Why we should all celebrate the Bristol design community

June 22, 2017

This June, Proctors contributed to Werkhouse, a two-day training weekend for a group of students and juniors. 

What on earth is it? And why on earth do we need it?

We’ve all experienced it. You leave education or training ready and raring to go. You’ve done your exams, submitted your projects, cried over word counts. The big day of your first finally job arrives.

Sure, you’ll need to learn where the toilets and free biscuits are, but other than that, you’ve got this in the bag. After all, you’ve been studying for the last three years. But  - by 11am, the reality has hit: there’s a huge gap between what you’ve learned and how it’s applied.

It’s demoralising for newbies. And it’s a drain on time and resources for employers.

That’s where Werkhouse comes in. It aims to bridge the gap between education and work. To truly prepare marketing and advertising students for the commercial world.

Here’s what happened

One weekend. One real client with a dummy brief. Five teams. Five team leaders. And five senior creative directors – with over 100 years of combined experience – accompanied by copywriting and illustration experts from across the South West.

Who was there?

We met experienced creatives from far and wide – from Bristol to Bath, Bridgwater to Bideford, Bodmin to Bournemouth – and other places not beginning with a B that would otherwise ruin my sentence.  The volume of creativity and experience in the room was formidable.

It just goes to show there is a blossoming design community in the South West that genuinely cares about the future of the industry. And because of the dedication and time these creatives put into the event, the weekend was a resounding success. 

What did people think?

Not only did the next generation of young designers praise the event, but the weekend offered a rare opportunity for creatives to work on a brief in a non-competitive environment with the sole focus on ideas generation – all without interruption, commercial discussions or conference calls. Unheard of for those used to working in a busy studio!

“It was brilliant to be part of such an inspiring weekend and so good to see in Bristol.  Creativity and ideas generation is a big part of any job, but the more senior you get, the more precious your time and resource becomes.  It’s invaluable to stay in touch with the future, and it’s inspiring to be part of an initiative based in the South West.  Too many times is London regarded as the only option and the mecca for creativity, and it’s not remotely true.” Dan Hardaker, head of digital design at Proctors.