Absolute graphic design internship experience

absolute gelato cup with strawberry ice cream with a flake and a pink spoon

Absolute graphic design internship experience

I had a graphic design two week internship with the studio Absolute in Truro, Cornwall. The internship was a part of the second year placement scheme at Falmouth University.


I worked on a number of projects with Absolute while interning there.  This post is about the work I did with  Caterlink whom supply packaging and tools to ice cream vendors in England and I think around the world.

Of course my placement only being two weeks I didn’t get to go on the full design journey with Absolute. Furthermore, the designs have changed quite a bit from the first initial concepts I worked on. However, I can see elements that Lauren, the junior designer and I were working towards.

Absolute had already produced the design for the current Caterlink tubs (pictured top right.) However the client wanted something new.


Caterlink-Ice-Cream-Tub old design
old ice cream tub design
ice cream tub word association
ice cream tub design sketches
ice cream tub design patterns
ice cream tub packaging pattern mood board by freelnace graphic designer melissa carne
art deco pattern mood board by freelance graphic designer melissa carne

The brief

The client wanted 3 new stock designs with 2 options each.

  1. Needs to take inspiration from but an updated version of the delicious design tubs Absolute created previously for Caterlink.
  2. The three key words for this design are sophisticated, clean, identity. An extremely modern idea to be sold over UK, NO, Fl, DK, DE, NL (the whole NIC group).
  3. Traditional design, a combination of the tubs are sister companies have (pictured second).


In the sketches above you can see my initial ideas. I tend to work initially with words that come to mind when I think of that object, in this case ice cream. I then move onto paper and pen and draw initial sketched that come to mind.

Mood boards

I then move to mood board to further express my ideas and help me get a clearer understand. It also allows me to see what is already on the market and other maybe external influences that can inspire ideas. (These are pictured opposite.)


Then finally I move onto concepts. I always digitally mock up three different concepts. I always do a ‘safe’ concept option which is not too far from what the client already has. (This is picture opposite.)

Next I really target the brief in the second concept. In this case I went 1920’s art deco inspire patterns to get across the sophisticated, clean, identity the client was looking for. I played with colours and produced a blue, seaside colour palette as ice cream is seen to be associated with the beach. Also I kept a classic 1920’s monochromatic version.

Finally the third concept is the ‘wild card’. This is where I really push the brief and come up with hopefully something creative and different for the field. This is where I played on the idea that an ice cream cup is a gluten free cone, so I designed it to look like one. I think this reflected the clients need for something extremely modern yet traditional. 


Although the client didn’t go for any of my concepts it was great to work on a real life brief and gain some valuable experience and connections that should help in the future. I also have some work to show for it and can use it in my blog to show you my creative process.

Other posts

Lots of love, Melissa x

fun ice cream tub design by freelance graphic designer melissa carne
art deco ice cream tub design in blue by freelance graphic designer in cornwall
art deco ice cream tub design by freelance graphic designer melissa carne in cornwall
ice cream waffle tub design by freelance graphic designer melissa carne