Salford University’s Graphic Design Talent Nicola Ball

Today we showcase and share the work of Salford’s own Nicola Ball, a creative with a love of graphic design. Nicola finds her strengths in copy, print & advertising on the graphic design course at leading north west university Salford Uni. She describes herself as ambitious and her love of the creative world first stemming from “getting out of PE in year 11 to go to art instead.”

I started off on the HND course at Salford, so I went straight into the second year of the degree course, specialising in communications. HND was a really good foundation opportunity, but I would definitely encourage people to carry on onto the degree course. My work has developed massively in the past 2 years alone. I’ve found that my strengths lie mostly in copy, print and advertising. I’ve also discovered a love for motion graphics and I am starting to dip my toe into that area also. During my final year, I’ve taken on a couple of projects along side the brilliant Salford based Soup Collective. As a massive local music fan, it’s always been a dream of mine to make a music video, which I was lucky enough to do through Soup. I completed my first lengthy motion graphics piece along side them and gained invaluable experience with meeting self-made deadlines. Experiences like this and placements really are a must whilst you’re in uni, not only can you build a network before you leave, but it’s nice for people other than your tutors to give feedback on your work.

For inspiration, I’m really into Rob Ryan’s stuff at the moment, there’s beauty and a whole lot of patience in that man’s work. I’d say that peer inspiration is my biggest source of inspiration however. Yes you can go look at all these top designers and what they’re doing, but just go and browse Behance for your unknowns – there’s some amazing work out there. My favourite projects to work on are always competition ones (like Roses student creativity awards, YCN or D&AD). They always stretch your ideas and are often your only chances of attempting really unconventional briefs. Completing one of this year’s Roses briefs (Wot R U Doin?) has given me my best piece of work in my portfolio to date. It’s a controversial number, but it always gets a bit of attention…or a laugh at least!

At the moment, I’m busy preparing for the degree show, whilst still finishing a video off for Soup. I’m hoping to get some new opportunities from the degree show; I’d love to work at a small print agency, where I could still delve into some motion briefs…and where they could stand my terrible singing. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I love what I do and I just can’t wait to get a job doing what I love.

Follow Nicola’s portfolio on Behance, follow her on Tumblr and @nicolajo_b on Twitter.

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