Each summer DA profiles a selection of the top design graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions. We welcome these talented emerging professionals to our industry, learn about their passions, final projects, developing creative confidence and ambitions for the future.
Today we speak with Taylor Pahuru from Wintec.
Was there someone (or something) that inspired you to pick design as a career path?
I have always had a passion for creating. The art department at high school was my second home. I found my love for graphic design in year 13. It was my high school art and design teachers who motivated me to choose this career path. Couldn’t be happier with this choice – It is something that I will never bore of, and can always grow and learn in.
Can you tell us what your graduation project focused on?
Throughout my studies, I found that I am most interested in brand identity, packaging and print design. For my final project, I wanted to combine all of these into creating a brand for an upmarket fish n chip shop. The aim of the project was to push past the feel of a “traditional NZ fish n chip shop” and create something more upmarket, but still as realistic and feasible as possible.
What were some of your most exciting or unexpected discoveries to come out of your project?
I learnt a lot more about printing on different materials which I hadn’t tried before. Exploring different die cuts to make packaging using less material. I learnt more about packaging for food, like what types of materials to use, how to keep food hot, avoid grease, and ease of handling for the consumer.
What was your biggest challenge while studying and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for me was balancing study with a part-time job as well as other life commitments. I had to work a lot on my time management – I’ve got a pretty good system in place now which I stick to (sometimes)
What’s the most valuable lesson you learned during your studies?
Design is much more than just what something looks like.
What does your creative process look like?
I always start with a lot of research. Planning around the brand story and values and trying to find a way to represent that visually. I like to physically sketch on paper before I move into anything digital. A lot of concepts, testing and development, along with critiques from tutors and peers. No project ever ends up how I first imagined, that is the whole fun of it.
How do you see your work and practice developing, and what are your main aspirations?
My long term goal for the future is to be a heavily Māori based graphic designer – I plan to study Māori visual arts at some point to help me achieve this. For now, I aim to diversify my skill set by learning more digital-based design like website and app design, as well as continuing to upskill my strengths.
Which piece in your portfolio are you most proud of and why?
Coast Catch – I’ve always wanted to brand a fish n chip shop. This project allowed me to incorporate illustration, identity, packaging, print and social media so it is a big piece for my portfolio. I put a lot of thought into this project both design-wise and brand strategy-wise. I feel like I really told the brand story through the design and was really happy with the outcome.
Why did you choose to study at WINTEC, and what do you feel you can take away now that you’ve completed your course?
I learn by doing, so I choose to study at Wintec for the hands-on learning approach, and the small studio class environment which meant more support and advice for the tutors and peers. I enjoyed getting to DO, make, print and explore. After completing my studies at Wintec I feel more confident in my design skills, processes and thinking, and feel as though I am ready to move into industry.
How are you feeling about the future?
I feel excited, but nervous for the future. Looking forward to moving into industry.
What does your dream job look like?
My dream job involves me working in an environment where I am able to create every day. Getting to work on different projects with different people. Every day is different. Continuously learning, evolving and growing my skillset.
How can people get in touch and see more of your work?