Graduate designers, Let us know where you are and what you are up to, keep us up to date with your success.

Name:Tom Cotton

Place of work & Job title: Warner Music International

Website: Tom Cotton Carbonmade

Course comments: "After three valuable years studying Graphic Design at Southampton Solent under the watchful eye of some of the best and most Talented Tutors, I moved on to an Internship with Warner Music International in Kensington, London. This gave me a brilliant opportunity to work alongside the Creative Marketing team on some really exciting Live projects for the likes of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Derulo, Biffy Clyro and more. This experience enabled me to realise my Digital skills including HTML, CSS, and Actionscript - as well as giving me the chance to thoroughly develop my Adobe Creative Suite knowledge. Besides Warner I also took part in some Freelance Illustration work for "Idol Magazine" - a fashion/Culture/Music Publication sold in most Newsagents in Kensington. This led to some additional published work in +81 Magazine. Now, after six months of interning, I have been employed as an official In House Designer for Warner and enjoying every second. Hoping that this is just the start of my dream career, I thank everyone at Solent for providing me with the priceless Inspiration and knowledge that I will carry with me throughout my life as a Designer."

Name: Matt Curtis

Place of work & Job title:Art Editor - The Sunday Times Magazine

Website: Matt Curtis

Course comments: "I joined the BA (Hons) Graphic Design in the second year after finishing a HND in Graphic Design at Plymouth Art College. I was instantly amazed at how brilliantly the course was the structured and the variety of the briefs we were set, I found it very inspiring. My first project, a series of recruitment posters, went live heading around the country to art colleges. This was my first experience 'of sending something to print' and it was invaluable, I still use tips I learnt from my tutors today after working for 6 years. My career has completely spring boarded from my final major project working on the sbook4 - which involved interviewing magazine designers & art directors, I have since worked for 3 out of the 5 I interviewed. Most prominently spending 3 years at Studio8 Design, specialising on Editorial design, we won awards from The Type Directors Club, SPD and D&AD.

After leaving in 2009, I went on to launch and art direct Eureka, the monthly science magazine produced by The Times of London. In its first year, Eureka was highly commended in the regular supplement category at the British Press Awards and won Best Designed Magazine from the Society of News Design. This year it had a yellow pencil nomination from D&AD and a Eureka iPad app on sports science was shortlisted in the Digital Innovation category at the British Press Awards.

My biggest testament I can give to the course is that I am still in touch with my tutors today. "

Name: Cloudia Castaño

Place of work & Job title: Ex Head of Design London, looking for similar position!


Course comments: When I chose the Graphic Design course at Southampton I didn't know what type of design I wanted to do, what I liked about the course was that it was open minded. All I wanted to do was be creative, and that's what the course let me do. When I graduated I spent 18 months doing work placements all over London, I worked for magazines, branding agencies and a fashion house. I took every opportunity that came my way, I worked in the evening so that I was free to take any placements that became available during the day – you have to be quick, it's very competitive out there! Southampton set me up with a good attitude, they taught me how to problem solve and use my initiative.

Name: Ros Horner

Country: UK

Place of work & Job title: Digital Designer at Langland


Course comments: I did 4 years at Southampton Solent; 1 year foundation and then 3 years BA (Hons) Graphic Design. The course taught us to be designers, art directors, copywriters, photographers, illustrators, typographers, and not just stylists. The course and the tutors, and the long hours, prepared us for 'real life'. It's only now that I realise that the way we presented our ideas to our tutors is the way we now present to our clients and creative directors. We learnt to take direction, criticism, and to stand up for our ideas. You need those skills! I've since been lucky enough to work in the UK and in New York, for Moves Magazine, and more recently for POKE. I've worked for clients like Adidas, Reebok, Nissan, Coca Cola, (Yep, I fully sold out). I now work as a digital designer with the exceptional digital team at multi multi multi awarded, Best Companies listed, top 40 agency, Langland! And this year I won my first Clio Award. (For a website I designed to help teenagers with serious health problems - Atonement for selling out?)

