Translation and audio generated by software
Even though I had reservations in the beginning, this internship turned out to be a blast. I met some amazing people and got to work on an incredible machine. To be completely honest, this organization wasn’t on my radar during my initial internship search. I had spent a lot of time on indeed and other job listing sites. My success was far and few and I wasn’t getting a lot of call backs. After my fruitless endeavors I was recommended to give them a call.; this was the first time I was exposed to this organization. During the orientation I wondered if I was actually going to stay and work there. They gave me the tour and I finally saw the press. In that moment I knew if I stayed I would be able to learn something amazing. If I could back I would do it all over again.
Since I mostly worked during the weekends most of my time was spent on the printing press. An extremely old but very interesting machine; once I saw it I immediately knew what I wanted to spend most of my time on. Throughout learning the machine, I was accompanied by other volunteers and intern and especially the executive director. Handling the press was no easy feat but I believe that she made the whole project a lot easier to handle. Mistakes were made and there were some pretty close calls that could’ve completely destroyed the operation. But even through all those obstacles, she lead the way. She understood our limitations and was willing to accept when we made a mistake. She is an excellent leader and great role model and I’m glad I got to meet her this semester.
One of the projects that I worked on in conjunction with other volunteers and interns was printing the annual magazine on the printer shown above. Applying the ink, fixing the plates into position, fanning and loading up the paper etc. This printer provided a plethora of issues and problems even before the actual printing process. When printing the testing sheets (make-ready) the ink would splattered all over the paper and the alignment was off. We all worked together reading the manual, taking and giving suggestions in a respect and digestible manner. Once we consulted a professional and after numerous trial and error, the printer was finally printing decent sheets. It wasn’t perfect but it was as good as it was gonna get. Fatigued and covered in ink but just glad it was over.
2a: A couple of years ago I was introduced to a website called Unsplash. Unsplash is a website that hosts free and useable images that have a professional quality to them. This site allows photographers to post high-quality images that anyone can use. Once you download an image there is a copy link of the creators name. In many of projects using this website, I take full advantage of this system and tag the photographers in the photos I used. I think its wonderful that there is a site out there for people to get really good pictures. Purchasing good quality photos can be very expensive so its only right to give our thanks and tag them in their work.
2b: The Fairey Copyright case was a case over a photo of then Sen. Barack Obama by a photographer from the Associated Press and an inspired poster from Shepard Fairey. This case is tricky because even though the poster is heavily inspired by the photo it is clear that it sends a different message. I believe the outcome of the case was fair because both parties agreed to share the rights to make merchandise of the poster. Though the outcome is great for both sides, I do believe that Fairey was in the right overall.
1a: Working for a non-profit organization showed me a different side of industry when it comes to design. During my internship all the design and most of the photography was made in-house by the volunteers. If a professional photographer was needed, then we would outsource for one asking them to donate their skills for a specific event.
In the chapter A CLIENT’S GUIDE TO DESIGN a certain paragraph stood out to me. “A professional designer does not undertake speculative work or proposals (spec work) in which a client requests work without providing compensation and without developing a professional relationship that permits the designer sufficient access to the client to provide a responsible recommendation.” Expecting payment from a non-profit would be unethical and unprofessional since the very nature of this kind of organization is charity-based.
1b: I never had to sign an NDA or confidentiality agreement at my internship. Unfortunately I never got to experience this kind of contract. But I also think it shows how much trust they had in their volunteers and the community. Whether it be filing or incoming donations etc. I was always updated on what was going on in the company.
A Full Plate
From the day I was introduced to this office I was always interested in the printing press. So when the day came to actually use it I was a little more than excited. The press is pretty big and it looked almost unmovable. I was shocked when I learned that the press wasn’t always there.
The first big project I worked on was called “plating”. I worked on this with another student from City Tech who was also interning there.
Separate from modern digital printing, you can’t send a file to this press to make prints. The process of doing this requires creating “negatives” which are black pieces of film with cut-outs of your original image on the computer. With my partner we taped and aligned these negatives on yellow pieces of paper. Taking a razor we cut the back of the yellow paper to expose only the important information on the negative.
The next step was applying the negative to a plate. The plate was a slim, rectangular, green piece of metal. We applied the negative on top of this plate and put them both into a vacuum chamber. Once the chamber did its magic, the information on the negative showed up blue on the plate.
My partner and I were both amazed by this development. It was pretty cool to see this reaction first hand. After the plate was developed we rubbed a solution on the plate which wiped the green away but the blue stayed. At this point the plating was done and all we had to do was let it dry.
Overall this was a great experience, my partner and I worked very well, sharing the tasks and responsibilities. I feel that we both contributed a lot to the project and equally shared the labor.
A typical day for me at the office would be to head into work and greet all the employees and volunteers. Once I get settled I would be briefed on the responsibilities and what we need to get done. The work varies from day to day and depending on what’s more important. Since I am more physically inclined I am able to help move and organize inventory or do more of the heavy lifting if need be. Because I am still new to the office most of my time is spent training. Whether it be phone calls, filing papers, shadowing one of their graphic design classes that they offer to the community, I learn my way around the space and how they operate.
The atmosphere of this company is very relaxed and allows me to dress informally. I think that adds to the charm of this organization. It doesn’t hold itself to the very rigid, cold and systematic view of corporate entities. The people that work here are from the community and it’s very reflective of that. I did ask if there was a dress code and thankfully I was told there wasn’t. I breathed a sigh of relief, unfortunately I am not in the financial position to dress formally all the time. I believe that there are a lot of individuals like myself in the same position, so it felt nice to dress casually.
Through the openlab I was able to email and call the supervisor of the Women’s Press Collective. During the call we agreed on a time for the orientation. At first I was confused on the word “orientation” but when I arrived I came to understand what it meant. Before working at this organization I had no prior experience with a fully non-profit volunteer run organization. So I had to separate the concept of employment in which I would be interviewed and ingrain the new concept of volunteering.