Meet Noe Baba, Shillington Graduate and Designer at Holdens

It’s safe to say the creative scene in Manchester has always been a buzzing one and as our graduates continue to inspire and impress us, it’s truly rewarding to watch the network of new designers grow. With a background in Fine Art, Noe Baba immersed herself in the full-time graphic design course at Shillington Manchester and shortly after graduating in April 2017, snapped up a job at full-service creative agency Holdens.

Now comfortably part of the team at Holdens she’s in good company as Senior Designer Charly Tudor is also a Manchester Shillumni. We caught up with Noe to hear her experience of studying at Shillington, life in a design agency and some advice for designers hoping to up their social media game.

What was your background before enrolling at Shillington and did you notice any transferable skills between these disciplines?

Fine art (and a bit of architecture) so there are obvious connections there but I recognised that design was a completely different process from what I was used to and that I had a lot to learn.


Your portfolio is packed full of amazing projects from eccentric illustrations to desirable beer packaging. Do you have a favourite project amongst the bunch?

Thanks! I loved the project for the event and conference centre, Futuro. We had to immerse ourselves in a given city, and mine was Lisbon. I loved doing all the research and feeding this into the ideas for the project—really giving it legs.

Since launching our Shillumni network our graduates often tell us about how much they enjoy the community aspect of Shillington—did you feel this sense of community while studying and do you keep in touch with your peers?

Yes. I was lucky to be a class full of enthusiastic people who were eager to learn and contribute. I know my learning benefited from this massively.

I’m still in touch with a number of my classmates and the graduate events have enabled me to meet people from other classes which has been great.

Did you enjoy your time on the course and would you recommend the Shillington experience to others hoping to work in Graphic Design?

Yes and yes. At the time it felt like a massive gamble. Having already done a degree and a half, I didn’t want to do another three years at uni. I wanted to learn quickly and get to work.

Do your research and speak to people to make sure it’s for you, but my experience has been overwhelmingly positive, and now I’m doing a job I love!

Can you tell us a bit about your current role at Holdens? You’ve followed in the footsteps of fellow Shillumni Charly Tudor to join their design team—how are you getting on so far, any projects you can share with us?

Since I’ve been working there as a designer, I’ve worked on lots of different projects—from doing the branding and interior design for a new barbershop to working on websites, illustrations and retail design. It’s safe to say it’s been a steep learning curve but I’m loving it! They’ve been great at just letting me get stuck in.

You’re great at immersing yourself in the buzzing Manchester creative scene having supplied illustration work for Every Month Manchester how did you get involved and would you encourage fellow graduates to get themselves out there through channels like this?

Definitely. It’s always worth it in some respect—you learn something, meet someone interesting, find out what you want to get into next, or just have a bit of fun. Sometimes it’s through meeting someone and being asked, other times it’s just keeping your eyes peeled and saying yes to things really. These little projects can feed into your work and keep you inspired.

You’re super active on social media, in particular Twitter. Do you think this is important for designers and can you share any tips for fellow students and graduates hoping to up their social media game?

I think it’s quite a personal thing, but if you’re looking to get your work out in the open, it’s free so you may as well give it a try. I like Twitter for the conversational element, and it’s taken me a while to get onto Instagram but now have I love it. Don’t take it too seriously—you don’t want to make it a chore so just have fun with it!

Huge thanks to Noe for answering our questions. Be sure to visit her website to see her full portfolio and give her a follow on Twitter and Instagram to get regular updates. 

Would you love to kickstart your creative career like Noe? Study design 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, London, Manchester or New York –>

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