Name: Sarah Parkes

Place of work & Job title: Designer at BD Network


Course comments: The 3 years at Southampton were undoubtedly the best 3 years of my life. I met some amazing people, who 5 years later are still very much part of my life, and learnt a huge amount, helping me shape and develop my career. After the second year I did a work placement for 6 weeks at a company called Steam, this then developed into a full time job once uni was over. I was extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work immediately after finishing uni and not have to go through the whole uncertainty of work when the course was over. I don't think this would have happened had I not pushed myself to look for placement work. Steam was a fantastic foundation for developing my design skills, and allowed me to work on brands including Fosters, Kronenburg, Pom Bear and Ladbrokes. I was at Steam for 2 years and left to do some freelance work at a company called Orrsum designing the patterns and packaging for socks and underwear for brands such as French Connection, Pineapple, Box Fresh and Fenchurch. After 3 months freelance I got a full time job at BD Network. BD has been fantastic and has allowed me to work on big brands such as Cineworld, K-Swiss, Lurpack, Galaxy and Coca-Cola. I mainly work for Nintendo, advertising game launches as well as designing experiental stands for games and events. Launching the new Nintendo 3DS was one of the highlights, and winning an award for it for all our hard work was even better! Its been a busy 5 years, but it was most definitely the 3 years at Southampton that helped lay the foundations.

Name: Dines

Place of work & Job title: Founder of Studio Blup Creative Agency

Website: Studio Blup Creative Agency

Course comments: "This is how it started: 1. Completed my foundation art and design course and I was going to choose the illustration BA or some sort of art course…I didn't know what I wanted to do. 2. Got a random call from Susie Smith. They saw my portfolio/ potential and convinced me to get on to this Graphic Design course malarkey. 3. I agreed. 4. The tutors helped me develop a distinct style and confidence over the 3 years. After many late nights and luke warm coffee's I graduated. 5. I started my own company. 6. 4 years later after hard work and further guidance from my beloved tutors my company now works with the likes of Nike, Mtv, Dior, Channel 4 & Just won a lucrative pitch with Cadburys! 7. I love every day of it. 8. If I can do it. You can. Fact. Thank you Solent!"

Name: Dominic Farrow

Place of work & Job title: Head of Design at Motherlode

Website: Motherlode

Course comments: "Southampton Solent prepared me for the working within the industry more than I could of hoped for. Having graduated I began job hunting in London, where I really began to appreciate the variety of my portfolio thanks to the structure of the course and tutors at Solent. After several interviews I was offered the post of Head of Design at Motherlode. The fast pace and responsibility of completing briefs on deadline has pushed me creatively and allowed me to broaden my portfolio in a variety of mediums. I have worked with clients such as M&C Saatchi, Barclays and the NHS. Most recently I have worked on a feature length documentary film due for release in 2012. None of this would have been possible without the knowledge and support I gained at Southampton Solent University."

Name: Paulleet Sahota

Place of work & Job title: Lead Designer at Hepburn Bio Care


Course comments: "Southampton Solent University provided the best tuition for my design career. The tutors were fantastic and I learnt so much from them, understanding not just the creativity surrounding design but also the budget, planning, presenting and making sure the right message is being commutated. They encouraged everyone to their full potential and the hard work and inspiration paid off when I won the Student Design Award from Young Creative Network (YCN) in 2009. This really strengthened my design confidence and gave me great real-life experience in producing a design for the leading tissue manufacture Kleenex. During my study holiday periods I got involved in freelance work, producing CD Packaging, logo designs, website design etc. to enhance my design skills and knowledge outside of university. After graduating in 2010 I volunteered for the non-profit organisation 'So-Fair' designing logos and promotional material. Shortly after I worked for St. Anne's Catholic School, producing more hands on designs work and models for the school, creating publications that highlight the school achievements and educational material that communicates design principles to students. In March 2011 I joined Hepburn Bio Care as a Marketing Design Assistant, helping the head designer in creating company publications, exhibition material and interactive media. I'm now head designer, which was scary at first, but using the knowledge I learnt at Solent University has helped me a lot and brought out the best designer in me."

