Throughout my journey interning for Brooklyn College, I learned a lot. For the first time, I had to follow a brand’s visual guidelines, and stick to certain colors, typefaces, and rules for everything that I designed. I’ve made visual identity guidelines for projects in the past, but I’ve never had to follow existing guidelines before. For a while in the beginning of my internship, I had to carefully read through and study them to make sure I fully understood who and what I was designing for, and why I was doing it. Every time I designed something, I would refer back to the guidelines and make sure that I was doing things properly. I also learned a bit about file accessibility and making files easier to view and navigate. Even though I’m a designer, my experience with Adobe Acrobat was limited. Learning about accessibility and more about Acrobat made me realize that some things aren’t really taught or talked about in classes. It’s something that everyone should know about and know how to check and fix, as it’s very important when it comes to allowing as many people as possible to view a file, especially one that you’ve worked hard on.
Throughout my internship, I think that I’ve done well. I was on time for every Zoom meeting, followed through on my assignments, communicated well, and showed genuine interest in my projects. However, this was my first major internship, and I’m a naturally quiet person, so I think that I could’ve voiced my opinions more, or just said more things in general. At the start of this internship, I had much more of a “speak until spoken to/get the work done” mentality, but I slowly opened up and started to ask more questions and talk to my peers more about the work we had to do. My experience was extremely positive, as, in my opinion, the people make it worth it. I was fortunate to have such a kind, friendly, and understanding supervisor, as well as competent, hard working peers who knew the work and what they were doing. They were all always there to help and answer any questions or concerns I had. I recently got into the CUNY Career Launch internship for this summer through this one, and I’m looking forward to possibly working with Brooklyn College again.
Final Class Presentation
Since the semester is almost over, that means my internship is almost over. We’re required to make a presentation of everything we’ve done so far as well as our experience, and after that presentation, we’re pretty much done. Since I have to make a presentation for my internship class anyway, this is a good way to have a first draft and just tweak what I have. I’m making my presentation about the work that I did while interning at the college, as well as progress as a whole. For every design I made, there was feedback given and changes to be made. Without that feedback, my work wouldn’t have been refined into what it is today. Essentially, I was the designer, and my supervisor and the college were my clients. Therefore, although I was the one designing, I still had to take what they said about my work into account, and alter it to their liking. This is all part of the process, and from a process comes progress.
On May 2nd, some other interns and I met up at Brooklyn College to film the college’s first TikTok. It was quite a journey, since I’d never taken the 2 train and been in that area of Brooklyn before. When I finally got to the campus, I felt like someone from a movie going to college for the first time. The campus was extremely nice to walk around, and the pink leaves on the trees made it feel like a dream. There were benches and small tables that students could sit at, as well as many trees that would provide shade on a sunny day. City Tech doesn’t really have a campus, so experiencing something like that was a breath of fresh air from just walking from building to building on busy city roads. After admiring the campus, I found my supervisor and other interns and we proceeded to film the TikTok. The topic of the TikTok was facts about the college, so we used some props and did things that related to the facts. The filming took around an hour, and after that we all split up and went our separate ways. It was nice to see my supervisor and fellow interns in person instead of on a computer screen, and finally visit the place I was interning at.
Another app I’ve decided to review is called Blackbox. It was made by GrowPixel and is free on the App Store. It’s a game that consists of “brain puzzles” that make you think outside the box. Each puzzle is represented by a hollow square that when you tap, you enter the puzzle and can solve it. When you solve that puzzle, the box fills in with a color to represent that you’ve completed it. The puzzles are extremely minimalistic and abstract, and give you the bare minimum as far as visuals go. The solutions are usually things you wouldn’t think of, like plugging your charger in, turning your brightness all the way up, being completely silent, or tilting your phone in a specific way to line up certain shapes. However, some of the puzzles require ridiculous solutions. One puzzle had me go into my system settings and change my phone’s display language to something other than English. Another puzzle needed access to my phone’s camera in order to scan a QR code that changed every week, which was specific to the app. There’s actually a website that generates QR codes for this puzzle you can scan that instantly completes it, which is what I did. Most of the puzzles were enjoyable and fun to figure out, but when I have to cross a busy highway Frogger style while blindfolded in real life to complete a puzzle, it gets tedious and feels more like a chore, and ultimately not worth solving (that last one is a joke). There are in-app purchases to access more levels and hints, but I haven’t had any urge to buy anything. I’d recommend this app to people who enjoy puzzles with a good challenge, and completionists, as the end goal of the game is to fill in every square, but not to people with little patience, as this app tends to test from puzzle to puzzle.
