Read all about it!

News & Reviews

Go-Karting a go-go!

27 June 2016

A bit of healthy competition is needed at times here at the Estates Office, so to welcome newbies Gayle & Lauren to the gang we decided to hit the tracks and test out their go-karting skills and release our inner Hamiltons. Yeh, right!

Four great teams and only one winner. Who would be lifting that shiny trophy and popping that Champagne cork? Parade Design, Hutchings & Thomas, Foxwood Recruitment or G2A Energy. 

Setting off in the sweltering heat, listening to a bit of ‘The Chain’ psyching ourselves up with the hope of a victory win for Team Parade, after what seemed like an endless journey to get to the venue, we were secretly expecting to meet The Stig upon arrival. Instead we were met by a locker room full of boiler suits, gloves and grease – not exactly what we needed on rare hot day in South Wales.

Half an hour and a brief talk later on the do’s, don’ts and dangers of karting, we headed to the track, heat rising from the tarmac and fist-bumping each other as we walked in what seemed like slow-motion (think Top Gun and Armageddon) to our cockpits! 

Va Va Vroooom! These things go fast! Spinning on bends, double pedalling, karts breaking down and soon enough, the competition was definitely starting to change gear and game faces were well and truly on. We even had sneaky team players inadvertently speeding into the pit a few laps too early (mentioning no names), making it look like they had won the race. Tut, tut. And this was not a one off occurrence either.

So, after hours of burning rubber and pushing each other to the limit it was, at last, time to test our best and put them forward for the final race. 10 gruelling laps of blood, sweat and tears...Which one of our finalists would get to that chequered flag first?

And remember, If you’re not first you're last!

Bringing it home for Team Parade, we had our very own speed demon Lauren.

Team Foxwood – Jonathan, Vicky and Adele.

Up on Team HT – Justin, Haydn, Fiona & David

And last but not least, Team G2A – Ingrid & Mark

Speeding off to bursts of cheering and chanting from the spectator stands, the final lap and chequered flag was fast approaching. Anxious onlookers head in their hands, too scared to watch... then finally, it’s over... a rushing noise of karts speed past the finish line.

And the winners are... (drumroll)

In first place we have Mark of G2A, second place goes to the lovely Fiona of H&T and third place we have Haydn of H&T.

So. There we have it. Parade didn't pick up any trophies this time, but we're not bitter. It was a fab day out with lots of banter and laughter. And anyway – We were first to the pub on the way home. Winners!

Pick Me Up 2016

03 May 2016

Here at Parade we’re a big fan of Pick Me Up London, so back in April we decided to take an annual day out of the office to let off some steam and admire some of the impressive and diverse work on show at Somerset House. Plus, the nostalgic smell of print (you all know the one) is enough to keep us coming back year after year. 

This year was particularly exciting as letterpress guru Alan Kitching was exhibiting ‘A Life in Letterpress’. The exhibition was bold and insightful, with sketchbooks showing his process as well as equipment from his own studio. To our surprise he was also serving on the till, chatting, signing work and even doing live letterpress demos. Starstruck alert! Meeting influential designers and artists in real life can only be compared to bumping into your favourite celebrity in Starbucks, we don’t know how Claire kept her cool when meeting Milton Glaser in New York! 

Back for another year was the Peso Press, a print based machine combining new processes with traditional ones, proving that print isn’t dead! This year the press allowed visitors to design their own glyph based print for just £5 (bargain), as well as this there was a host of interactive activities and workshops that allowed you to get your hands dirty!

There was a great variety of bold and bright work on show this year and we couldn’t stop gazing at the pastel coloured, glittery sign work of Daisy Emerson on a range of materials from tins to wooden planks. We could definitely see one of her pieces on the wall here at Parade. The animation and brightly framed illustration work of Jack Sachs was also pretty cool!

Just as enjoyable as the exhibition was the gift shop, stocked with a great range of interesting books, stationery and lots of little things that you have no use for but totally need anyway. We left the exhibition feeling a little overwhelmed by all the lovely print and design and stumbled out of the gift shop armed with lots of inspiration and a minor dent in our bank balances. 

All in all, we had a great day at Pick Me Up and it’s fair to say the experience made us want to go home and get hands on with some ink and a squeegee. We’d massively recommend an annual trip to Pick Me Up, we promise it won’t disappoint.  

 

A long time ago, in a shoe shop far, far away...

23 March 2016

To start I’m Kyle, the newcomer to Parade Design. Greetings.

I've been asked recently to write a post on the topic of my choosing. Now I could have written something like “My Top 5 Favourite Designers” or “Creative Easter Egg Packaging” (I’m not saying that there would be anything wrong with those topics) but I thought since it was the first thing I had been asked to write I wanted to do something a little different.