Name: Emma Barratt

Place of work & Job title - work history: Freelance Designer at Moving Brands,

Designer at Saatchi & Saatchi Design, Designer / Illustrator at Evolve

Course comments: "I graduated from Southampton in 2003 and have worked at several of the UK leading creative agencies including Pentagram and Moving Brands. I recently decided to go freelance with the intention of creating my own client base to eventually start my own design company. The graphic design course at Southampton encouraged me to expand and push my creative boundaries something that I continue to do throughout my career. I also enjoyed the freedom the tutors gave us when approaching projects. I loved my time in Southampton and have plenty of fond memories "

Name: Jamie Thompson

Place of work & Job title: TBG Designer

Website: Portfolio

Course comments: "I had a fantastic time at Solent where I studied Graphic Design. I really enjoyed working alongside the tutors on live briefs, brain storming sessions, competitions and my final major project. Southampton was also a fun place to live with good football and night life! I graduated from Solent in 2008 and moved to London that same year to work as an intern at the digital agency De-construct. Whilst there, I worked with clients such as Adidas, Panasonic, The Barbican, SCA, and the Carbon Trust. After gaining valuable experience and having a fun filled time at De-con I joined Glue Isobar a multi award winning digital agency in summer 2009. I started off as an Intern in the studio and after 2 months was promoted to junior designer then to designer. At Glue I worked on a variety of client accounts such as NatWest, RBS, Burt's Bees, Kellogg's, RAC, News of the World and Woolworth's online. After being at Glue two years I decided to move, for promotion and experience, to a smaller but international agency based in Kentish Town called TBG. Here, we focus mostly on Facebook advertising and micro sites. The move has given me the opportunity to develop my skill set and take greater responsibility for design decisions. "

Name: Terry Stephens

Place of work & Job title: Co-founder of Assembly

Website: Assembly

Course comments: "Southampton run a great, commercially-minded course – which, from an employers perspective, is hugely important. By all means use your time here to push the boundaries and be as creative as you can (certainly with the incredible new facilities at the college), but the tutors at Southampton are very good at preparing you for working in the commercial environment of the industry. I also highly recommend students using their time away from college to try and gain work experience and placements wherever possible. Making valuable connections within the industry becomes hugely important come graduation day, and gives you an advantage over the thousands of other fresh design students looking for work. I came to Southampton after spending a year as a junior designer, and tried to further this experience at any chance I could through summer and Christmas breaks. Upon graduating I quickly started a placement at Rose, and proceeded to spend the next 5.5 years there, learning directly from the two partners and eventually helping to build the team within their studio. In this time I gained experience in working on branding and communication projects for clients such as Bafta, Royal Mail, Tate, The Old Vic and V&A. Since Rose, I've worked with agencies including AIG, Browns, 300million, Proud Creative, Why Not Associates and Moving Brands, and have been involved in identity systems and literature/communcation projects for brands such as Apple, Howard Smith, London College of Fashion, Legible London, Osram and Mercredes GP, as well as creating a limited edition album sleeve for Grace Jones and The Vinyl Factory."

Name: Hayley Kingston

Place of work & Job title: Part time at Hayes School & Freelance book designer

Course comments: Studying at Southampton formed the foundations of my design career, having been lucky enough to have inspirational tutors who guided me to be the designer I am today. Hard work paid off and I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to study MA Graphic Design at London College of Communication. This kick started my career and opened many doors for me, interning for Elle and Wallpaper Magazine. Shortly after I was privileged to work for Rose Design, where all my dreams came true by designing the award winning V&A Pattern Book series, publications for the Tate Modern, White Cube and Photographers Gallery, as well brand design for the Unilever Fragrance Awards and St. Mary’s Church Restoration Fund. Whilst at Rose I worked for the lovely Michael Wolff, who inspired my career greatly as a designer and as a teacher. As a result I trained to be a Design Technology Teacher within secondary schools and have just completed my PGCE. I now teach part time at Hayes School and I am a freelance book designer, a fantastic mixture!

Name: Jamie Long

Place of work & Job title: SAS Design & Freelance designer



Course comments: I really enjoyed studying at Southampton and I continue to benefit from the hard work (and late nights) during my 3 years there. The course was well structured, learning about the important principles of graphic design and then putting them into practice. For my final major project I worked as part of a team on a live brief with a budget which culminated in an exhibition.

What are you up to now? After graduating in 2003, I moved to London to work for a digital advertising agency, where I focused on designing for the web. After a few years of creating integrated campaigns for clients like BMW and Channel 4, I joined Tonic where my role included designing identities and websites for the Home Office, Sony and Toshiba. I also spent time based in Oslo whilst re-designing the global website for Telenor (the sixth largest mobile phone operator in the world). In 2009 I joined the in-house team at The Times. I was lead designer on the new website that was to be the first subscription-based news portal in the UK. Aside from the main website, I enjoyed working on interactive infographics and apps for the iPhone and iPad. I currently work at SAS Design, where we help businesses like BBA, Land Securities, Sainsbury's and the World Economic Forum with their brand and corporate communications.

