Week 8: Internship

This is my first week working remotely. It has been pretty easy to get used to, because it is not a huge change from what I was doing initially at the internship. At the internship, I mostly worked on my computer anyway, as they did not need too much help with anything else that was not design related. Working from home has been relaxing, and I can pace myself on each of the designs that I make.

I have been focusing on making designs that are visually interesting, but also easy to read, and look at. Since these designs are to be used as templates, I have been focusing on making it easy to navigate for the people who will edit it.

I have been making templates on Illustrator, and packaging each of the files. I have been making extra options for some of them, with different colorways. Making sure to package everything, including fonts, so it will be easy for them to edit.

This shows me how important it is to keep files organized and named, so that it is easy for people to navigate. Since the files are fairly big, because they are not just PDFs, it is important for me to keep in mind how much I send them at a time.

Besides that, nothing else has really changed, and I have been experimenting with different design methods. Now is a good time to be experimental, as they value creative freedom, and I can try out new things, to see what works and what does not.

Week 7: Internship

I am definitely feeling a lot better now. I settled everything with my supervisor. Initially, I proposed that I can make templates for recurring events. However, my supervisor told me that this would not be possible because they are not sure what events they will be having next semester.

They gave me another option though – I can continue to make posters for the events that I was supposed to advertise this semester, but I make them so that they are directly editable if they need to use them again next semester. This is a great relief. I let my Professor know about this, and this is another example of how I was able to negotiate with my supervisor during this internship. Definitely a necessary skill to have!

So, now during this week I am beginning to make designs for the next event that would be held on campus. I am still experimenting with multiple designs – however, I think that I will have to rethink sending multiple designs to my supervisor at once, that will be super overwhelming for them to look at. So, I am trying to think how I can manage my time with this. Will I space them apart, and send one every week? I have to look at my calendar at get that figured out.

But as of now, things seem to have gone back to normal for my internship. I am working remotely, and nothing has really changed besides me being able to go in in person. The work that I was doing was only on my computer, so I am glad I did not have to do much readjusting. I will have to figure out how to navigate this though. I am going to have to save my Illustrator files a certain way, as packages, so they can directly edit them in the future.

Week 6: Internship

So, all of the CUNY campuses have closed to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. I must admit, I am a little worried because I am not sure what this means for my internship. Sure, working from home is not a problem, but I am not sure what this would mean for me now since I worked for a CUNY center, and there will be no more events for them to host, meaning no more events for me to make posters for …

I decided to reach out to both my Professor and my supervisor. I asked my Professor for advice as to what to do in this situation. After speaking with her, I decided that I would email my supervisor and negotiate, yet again, with them.

I gave my supervisor an idea, I can make posters for events that they would have in the future. Either recurring events, or events they know that they will do in Fall 2020 semester. I will keep everyone posted as to how that goes.

Week 5: Internship

I am relieved to say that I have talked with my supervisor and we negotiated a way for me to get more hours and fulfill my internship requirement. I discussed with them that I would be able to help with things such as event set up, hanging posters around campus, handing out fliers, etc. I also mentioned creating content such as stories for Instagram and Facebook. However, my supervisor mentioned that they were already covered when it came to event set up, and hanging posters around campus. So, I thought of another idea.

Since my supervisor was not too keen on me making stories for Instagram and Facebook, I proposed that I instead make multiple versions of each poster, so that I would be able to give them multiple options, as well as fulfill more hours. My supervisor liked that idea and said that I should do that. I appreciate how accommodating they are, and this taught me a valuable lesson about negotiating in your career.

I am continuing to work in office, as well as work remotely. Honestly, this can be done mostly from home, but I come in once a week to get feedback on my posters in person, and also get my time sheet signed. I don’t mind though, the campus is beautiful.

For the next event, an author is coming to campus and doing a reading of their book titled, “When Brooklyn Was Queer”. For this poster, I was given very little copy to work with (Woohoo!), and I was given a photo of the author. I decided that I wanted to do something a little fun and experimental with the design.

I decided to use a website called Paletton, my Professor for another class taught us a lesson last week on color theory. I usually have issues picking colors, so this website was super helpful! I used this website to pick my colors for the poster. I picked out some fun, slab serif fonts from Google Fonts. I wanted to create a “Less is more” design, inspired by Bauhaus. They loved the way it came out.

Hugh Ryan Poster

Week 4: Internship

After talking with my Professor, I was concerned that I would not be able to meet my required hours for the course. In order for me to get credits for the class, I will have to acquire 120 hours by May 1. At the rate I am doing hours, I am not sure if that will be possible. I have to discuss with my supervisor, to see if there is anything else I can do to fulfill my hours.

This week, I am working on another poster. I forgot to mention in my previous posts, that I am working on advertising on social media as well. For the social media advertisements, I simply have to format the design I already made, into a square format for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It is useful to see how these designs work on different social media channels – but it also makes me wonder how the center can work on possibly branding themselves, so that everything looks a lot more consistent and streamlined.

