3,2,1… London 2011! You don’t need to be a sportswoman to develop your skills – by Caroline Campan (one of our interns)

Caroline and Julien are two french students who spent 10 weeks with the team at Top Left Design on a summer internship. 10 weeks have flown by! They have sadly left and will be truly missed by all of us at Top Left Design. In this blog post Caroline shares a little bit about her experience at TLD and the new things she learnt.

Here is what Caroline wrote

Here we are: 10 weeks have gone by, and it’s already the end. When I look at the pieces of paper which I wrote all of my tasks on each week, I think we can say that it’s been amazing. From tasks which took me several days to complete to some which only took me a few minutes, each week has been a new experience.


Of course at University I’m used to working on many projects at one time. But the big difference between school and an internship is that here, there is always somebody to help you to improve your work, and also to explain to you why it could be improved and above all HOW. It’s not just a mark at the end of a semester; it’s a real explanation – a great way to learn how to improve your skills, so each time you design it gets better and better.

Is 10 weeks too short a time to have a well-rounded vision of the world of work, and significantly develop your knowledge surrounding design? Do you really think so? If so, I hope I can persuade you to change your mind…

The 3 common mistakes that I made at the beginning of my internship:

1.  When designing I either made the line spaces too big or too small, but never the size they were supposed to be.

Solution: Be patient and analyse carefully existing designs to find the perfect spacing for yours. You always have to check what size the font is and adapt the line space accordingly. It’s the same for the spacing between the different design elements e.g. image sliders and boxes. The spacing needs to be consistent throughout allowing your design to breathe.

2.  Designing without enough individuality or character!

Solution: Add colours to the design and noise to the background, this makes the website background look textured and helps to make the website look welcoming. The best way to be inspired whilst designing is to have a look at great examples of website design which already exist on the web.

3.  I would sometimes design using too much text – nobody wants to read a page like that!

Solution: Put 2 or 3 colourful boxes to catch the viewer’s attention, and always try to find good images to space out the layout, this will make the page more harmonious. Plus you can always add a read more link.

The 3 types of tasks at Top Left Design which helped me to learn more about design:

1.  Creating a homepage layout using the brief filled out by the client

Even if you have never met the client, you have to be able to understand their brand and brief to be able to create a design which is fresh and new, but also very personal and relevant to the company. It’s important to include all of the design elements which the client has asked for within the layout, e.g. a blog feed, image slider and side navigation.

2.  Design all of the inner pages of a website even if you didn’t create the homepage

When designing inner pages it is important to follow the final design of the homepage. You have to make sure the style of design throughout the rest of the site is consistent with the homepage. It’s important to be really conscientious to ensure that the fonts, colours, and small details such as borders of boxes and so many other things are the same across all of the pages.

3.  Working on the creation of a logo

Such hard work! Of course you need to create a design which suites the clients brief and brand, but you need to have THE idea which will make the logo unique. It’s important to create something recognizable and also distinctive, however with a small amount of intricate details ensuring the logo will remain legible when used at a smaller size.

As you can see, you need much more than simply just knowledge of software to be able to create a great design. University taught me technical skills; Top Left Design gave me the opportunity to go beyond that.

To conclude, my first impression was that the team seemed to be so friendly… And now, the last thing that I can say about Top Left Design is that the team is definitively, extraordinarily friendly!

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