Nick Bell — Nick Bell Design

Describe the Ideal Candidate in three words


What’s the most common mistake people make when they apply for jobs?
I think a lot of applicants have an affection for the editorial design we have done in the past. So much so that they can't see past this and fail to notice that, these days, we specialise in exhibition design and do very little editorial design. Hence they are all obsessed with print and are a bit multimedia averse, which is exactly what we don't want. So what I’m saying is that most applicants don't do their research, or at least any new research before choosing to get in touch.

How important is it for you to see commercial work?
Very. It might show how they cope with constraints. It can also show what they can achieve when they’ve got help or receiving art direction. However, commercial work is not as important as the thing they did all by themselves as this is a good indication of their capacity, their stage of development, their potential.

What’s more important, experience or enthusiasm?
Enthusiasm as it will give them curiosity and lead to valuable experience. Experience of life — having a life outside of design — is more important than extensive commercial experience. This is crucial as this is what helps us develop a point of view. Everyone has to have a point of view or otherwise they will be factory fodder. So, enthusiasm is worth so much more if it comes in a critical, discerning form.

Is what you do in your spare time important or irrelevant?
What you do in your spare time is what it is all about if you want to be a communicator and not merely a polisher.

How important is it for a candidate to fit in with your company culture?
Candidates have to understand what it is we are trying to achieve. Of course there are always alternative routes to achieving it and we would like to think that we embrace these. We stand a better chance of sustaining our open-mindedness if we don’t employ people that think and act like us or simply like the same things we do. When recruiting we are always on the look out for people who can bring something else to the mix without altering who they are simply to ‘fit in’.

About Nick Bell Design
We are visual communicators designing for three dimensional interactive environments. We have spent the last ten years collaborating with architects, museum directors and curators on exhibition interpretation design, digital interactive/audio visual media design and wayfinding.

During that time we have developed a visitor-centred editorial concern for the voices and visual language of interpretation and interactivity within physical information-rich environments. We try to make museums absorbing and inspirational places to be.

Clients include: Barbican Centre, British Council, Casson Mann, Four Corners Books, Haymarket Publishing, Hayward Gallery, Imperial War Museum, Laban School of Dance, Manchester United, National Portrait Gallery, National Trust, Phaidon, The Royal Mail, Science Museum, Tate Britain, University of the Arts London, Victoria & Albert Museum, The Wellcome Trust, Warner/Chappell Music.