Wunderman London designer Rebecca Petts Davies may work on the digital side of things, but she still finds ways to introduce elements of craft into her work. In fact, it was this unique approach that first caught the agency’s eye at a D&AD New Blood Academy portfolio crit back in 2016.
“Many of the other industry professionals I met that night said they liked my work, but wouldn’t give me a placement because they thought, as a craft-based designer, I’d be miserable at their (very digital) agencies,” she says. “Wunderman didn’t share this view.”
Genuinely give a shit about what you do – and you’ll be absolutely fine.
Offered a role as junior designer just two weeks into her placement at the agency, Petts Davies now works across brand design and development, however still finds time for personal projects – including collaborations with Creative Equals and Patternity. And while she admits that creative graduates can struggle to stand out from a sea of competing talent, Petts Davies has learnt that sticking to your guns – and being unafraid of being a bit strange – can be an asset.
“One quote from the Academy that I love came from Nick Eagleton of The Partners,” she says. “He said, ‘It’s okay to be fucking weird, it’s probably the best thing about you.’ This really resonated with me as someone who’s had a lot of ideas shot down by tutors in the past for being ‘too weird’.Thanks to Nick’s encouragement, my project about shoes for pigeons is back on track.”
Petts Davies is keen to prove that design can drive social change, by collaborating on projects that make a tangible difference. She’s also harbouring a secret hankering to move beyond the world of graphic design, and involve her two other interests – homeware and interior design. And her advice for students in the meantime?
“Genuinely give a shit about what you do – and you’ll be absolutely fine.”
Meet other New Blood alumni here.