James Tye graduated from the University of Suffolk in 2011 after studying for a degree in Graphic Design.
After graduating, James founded a graphic design studio, Three&me, with two of his fellow graduates. James has worked on a range of live client projects and is now working as a freelance Graphic Designer at his studio, Achieve Creative, offering branding, advertising and print services.
James recently designed our Suffolk Graduate beer branding, which launched in 2017. He said "The idea I chose to develop took inspiration from the mortarboard, whereby the logo would take form of the diamond shape."
“The required details and name were then presented clearly in the university’s brand typefaces and colours, making a bold and fitting tribute to mark the year of celebration. It only made sense to call it the Suffolk Graduate.”
James on his time at the University of Suffolk:
"I’ve always been creative, and after studying Graphic Design at secondary school I fell in love with the subject and knew then that this was something I would like to pursue a career in. After studying it at A Level, I applied to study Graphic Design at Suffolk.
Through having an Ipswich Town FC season ticket, prior to starting at the University, I became familiar with Ipswich and fell in love with the place. Living in Essex, Ipswich was extremely accessible by train and car and I found myself visiting most weekends. It’s a lively place with lot’s going on. The Waterfront area is particularly stunning, hosting bars, restaurants and cafes. In the summer it almost feels like you are abroad walking along the marina. Not only that, but there are wonderful parks around, that host a range of events throughout the year - including the UK’s largest free music festival. The parks are also useful for downtime and getting coursework done. So I guess location was a key decisive factor in choosing the University of Suffolk. On top of that, when I came to an open day and met the graphic design course leader I felt extremely welcomed and was complimented on my portfolio of work. The facilities were second to none and it became evident very quickly that this was where I would further my studies.
The course itself really jumped out at me. There were lots of different modules, which I could see would broaden my skill set as a designer, and allow me to experiment in new ways. The lecturers themselves had industry experience and the course offered industry trips and visits from course patrons. Apart from being taught the key fundamentals of graphic design and all the skills I put into practice now on a daily basis, I enjoyed the freedom the course provided. There were briefs in place, just like the real world, however the briefs allowed you to experiment with different mediums, and apply your own distinctive style to the work. Which I think is great in the design industry, as it’s important to be unique and stand out.
Since completing my studies, I set up a graphic design studio called Three&Me in Ipswich with two fellow graduates through the Atrium Studios (now Waterfront Studios), which was a creative hub supported by the University. For a year the studios provided us with low setup costs and support that got our business off the ground. We then moved into Ipswich town centre where the business flourished and our portfolio of design work developed. In 2016 we took the decision to close, and I decided to pursue a career as a freelance graphic designer. After sharing my portfolio, opportunities opened up and I found myself working with several reputable local design agencies on a range of exciting design projects. I am now working full-time at one of those agencies in Colchester, whilst also running my freelance design business, Achieve Creative, part-time."