Name: Paul Fox

Place of work & Job title: Branch & Freelance designer

Website: TheLondonBranch

Course comments: Studying at Southampton Solent set me up well into working within the design industry. The deign briefs gave me a better insight than some other Universities that just focus on experimentation – the realisation is when you start working in a design studio it is very different from University and having real life studio briefs definitely puts you in good stead. Since leaving Southampton I moved to London, working in a few design studios and also freelancing. A few years ago I had the opportunity of being the leading designer in a new start up-company called Branch. From initially two people we've now grown to six, working on various branding, identity, website and retail projects. Even though we are a new company I've been lucky enough to work with clients such as Uniqlo, Coca-Cola, Eurosport and Fish Hairdressing.

Name:Stephanie Andrews

Place of work & Job title: 3 Men & A Suit

Website: 3 Men & A Suit

Course comments: Ever since I was a little girl I had always wanted to be a Graphic Designer. My dream was to be at University were I would be able to design and receive guidance from lecturers and true professionals. It seemed so far away until one day my dream had come true and it was my first day at Southampton Solent University. I walked into the Graphic Design studio and I was blown away by how friendly the course tutors were. I instantly knew I had enrolled on the right course. Over the next 3 years I knew I needed to work hard and take advantage of all the facilities the studio provided, this included screen printing, laser cutting and using the letter press. I couldn't have asked for a better course and even two years after graduating I'm still in contact with the tutors. What are you up to now: I'm currently working for a design agency called 3 Men & A Suit, my job role is a Graphic Designer but over the past 6 months I have taken on the role as Studio Manager while the current Studio Manager is on maternity leave. I couldn't have asked for a greater opportunity. My job includes managing the studio on a day to day basis, liaising with suppliers, organising quotes for clients, etc. I am only able to do this job because of the invaluable experience I gained whilst at University.

Name: Andy Goode

Place of work & Job title: SAS Design

Website: SAS Design

Course comments: "The course had strong typographic principles, which is required in any design discipline you choose to pursue. On the course I experimented in print, identity, photography, animation and web design before going into an interactive design position. Looking back I owe a lot to the course as the tutors gave honest, appropriate feedback and set challenging briefs. Whilst studying I was encouraged to think about and design my own portfolio whilst targeting agencies I'd like to work for. This was useful advice as I was able to secure a design placement in my second year at a London based agency called SAS. I am now in employment at the same company. After graduating I was given a junior interactive design position at a small agency in Cambridge. I was there for 15 months and in that time developed my skills in digital design. I was then approached by SAS, as I was still in touch after my internship, and was offered a job with them. SAS are an award winning design agency in central London and with them I have worked with brands such as Coca-Cola, Sainsbury's, Diageo, Home Retail Group as well as others. Whilst here, the skills I experimented in at Southampton have come into good use as the work we produce can be quite broad - from sketching/generating ideas to directing photo shoots, storyboarding film sequences and finally to designing websites. All of this has lead to some industry recognition and seeing my work feature in the Creative Review blog. I'm grateful for all the help and support I was given whilst studying at Southampton."

Name: Oli Pendrey

Place of work & Job title: Senior Designer Farrelly Atkinson

Website: Portfolio

Website: Portfolio

Website: Portfolio

Course comments: "Choosing the Graphic Design course at Southampton Solent was certainly one of best decisions I've ever made. The three years I spent there and the friends and tutors I encountered were crucial in shaping me into the designer that I have become today. The course and the tutors allowed me to explore so many different areas of design and I learnt about design as a principle rather than focusing too intently on techniques and specialist areas. It allowed me to develop personally as a designer as well as teaching me how to work as part of a design team.

When I graduated in 2007 I more or less immediately started working for a small design studio called Sodapop Media. We are a small studio specialising in both print and digital design, the work is great as it varies from day-to-day. I can be working on a brochure design for an engineering company one morning, and then spend the afternoon designing a Flash animation for primary school children. The variety of work means that there never a chance to be bored and I can develop a range of different skills. We work with a wide range of clients and businesses from local hotels and restaurants, right up to large brands like John Lewis, P&O Cruises, and Gant.

