I have been working on this single blog post for weeks now, on and off, and im finally going to post it, in time for a blog specifically about my time working on the match days of the autumn season.
The last few weeks have been interesting! a lot of it has been business as usual, with the gradual ramping up to the autumn series. Everyone at work is telling me its going to get really, really manic when the big international games start but so far I’m feeling cautiously confident and (so far) still on top of my list of things to do, but I’ll write about that as it happens over the next month. For now, here are a few specific moments of note from the last couple weeks on placement
Trip to the National Centre of Excellence
Very soon after writing my last blog, I visited the WRU’s National Centre of Excellence in Newport, where the national team does its training in preparation for international competitions. The reason for our visit was two fold; for one, there were plans to redecorate the training gym and atmosphere room there ready for the senior men’s team to train for the six nations games. This was kind of amazing to see. The visit involved going into the gym and atmosphere room itself with the senior designer and a sign printer, measuring it all up, and then liaising with the folks in charge of the NCE (some very very large, ex rugby player types). It was a very valuable experience because it taught me some of the more practical levels of the job; like the physicality of a design and how differences in design translate to cost and man hours to construct in person. I also witnessed how to deal with a real life client, and a client that was especially not interested in any grand designs at that. Unfortunately, after hearing about the amount of work and the price tag involved in the idea we had put together ready to pitch to them, the decision was made to just paint the walls black. Theres valuable lessons to be learned there about the realities of design and how factors such as money and physical can impact artistic direction.
The other reason for our visit was that there was a photoshoot of a few of the players using the indoor sports arena on site. I unfortunately was not allowed to take any photographs of this myself, but I did get to see first hand how professional photoshoots operate. There was actually two rugby photo shoots in operation at the same time; ours, and that of a partner sports wear producer, and as it turns out, one set of rugby players with one set of rugby wear. so there was a lot of swapping of resources, with lots of runners moving products back and forth. It was very interesting to learn about. There was also a lot of dominos pizza ordered and left on a table for everyone. Yum.
Continuing to write this blog now, I can reveal that I was at the shoot for the new kit that was as then unreleased. pretty cool, huh?
I attended the company wide staff conference last week. Whilst it was a day away from practicing design, it was insightful in just learning more about the nature of office work, something I have actually been on a steep learning curve for so far.
The day consisted of a couple team building activities followed by a few talks. Admittedly I wasn’t particularly a huge fan of one of the team building activities; but only because it was singing, and only because it was singing the welsh national anthem (which I had somehow never heard before). More importantly, I sat in for conference talks on how the macro operations of the company. Whilst this wasn’t all directly relevant to my design practice, it was useful for some insight into how such a large company like the WRU works on a macro scale.
I was put in charge of my own project over the last couple months! Since around October I’ve been put in charge of creating all assets for the Santa Tours scheme ( a tour of the stadium accompanied with an experience for kids with Santa). This whole project required me to liaise with the marketing department as well as the person running the whole operation from the tours department as a single cog in a much larger machine. Ill do an overview of the whole project at its termination.
Coming next… my experiences working on match days this month.