After all the worry and nerves of finishing university and having to start a career in design I found myself freshly graduated and working in a shoe shop. For the sake of professionalism I won’t give anything away,  we’ll just call the shoe shop The Death Star and I’ll let you infer what you like. Something I had wanted to write about was some of my experiences working on said Death Star, but with no platform to do so I had put this off continuously. Since I've now been given this opportunity I thought this would be a great time to do it whilst at the same time gearing it towards the experiences and struggles I faced trying to stay creative to kick start my career under the strict ruling of Emperor Palpatine (professionalism).

The End of an Era

University was ending. The all day mid week drinking and fourteenth floor pool parties were going to come to an end (I assumed). As excited as I was to complete my three years and move on I definitely wasn't prepared for it. The “free” money was going to come to an end and I really needed to decide which path I wanted to take. This was my first problem and I would imagine it’s a problem many people face early on. Did I want to go freelance and have a crack at working for myself and finding my own clients? Which I didn’t really know how to do. Did I want get a junior position, continue learning, growing and becoming better at what I loved to do. I wasn't sure and the answer didn’t come anytime soon.

Working to Survive

During my second year after completely depleting my funds I got a part time job to help support myself. This “evenings and weekends” nightmare would eventually become the thing that helped me to survive after graduating and I guess without it I wouldn't have been able to get to the position I am in right now. So nightmare might have been somewhat harsh. Fast forward two years, the third year show has just finished and still with no decisions made I had to ask for increased hours so I could continue paying rent, buy food, beers and work out how I wanted to continue with design.

If you've not worked in retail full time then it’s quite hard to understand how much of a difficult and totally soul crushing experience it can be. This is made especially worse when everyone assumes it’s a breeze and moans at you for complaining about it. I know a lot of people who work in retail and they love their jobs which is amazing, if you get an absolute thrill from your job then no matter what that job is it’s the right one for you! For me anyway the case was that I absolutely hated it. Not every moment but certainly every other.

Design is a matter of opinion but ultimately there is bad and good design. Every design decision that befell The Death Star from headquarters (AKA the Empire) seemed to be especially mundane. I would cringe and complain at opening deliveries to see hundreds upon hundreds of swing tags and crudely finished POS (Point Of Sale) that seemed to follow no typographic rules whatsoever. I would then have to continuously look at these throughout my long shifts and between waves of customers that seemed hell-bent on destroying the perfectly organised shelves of shoes that I’d spent the last hour meticulously spacing. It was now six months later and I was no closer to a job in the design world and in my efforts to keep myself afloat financially I felt myself rising up the ranks of the Empire and my design work was taking a back seat.

Staying Creative

The time had come to get back on the design horse. Through some supportive friends in a different creative field I managed to start getting some design work. This definitely got me back on track and inspired me to get back into my chosen field/passion. I had a couple of poster jobs, some displaying at Edinburgh Fringe as well as other theatre events locally - including a regular poster job that would serve me well for a few months. Definitely a turning point. But as I started to learn how to deal with my own clients and meetings along came another problem. It’s really difficult to work an irregular 40 hour week, find the clients, meet the client’s, do the work, and then try have a life. It’s especially difficult when It’s all one big new learning curve.

There came a time where freelance work started to fade. It was becoming more difficult to get constant work and demand for me at “the other job” started growing. I needed to know more. I needed some sort of direction. A junior position was the way to go. When I started to apply there was a lot of disappointment. The first few responses were just straight up rejection. It was a difficult time. Maybe I needed some work experience but working under the tough rule of the Galactic Empire it was hard to get the time off. I took a good amount of time to revamp my CV & portfolio. I mean a really good amount of time. A long, long time.

Finally Starting The Career

So few replies can be really disheartening, my confidence took a major hit from the lack of responses and general interest. Until one interview. It was for a freelance pool. Not exactly what I was looking for but time was getting on, I was getting a tad desperate and definitely felt I needed something to feel positive about very soon. I thought if I get it then It’s something I can work around my job as The Shoe King. I felt the interview went well but ultimately I didn't get it. However, the Creative Director gave me some very positive feedback and encouraged me to keep trudging on, emphasising that I had only narrowly missed out on this occasion. This gave me a massive confidence boost. It was the right person telling me what I needed at the right time. It spurred me on massively and gave me, what ended up to be, the necessary intent to get where I so passionately wanted to go.