In 2008 the studio took a change of direction and launched a new company called Farrelly Atkinson, which has now become Sodapop's parent company. Farrelly Atkinson (or F-at as it's known) specialises in graphic design and contract publishing for the cycling industry, as the two creative directors have vast experience in the contract publishing world and have worked on cycling publications in the past. We work on magazines, books, websites and digital design work for the cycling industry, as well as launching, a road cycling magazine website. has grown fast and now become the leading road cycling website in UK, being involved in it has allowed me to broaden my technical web design skills which I feel has made me a more rounded designer.

We still operate as a small team and run Sodapop alongside the cycling business. To say that there's never a dull moment would a a massive understatement, but it's exciting to be involved in the birth and growth of a new venture, and I'm doing what I love to do on a daily basis.."

Name: Haley Warren

Place of work & Job title: Editorial Designer

Course comments: "I was over the moon to be asked to work on SBook in my final year at Southampton Solent. It was a new experience with a steep learning curve but it allowed me to leave uni with much more than just a copy of the book. Fresh out of uni I was offered a graduate role for an award winning design agency in Dorset. I got early exposure to a huge range of projects for well know PR agencies and household names. As a graduate designer I was expected to do my fair share of the less glamorous projects such as designing business cards and flyers, but this was easily outweighed by leading the design of whole exhibition stands and a new identify for a swanky new Notting Hill restaurant. I loved the variety the job gave and value it added to my portfolio and CV, but after two and a half years I was ready for a change and my time spent working on SBook led me back towards publications and into my current job. I am now the design and production manager for a set of three large circulation, high end parenting magazines. Reporting directly to the Directors I am responsible for running a team, organising editorial content, design direction and print management for each of the quarterly publications. Whilst my job is stressful, it's fun and keeps me on my toes as every day is different. The graphic design industry is so varied and diverse and I'm looking forward to wherever it may take me next."

Name: Stefanie Hinkley

Place of work & Job title: Designer for PMGroup

Website: Portfolio

Course comments: "Since studying at Southampton, my enthusiasm and will power lead me to my job as Designer for PMGroup in Surrey. I use my creative flare to produce a range of pharmaceutical, PR and communication magazines, supplements and directories within ares of print and digital media. The variety of publications I am directly involved in, such as Pharmaceutical Marketing, Communiqué, Communiqué US and the Directory of Advertising Agencies are distributed to the UK, US and Europe. My biggest achievement to date is being the lead designer for the Communiqué Awards recently held at the Grosvenor House hotel, Park Lane, London. Through hard work and determination, the design industry is yours to create and I would like to thank my inspirational tutors for helping me to get where I am today."

Name: Kayleigh Reynolds


Place of work & Job title: Graphic Designer for PPL Ltd

Course comments: "From the early days of art attacks and painting by numbers I always knew I'd pursue a creative career path. I found Graphic Design in secondary school and it just reeled me in. I was hooked. Naturally I pursued this further and graduated from Southampton Solent University in 2010 after three incredible, challenging and fulfilling years. I gained a great deal of knowledge, skills and a portfolio full of variety. I was given the opportunity to experiment with my own creativity but always encouraged to challenge new ideas, be it in or out of my comfort zone. After graduation I began working full time in the graphic design department of a school as well as working freelance with a variety of clients I still work for today. This helped me to continue building my portfolio and after a great deal of perseverance I landed the job of graphic designer at PPL Ltd, in Chichester. I predominantly do book design that has included clients such as Rolex, Volvo, ISAF and Getty images. I recently took a business trip to Verona, Italy to proof a book going to print and I'm currently working on a trilingual book for the Volvo Ocean Race being released in October. Onwards and upwards…"

Course Comments

"These were the best years of my life, great tutors, and no doubt the best course!"

Diana Garcia

"Without a doubt my best years at school.."

Hoan Ngoc Nguyen

We learnt to take direction, criticism, and to stand up for our ideas. You need those skills!

Ros Horner

"Choosing the Graphic Design course at Southampton Solent was certainly one of best decisions I've ever made."

Oli Pendry

"During my 3 year course at SSU I was able to meet some amazing people, and work with some great tutors."

Elke Hurtado

"About the course, I think it was brilliant and loved it."

Matt Curtis - Art Editor The Times Eureka Magazine