Internship Provides Opportunity to Create

Emerging graphic designer and soon-to-be graduate Kirstin McLachlan sought out an internship at just the right place. A tenacious student designer, Kirstin invested time looking for a suitable placement that would combine her love of art, with her ambition to gain real-world graphic design skills. After a lengthy search, all roads led to Creative Waikato – it was a perfect fit. Read on to hear about Kirstin’s internship experience, creative briefs, and her satisfaction when seeing her designs ‘driving around the Waikato’.

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Kirstin McLachlan, lover of art and animals, I am currently in my third year of studying BMA Graphic Design at Wintec.

Can you tell us about the internship paper you are doing at Media Arts?
For the internship paper, I was required to go out and find a suitable placement for me to gain relevant experience. I found myself emailing various different design studios and advertising agencies with either no reply or a friendly ‘no’, but I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for. I emailed Creative Waikato asking if they might know of any graphic design internship opportunities in Hamilton and they ended up taking me on for themselves. So my internship experience as their in-house graphic designer.

Tell me about the goals of your internship at Creative Waikato?
Some of my goals were: To improve my time management, learn about working in a professional environment, apply my graphic design skills to real-life projects and gain experience working to a client brief.

During your internship you completed some design work for Creative Waikato, what was the most rewarding design challenge?
Creative Waikato gave me a few design projects, but the most personally rewarding project was the car branding.  They challenged me to create a design that would be cohesive with their existing branding, communicate who they are and to ‘not look corporate’ for their vehicle.

How did you resolve that challenge?
I tried out a few different design styles, I went to them with 3 draft ideas and luckily they chose my favourite idea, the doodles. They liked the idea of a not so typical ‘Kiwiana’ look you see a lot these days, and they liked how the expressive cute doodles portrayed the arts. I looked around their office for ideas and I was really inspired by Paul’s Creative Waikato map illustration that’s on their wall, I also googled a lot for reference material. If you look closely you can see a Moa, mountains,  kowhai trees, a tui, a hot air balloon, the list goes on. I even snuck in a cow udder and a cheeky gumboot.

It’s a thrill for Kirstin McLachlan to see her design on Creative Waikato’s vehicle.

What results did this piece achieve?
While creating this design I gained knowledge of working to a brief, but I also learnt how to express my creative style within the constraints. I learnt how to work closely with a signwriter which is something I had not done before. The idea of my designs driving around the Waikato was a little bit daunting at first but now that I can see it applied, it’s pretty cool.

Thanks to Kirstin McLachlan for sharing her learning experience with us and thanks to Creative Waikato for providing a challenging and productive creative internship for one of our students.

You can find out more about the course credit you gain when you undertake an internship at Wintec on our website.