One of the apps I’ve decided to review is called Figure. It’s a creativity app that gives you tools to easily create music and beats. As soon as you open the app, it gives a quick tutorial on how to use the app and navigate it. There are three main sections that produce sound, drum, bass, and lead. Each section has multiple modules in them where you can change each sound and how often they happen, represented by a name and number respectively. You can also move your finger around to slightly change how each part sounds. Sometimes it will increase or decrease the pitch of a sound, or sometimes it will muffle or clarify a sound. When you’ve decided on your sounds, you can change how quiet or loud each one is in the Mix tab. You can even change the tempo, key, and tonality of the song you’ve created in the Global tab. Once you’re completely done, you can give your song a name and title, and save it so you can listen to it again in the app. Overall, I had a lot of fun playing around with the different sounds and hearing with what I could come up with. It’s honestly pretty hard to put down when you get into a groove. The app is completely free and, surprisingly, doesn’t have any ads at all. I’d recommend this app to anyone of any age as it lets one’s musical ability run free with all it has to offer.
For a while now, I’ve been reviewing some videos and presentations about accessibility that my supervisor has sent me. They consist of going over accessibility of viewing various files that cater to people with disabilities in the design field. Certain things are self-explanatory and are already well known by designers, like using the correct contrast for readability and using light text on a dark background, for example. However, there is an actual color contrast ratio that you have to follow when designing. You can also check for and fix accessibility issues in Adobe Acrobat. Acrobat allows you to add many things, such as headings, chapters, bookmarks, color contrast, lists, tables, and more. Something extremely useful that Acrobat has is an accessibility checker and various accessibility tools, which scans the document and highlights things that should be fixed.
Some of the resources I’ve been looking at:
During our trip to the Met, I had time to walk around the Arms and Armor exhibit and look at some of its pieces. A piece that stood out to me was a sword with an ivory grip. It was called “Hunting Sword with Scabbard” from around 1740. To me, this was purely a piece of art, and the fact that it was used as an actual sword to fight with baffled me. I mentioned this to my friend who was looking at it with me, and he brought up the fact that it being here in the first place reflects how much of a piece of art it is. The people who owned this when it was made took extremely good care of it, and knew how much it was worth. Whether it was used or not doesn’t really matter because it still made it to this museum in such good condition, and we’re here looking at it today.
Hunting Sword with Scabbard ca. 1740
Seeing the exhibit Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art exposed me to a whole new aspect of Afrofuturism I’ve never seen before. The exhibit is centered around Seneca Village, a community that used to be near the Met before Central Park was made. It tries to connect the past, present, and future of African history and art, while encompassing the authenticity of Seneca Village and its beauty. Something that stood out to me about the exhibit were the items shown, and the way they looked and were designed. Although some items were from the 17th-18th century, it was difficult telling them apart from more recent pieces. In my opinion, many of the pieces had equal importance of form and function, which gave them a perfect balance of usability and looks.
Hair Comb ca. 1851
Iya Ati Omo 2016
Gordon Parks’s photography showcased and documented many things that were not talked about much at the time, such as promoting civil rights, race relations, poverty, and other social injustices. His photographs are so impactful, and in a way perfect, that they seem staged and unnatural. Something notable about his photos is that they were always in black and white. This gave them a more gritty, real look and feel to them, almost as if color would be too much and take away from its somberness. His photography was a new standard for photojournalism and taking photos of things and people for who they really are. Parks was never afraid to show the ugly truth behind a photo for the sole purpose of getting a worthy message across.
One of my favorite photographs by Gordon Parks:
On March 14th, I attended a virtual Zoom event held by AIGA called Scout KC: Portfolio Review and Creative Series. It was hosted by Erin Roebuck, who is the Senior Talent Acquisition Leader at Hallmark Cards. The event was about the recruiting process, resumes, portfolios, cover letters, and how to sell yourself and tell your story. Overall the experience was very self-reflective for me, as Erin brought up various prompts that made me think about things I wouldn’t normally reflect on. Some of these questions were things like, “What about my work excites me the most or brings me the most joy?” or “How can I add more value? What do I bring to the table that no one else does?” Legitimately thinking about and answering these questions gave me a better sense of who I was, and boosted my confidence. Erin also spoke about her past experiences and struggles, which made the event very relatable as well as light-hearted.