The Creative Industries are a major player in the Scottish Economy. Despite this, there is a disconnect in the way that schools inform pupils, parents and even staff of the breadth and variety of opportunities that pupils can experience when moving beyond secondary education and into the creative sphere. The reasons for this are complex and significant in the North East of Scotland where Oil and Gas have traditionally taken centre stage in career development.
We were asked by the Arts Education Team of Aberdeenshire Council to create a design that could be used at career fairs at Academies in the region to illustrate the range of opportunities available to pupils when looking at the Creative Industries.
There’s a lot of information collected by central government on career pathways. It was our job to distil this into a form which could be taken in quickly without the need for masses of dry data or a staff member to explain and elaborate. In short, we had to come up with a form of information graphics which spoke primarily to teenagers and young adults and inspired them to think about what they were already capable of and how that would fit into a Creative Industry pathway.
We opted for a fabric display stand as the medium. This worked as it was easy to assemble, lightweight and fitted within the budget (actually coming in under budget) – they’re also easy to wash! Six of these were produced for use around the region.
The design works on several levels and uses a hierarchy of information.
Firstly, those big figures at the top with the question ‘So you want to work in the Creative Industries’ draws the viewer in – even if, it could be argued, they hadn’t thought about these career pathways in the first place.
The Creative Industries cover a huge array of specific job opportunities so secondly, these main categories had to be listed but also open to interpretation, hence the sub which gives a very brief explanation of what each sector is about.
Finally, and you could argue, most importantly there are lots of ‘thought statements’ running in and around the whole display. These are playfully designed almost as if they have been penned in at a later date by someone creating a ‘train of thought’. It is sometimes difficult for a pupil to relate what they are doing at school with where their career path may take them. The statements aim to connect what they are doing now with where they may end up. Importantly, many of these statements aren’t directly related to art and design, but are to do with organisational skills and working as a team – all important within the general sector.
It’s been a success. One of our favourite anecdotal incidents we have been told of was of a pupil who spent a great deal of time looking at the panel who then brought her parent’s to view the information explaining to them where and what she was currently doing and how it could become a viable career. Parents play a big part in this whole process, many who won’t be well informed of the variety of options within the Creative Industries so this shows a very positive outcome for all involved.
Postcard and web
As we came in under budget, we also produced A6 postcards for people to take away. This is a cut down version of the panel and is used as an aide memoir after the event. Importantly, there is a link to the creative pathways website where more in depth information can be found.
Further to this, we also created little graphics to be used as tags on the Creative Pathways page on the Aberdeenshire Council website.