought my Typeface worked quite nicely when laid out into words. After showing them my first folio I explained that I had some of my third year work to show that was still a working progress. They both really liked my Women's Library brief, and gave me some good pointers on how I could improve the execution and make the strapline fit in with the idea a bit better, they gave some good advice that I will take on board for my final Portfolio. Mike and Ben gave a few interesting pointers on the Faber brief too and how that idea could be put across better, because the uses the idea of a film strip and is quite cliche of films its needs to be done in a good way otherwise is could look cheap etc.
We had quite a long chat about my work and how it could be improved, but then I asked how they like to see work presented in Portfolios because it is an area that is so subjective and everyone prefers different ways of presentation. Mike simply answered as long as it good work it doesn't really matter, all he is bothered about is the quality of the work inside it. His advice was keep it short, around 5 great pieces, less is more. Never put work in that your not sure of because it will show and you may appear to be apologetic about it, just include the work your most confident about because it reflects you, this way you wont get caught out if someone asks a question about the work you don't particularly want to talk about.
Overall it was a great experience and they both gave great advice, that I will be taking on board.