During the summer of 2018, I interned at MetaDesign, a global branding company, for 3 months. I worked on developing the brand visuals for Volkswagen’s new brand JETTA.
Due to confidential considerations, I cannot share my specifics about my project. but please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding my experience at MetaDesign.
Interview with MetaDesign Beijing
Q: When did you decide to pursue design and did anyone or anything inspire your passion?
Throughout my high school years, art and design courses have been just a “sidekick” to my other curriculum. Suddenly had an epiphany during the summer of my Junior year, when I attended summer school and had a taste of what being a design student was like – I fell in love to in particular the freedom the creative industry could grant to a designer.
At first, I was determined to become an industrial designer because of my love towards furniture, but during the summer after high school, I had a chance to work on a project initiated by Kenya Hara, who started off as a communication designer but influenced Japanese design in much more ways than just communication design. He turned my interest into visual communication and information design. And that was when I realized that design could do much more than just making things prettier or more convenient.
Q: Which MetaDesign team are you working with? What are your main responsibilities?
I am working with the creative team. I have a supervisor and I work closely with one project, but I also hop between different projects from time to time. I have done some video proposals, logo designs, application designs, and also some copywriting. I really felt involved in all of the projects I’ve worked on.
Q: What interesting projects are you working on now?
Starting from the first week of my internship I was assigned to a big project on a new brand(which is still highly credential). When I entered the project, the main concept was already developed and approved, but there was still a lot of work left to do. I helped build up the guidelines, designed some of the applications, and made a video proposal to the TVC ending frames.
The most interesting part was designing uniforms for that brand. It was a very unique experience turning 2D concepts into 3D products and designing clothing in a brand perspective. I was also very surprised that in addition to designing logos and layouts, I also got to practice my motion graphics skills and writing skills. In addition, I learned a lot about presentation logic and how to work with clients.
Q: Why did you apply to MetaDesign and what was the application process like?
I learned about MetaDesign through the head of our design school Terry Irwin. She used to work theMetaDesign San Francisco office as the creative director there. I have always been very interested in branding, and I want to come home for summer. I found out that MetaDesign has a Beijing office which made it a very obvious choice for me.
I looked upon the MetaDesign website and sent my portfolio and resume to the office email found on the website. I got an email several days later and I was arranged a Skype interview with our creative director Sally. Despite the time difference the interview went very well. We talked about some of my projects in the portfolio, and also typography in general.
Q: What do you think made you stand out from other applicants? Do you have any advice for new applicants?
During the interview, we mainly talked about this motion graphics project that I did during the school year. I think Sally liked this project in particular because of how I handled the relation between music and graphics. I think that my bilingual ability also helped me stand out from other applicants. My advice would be: ready to talk about any of your projects confidently, and don’t be afraid to reach out at anytime.
Q: What is the best part about interning at MetaDesign?
I think the best part is becoming a part of the team without being emphasized on my position as an intern. I work in MetaDesign as a designer, which is also how our client manager introduces me to the clients. Thus, I have gained so much first-hand experience on the branding industry, for example how to make practical designs based on the target customers, how to face strict clients, or how to deal with emergency clients. In addition, I was lucky enough to attend the team-building event with the office. On a rainy afternoon we left work behind and became a Go Kart racer, and I sawa different side of my colleagues.
Q: What do you think you’ll be doing in 5 years?
Five years later I will be working as a practicing designer for 3 years since I have no recent plan toenter grad school. I want to try out different work environments such as tech companies, startups, and small design studios, so I am not sure where I will end up in five years. But hopefully, I can get a chance to work in Tokyo by 30because I have always been fascinated with Japanese design, which is very different from the Swiss-influenced western design, and Tokyo was where my interest for communication design started.