With some money in the bank and the realisation that I desperately needed to move on to bigger and better things. I quit my job. My time aboard The Death Star had come to an end. Was this a sensible idea? It could have gone horribly wrong but luckily enough, roughly a month later a job spec was put in front of me that seemed to fit the bill. I got the interview. Again I thought it went well but now came the wait. That dreaded wait that everyone experiences where it feels like your future hangs in the balance. Well in a turn of good fortune Parade saw some potential. So I would wholeheartedly like to thank Claire here in this blog for giving me the opportunity.

At the time of writing I am at the three month mark. Working in a professional and competitive environment has been as exciting as it has been challenging. I am learning more and more. For example, how important an understanding of the client’s needs/wants is. For me this is the main difference between working academically and professionally. I am enjoying it immensely. This is not to say I am progressing flawlessly, I am learning, and plan to continue learning throughout my career. Keep going. It only takes one or two moments of positivity to send you into an upward spiral, and this is especially true when you feel like you’re at your lowest.

The Christmas Parade

01 January 2016

We love Christmas and spreading the spirit amongst our clients and friends. So what better way to get people smiling than to send out some Christmas cheer.

This year we designed a T-shirt to inspire the recipients to 'Join the Christmas Parade' and 'Prepare to Party'. Jolly red tees with gold screen-printed design were beautifully packaged (obviously) in candy-striped tissue, gold foiled tags and boxed up with twine. Included in the package were two button badges to add to the tees with the message 'Make Mine a Double' and 'Naughty or Nice?'

Everyone loves a free T-shirt, right? So we asked the receivers to Tweet a 'Parade tee selfie' and our favourite pic would win the sender a bottle of Moet to crack open for their Christmas celebrations. We have to say – You all looked fantastic and your smiles in turn, made us smile. High-fives all round.

We especially loved the courage from Jonathan of Foxwood Recruitment by entering the cold waters of the Pembrokeshire coast in December. Very 'brrrrrrrave' indeed!

David Barnes of David Barnes PR and wife Jo from The South Wales Argus impressed us with their 'Easy Rider' selfie and gave their Christmas tees the thumbs up.

We loved the horsey smile and blurriness of the selfie from Fiona of Hutchings and Thomas as she trotted and tweeted simultaneously. Can you get fined for that?

And the New Year selfie from Donna at Cwtch the Bride showed glamour at its finest. And also proved that like us, those girls don't like a party to end. 

But it was the Parade Puppy selfie that captured our hearts, sent from from Victoria, also of Foxwood Recruitment. We're not entirely sure how happy the pup looks, but something tells us he'd better get used to being dressed up. Enjoy the Moet Vicky!

Well. That's Christmas done for another year. We hope you've had a good one as have we and we wish you peace, love and happiness in 2016!

 

Join The Parade!

07 December 2015

We're looking for a talented young designer to 'join the Parade'! This position is available through Jobs Growth Wales and so there's criteria that you'll have to comply with. Check their website for full details here and if you're eligible to apply, read on! 

Background

Parade is a small (but proud) design agency based in Newport, South Wales. We produce creative design, branding work, websites, print, illustration and photography for clients across all business sectors. Our ethos of producing great work for every brief and loving what we do means that having fun along the way goes without saying.

Due to our growing client base, Parade is expanding the team. We’re looking for a passionate and talented graduate or junior graphic designer to help us out.

Ok, so what does this involve?

You’ll be joining a company where you’ll be able to make the position your own. You’ll be shown the ropes and given the help and support you need, but you will also have the chance to express your creativity and show us what you’re made of. You will be working on a variety of jobs alongside the creative director, freelance designers and web developers and liaising directly with clients. As well as the exciting, conceptual and creative jobs, you will also have to be comfortable doing the ground work – inputting content, client research, resizing images, making mockups, general admin jobs... it’s all part and parcel of a studio job.

Stuff you’ll definitely need:

  • Passion and enthusiasm for creative design and respect for the industry
  • A degree in graphic design or similar qualification
  • A fantastic portfolio showing examples of your work
  • Sound knowledge of Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Additional CS experience is a bonus
  • A clear understanding of designing for responsive websites. Brownie points for HTML knowledge
  • Excellent written skills
  • To be proud of the work you produce, paying attention to detail

Stuff you’ll need to fit in perfectly:

  • A relaxed personality including a sense of humour
  • To be comfortable working in a small team or flying solo
  • To be a good communicator and happy to talk to clients and peers in person and on the phone
  • A good work ethic and a professional attitude to your job
  • A healthy appetite for doughnuts and (the occasional) beer!

Salary
£13K–16K Dependant on candidate

How to apply:
You must apply through the Careers Wales website

Closing Date:
23rd December 2015

Join the Parade