Alumni Services

Andrew Wolffe

Edinburgh based alumnus Andrew Wolffe chats about his close relationship with ECA and explains why work placements are so important.

Name Andrew John Antony Wolffe
Degree Course BA Hons Visual Communication
Year of Graduation 1986
Andrew Wolffe

Your time at the University

I was born and raised in Gatehouse of Fleet, south west Scotland. Both my parents attended Edinburgh College of Art (my father was a recipient of the Andrew Grant Scholarship) and I followed in their footsteps.

I made the most of my time at Art College; I played trumpet in the orchestra and was a member of the hockey team.

My career was started by taking an unpaid placement in my third year at a leading design company in Edinburgh.

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

My unpaid third year placement at Tayburn proved invaluable. Subsequently I was offered a job in my final year and joined the agency as a graduate designer in August 1986. In 1993 I was appointed Creative Director with a design team of 25 designers.

I left Tayburn in 1998 to establish my own business, Wolffe and Co, in Galloway and went on to aquire the studio Pointsize Associates in order to build a presence in Glasgow. However, the deal was finalised a day before the credit crunch struck, and after a period of major cost cutting I decided to close the business. In 2009 I re-established myself as Wolffe in Edinburgh - a design consultancy specialising in refined, complete design solutions. We deliver brand design solutions across print and digital media.

I have always had a very close relationship with Edinburgh College of Art, and I very much enjoy supporting current students in their career development, both as a mentor and a visiting lecturer.

I’m delighted to offer student placements at my agency, which provide students with industry experience, working with the design team and meeting with clients.

Several years ago I became involved with Edinburgh College of Art’s Design Agency initiative. This is a yearlong team assignment, creating student design agencies, supported by academics and the design sector - each student agency is partnered with a professional agency. For me, this initiative gives the students an awareness of the professional requirements of being a designer beyond designing.

Alumni wisdom

I can’t emphasise enough the value of work placements, I recommend strongly that you accept them at every opportunity. They provide a real insight into life after graduation, and help you to develop key skills to stand out from the crowd. And you never know what doors may open as a result.

Also, listen to your mentors, exchange ideas and ask them about all areas of design practice - soak up their design intelligence and experience.