Of course the designs are good now, but I know everything will look a lot better if certain fonts and colors are kept consistent. That’s a possibility I can discuss with my supervisor later.

The next design I am working on is one for a screening event. The center is working with multiple other resource centers and clubs on campus to host a screening of “Brother Outsider”. I researched about the film and decided that I would take a different approach than I usually have been.

I decided to take a photo of the main character, edit it in Photoshop and use a Duotone color. I then took some bold, san serif font to contrast against the photo. I made sure to look at a color wheel to make sure all the colors really coordinated well.

Week 3: Intership

It is the third week of my internship, and I have really been enjoying it so far. I really enjoy being able to have so much creative freedom. I get to come up with my own concepts and designs, and the people I work with seem to really appreciate my creativity.

I realize I am lucky because not a lot of internships are like this. But, it is also good to recognize that this is not always going to be the case. I enjoy working in an environment like this where creativity can run free – now I know what to look for in a work environment.

So far, it has been the same type of work. The first week was different because I was designing actual giveaway items – the brochure. But now, I am focusing mostly on designing for events that will be hosted on campus. The next event I am working on is called “How To Be A Transgender Ally”. It is a panel that focuses on how we can better be allies to transgender people, and what this means in today’s day and age. I appreciate that they host events like this, because it is really useful to folks like me who do not know how to navigate things like this.

I ran into an issue when creating these posters though, there was an INSANE amount of copy that I had to put on the poster. I was pretty stressed about it at first, because I did not know how I would manage to make the poster look good and eye catching, while simultaneously putting two paragraphs of copy on it.

I experimented with multiple different layouts, and looked at other designs for inspiration. I went on Google Fonts, and found two primary fonts I wanted to work with, and then from there, I experimented with layouts in Illustrator.

Eventually, I ended up coming up with a design that was not the best design I have ever done, but – it serves its purpose. That is another thing that is hard as a designer, when you know that there is no way of getting around it, and you have to put the design out there anyway. However, I made three different versions of it, so that my supervisor could pick whichever one they wanted. It was a challenging project, but I got it done.

Week 2: Internship

It is my second week of working at the internship. Although I notice that it is definitely a more casual setting, I make sure that I dress business – casual, to look the part. This week, I have worked remotely and also worked in the office.

My supervisor really enjoyed the way the brochures came out – but they had to change some things about the formatting, and once it was printed out, it did not look as good as it did when I initially made it. This really shows me why it essential to have design editors, who know about design, and what looks good!

After the brochure, my next assignment was to work on an event poster. The event was for a Valentine’s Potluck. I had started to brainstorm ideas and sketch thumbnails at home, so when I came to the office, I would already have ideas in mind, so I could focus more on making the design look good, then actually brainstorming while I was there.

I realized that this is pretty essential when you are working in design. Your clients give you a deadline, so if it takes you a while to come up with ideas, it is good to brainstorm at home when you have some free time. You don’t want to just be sitting in front of a computer, without an idea. If that is the case, you are wasting your own time, and your client’s time. And that is something that they do not take lightly (for the most part). After all, they are paying you!

Even though this internship is unpaid, I still keep that in mind. I know that what is invaluable, is to connect and network. I want my supervisors and colleagues to know that I am dependable, and they can depend on me to get it done.

For the Valentine’s Potluck poster, I decided to take inspiration from candy hearts. You know how they all say something on them like “Cutie” “I love you” “You’re the best” … well I decided instead to make candy hearts on Illustrator, and they say the event information instead. I made a candy heart pattern as well, to use for a background. My supervisor appreciated how creative it was – they loved it.

Week 1: Internship

Today was my first day of working my internship. I always have envisioned working an internship, so now I am so excited to have started one. I have to admit – the whole “finding an internship” process was very hard and stressful. I did not realize that for many internships I had to apply months in advance. I was so last minute, and because of this, I was getting a lot of rejections. But, my former colleague connected me with a Resource Center that works to provide resources to LGBTQ college students. This really aligns with my values so I was definitely down to intern here.

I showed them my portfolio, and they gave me the internship right there. Although it is unpaid, I don’t mind – it is the experience that is very valuable, and I’m happy to have another thing to add to my resume.

My first day at the internship was pretty calm. I got to meet all of the people that work there. They let me work by myself in an office, I was given the assignment to start working on a brochure for their events. The brochure was to be given out at their next event, and also kept in their office.

They gave me all of the copy I needed to put in the brochure, as well as their logo. However, I had the creative liberty of being able to choose my own fonts and colorways.

I decided that I wanted to have a rainbow accent that would be repeated throughout the design – it provided a really nice contrast with the black text that I used. Although I want it to be eye catching and creative, I also want it to be practical – it is a brochure after all.

I was able to complete the rest of the brochure from home. They gave me information for the first event that I will advertise. I am working about 10 -15 hours per week, one day in person, and the rest remotely. So far, I really like this balance, and I enjoy having the choice to be able to work on my own, and listen to podcasts to keep me entertained. Looking forward to my second week.