Award-winning Graphic Design student shares return to study experience

Marcus Cheong

Marcus Cheong made the transition from account management to graphic designer. Here’s how.

Marcus Cheong is a Bachelor of Communication Design graduate, award winner and specialist in brand strategy, design and storytelling. We asked him to share a little about his foray into design and his decision to return to university to study Design.

What was the catalyst for you to study Graphic Design?

I started my career working in a digital marketing agency after completing a Bachelor of Business. As a consultant, I was the go-between for the client and our creative team and was continuously exposed to the beautiful design work that our team was producing but was never a part of actually creating it.

Seeing this day in, and day out made me realise that a creative career was something that I had always wanted. So, I decided to quit my job and pursue a Graphic Design career full-time.

Marcus Cheong's work

What was it like returning to study?

In the beginning, I started with the Diploma of Graphic Design, wanting to make the career switch as quickly as possible. But after a lot of advice from friends in the industry, I decided to go all-in and complete the Bachelor of Communication Design course.

This was the right choice in the end as it gave me time to realise the sort of designer I wanted to be and to explore the aspirations I had.

I studied online and on campus, but primarily on campus. Our tutors were great, and it was a quiet and intimate learning environment that suited me. I found the coursework to be demanding, but achievable.

How do you feel Billy Blue College of Design set you up for this next stage in your career?

I learnt a lot of new techniques in conducting my student projects at Billy Blue College of Design - namely, sketching, illustration, concepting, ideating and the ability to think and talk about brands and design.

The biggest surprise or the thing I didn't expect to learn about was how to create a typeface. I had taken the unit accidentally but found that I enjoyed the whole process.

Marcus’ student design awards at Billy Blue

Student Branding for Beverages Category winner

Indigo Awards 2023 - Gold Award Winner under the Student Branding for Beverages Category

AGDA Awards 2022 - Distinction in Student Brand Identity

AGDA Awards 2022 - Distinction in Student Packaging

AGDA Awards 2022 - Distinction in Student Print

Student Publication Design merit

AGDA Awards 2022 - Merit in Student Publication Design

Student Print Distinction

AGDA Awards 2021 - Distinction in Student Print

Student Crafts distinction

AGDA Awards 2021 - Distinction in Student Crafts

AGDA Awards 2021 - Merit in Student Publication Design

Can you tell us about your design career journey since graduating?

I have been trying out different studios to see which type of environment and work suits me best. I had a short month-long stint at Evi-O Studio as a book design intern, and have also worked part-time as an illustrator at Soapbox Magazine and For The People.

I'm open to commissions, so hey there’s an idea...

Marcus’ top tips for new Graphic Design students starting their studies

During my studies, I learnt about a plethora of amazing studios across the world, where to find the most useful resources a designer could need, and most importantly the inner workings of a really great brand studio. It helped me understand the importance of getting that internship experience as soon as possible.

I would say personally that the number #1 important piece of advice for prospective students is to be humble. There is a world of amazing designs out there and at the stage of being a student, one should simply be absorbing and exposing themselves as much as possible to this amazing design world (while of course doing their best to contribute to this world). But then again, you could say that for any point of your design career as well...

Reach out to Marcus for your next design project here.

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