Out Work is a collection of thoughts on graphic design and life by Sarah Joe, a Singapore-based creative.

Just typing as I think, don’t take me too seriously.


27.03.20 Practice Theory
Tags Recount

            I saw the opportunity on Instagram and just went for it. It was unlike any interview I've been to before (not that I've been to many). Edwin told me they were looking for someone to finish up some editorial projects that Martin had been working on, so the interview was pretty targetted. Targetted in a sense that they screened my InDesign working file. Of all the things I thought I had prepared for, I absolutely did not expect that. It made for an interesting interview, and by interesting I mean me trying to calm myself down mentally while practically scrambling for words to say.

            I walked away thinking I had screwed it up, honest to God. I kept them waiting while searching for work, I fumbled with my words, at one point I'm pretty sure I mentioned that I put in .png images in my InDesign working file for print and to be honest I don't know nearly enough about editorial or typography that I thought I had.

            Because it was a 1/10 interview, it was a definite 9/10 life-changing thirty minutes. I knew then, when talking to them, that I needed to fine-tune myself even more. How can I proclaim to specialise in typography if I don't follow, much less know, the rules of typography and setting files in InDesign?

            I do have a workflow and a general typographic systems, of course, but I think need to be more systematic. What’s the magic ratio of body text to headline text? I can’t confidently say. Heck do I even know how to properly utilise tabs and indents and properly set CMYK tones for offset? Cold hard no. I walked away from that interview disgusted with myself and ashamed to call myself a designer or creative or any sort.

            In the end I got the job though, they were transparent and told me they narrowed the interviewees to three and chose me. I'd like to think that they gave me a chance and saw through my verbal fumbling that I was really willing to learn. My dad always told me to be authentic and honest during an interview, but also be prepared; I think that may have worked in my favour. Edwin or Martin if you ever read this, maybe you can tell me what it is you saw in me that day. Thanks for giving me a chance.