Reflection of my Experience at CUFFH

My experience as an intern at CUFFH as a designer has been truly transformative. It marked my second opportunity to engage in a rebranding project, but this time, it was different. It was the first time my design work would be utilized in a real-world context. This experience taught me the immense impact design can have on organizations, shaping their identity and influencing their audience. It was gratifying to witness how design played a pivotal role in amplifying CUFFH’s mission and message.

Throughout the internship, I also discovered that I thrive in a collaborative setting. Working alongside talented individuals and being part of a team allowed me to tap into my creativity, receive valuable feedback, and engage in meaningful discussions. Collaborating with others provided a supportive environment that nurtured my growth as a designer. It was gratifying to see how our collective efforts, driven by a shared passion for the non-profit sector, positively impacted CUFFH’s initiatives and helped advance their cause.

This internship experience reinforced the notion that design is a powerful tool, especially when applied in non-profit organizations. Design has the ability to effectively communicate messages, evoke emotions, and create meaningful connections. Seeing how my design work directly contributed to CUFFH’s efforts in making a positive social impact was immensely fulfilling. It highlighted the significance and rewards of using design skills to support non-profits and work towards a greater good. This internship has enhanced my design abilities and deepened my appreciation for the role design plays in shaping organizations and creating positive change in the world.

Having the Right Teammate

Believe it or not, my collaboration with Angy, my esteemed colleague and design partner, during this internship has been nothing short of extraordinary. Angy’s remarkable talent in composition skills, design, and strategizing has impressed me. Her ability to create visually stunning designs and her proficiency in utilizing tools like Canva has been instrumental in pushing me to experiment and expand my design capabilities.

Under Angy’s guidance, I have learned to embrace Canva, a tool I once despised, and discovered its true potential. Her keen eye for composition and her unique approach to design has inspired me to experiment and strive for greatness in my work continuously. Angy’s dedication to learning and ability to quickly grasp new concepts have made her a remarkable mentor and role model, allowing me to tap into my potential and become a better designer.

Her expertise surpasses mine, yet she has graciously shared her knowledge and insights, pushing me to reach my full design potential. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with someone as talented and inspiring as Angy. This summer has been instrumental in shaping me into a better designer.

Collaboration and Teamwork

Collaborative design can be an incredibly valuable experience, as I discovered while working with Angy and the CUFFH communication team. Angy took point as the lead designer, and I had the opportunity to serve as her design partner. Throughout our collaboration, we actively asked questions to gain a deeper understanding of CUFFH Youth and their specific needs. This collaborative inquiry helped us gather valuable insights that directly informed our design decisions, ensuring that our solutions were tailored to meet the requirements of our target audience.

Having a design partner like Angy proved to be immensely helpful. We shared individual strategies and design processes, which allowed us to approach challenges from different angles and consider a wider range of possibilities. By combining our unique perspectives and expertise, we pushed the boundaries of our creativity and problem-solving abilities. This collaborative environment fostered a sense of shared ownership and mutual support, encouraging us to bring out the best in each other’s work and push each other to reach new heights of design excellence.

Additionally, the presence of a design partner provided a constant source of feedback and critique. We continuously reviewed and discussed each other’s work, providing constructive input and challenging each other’s ideas. This feedback loop helped us refine and improve our designs, ensuring they were visually appealing and effectively communicated the intended message. Having a design partner also meant having someone to bounce ideas off, validate design choices, and offer a fresh perspective when faced with design dilemmas. Overall, the collaborative experience with a design partner not only enhances the quality of the final design but also facilitates growth and learning as designers.

Design Lessons

My internship here at CUFFH has been a valuable experience in creating/rebranding a subgroup of the organization. With extensive research, finding out that the tone and message CUFFH tried to persuade in their youth program was the first step to the big picture. Figuring out that allowed for a better design process to start. Considering elements starting off brainstorming with words associated with CUFFH Youth like youth, home, development, empowerment, ambition, community etc. Taking insight to have direction in our typography choices, color palette, and assets/visuals. Anything can look pretty, but does it 1. Serve a purpose and, importantly 2. Solve a problem.

Staying consistent when developing a brand can be difficult becomes it requires thinking ahead and in the future. Asking yourself how this will be used, where it will be used, and how it can be accessible. The step-by-step process Angy and I took made for a compelling brand and style guide.

Research is a valuable lesson in creating good design involving several key principles. Firstly, it is essential to adopt a user-centered approach by conducting thorough research to understand the needs and behaviors of the target users. Secondly, clear and consistent communication is crucial through intuitive layouts, legible typography, and meaningful visual elements. Simplicity and focus help to avoid clutter and complexity, allowing users to engage more effectively. Establishing a visual hierarchy and adhering to consistency and standards further enhance usability. Accessibility and inclusivity ensure that the design is available to many users. The intensive design process involves continuous refinement based on user feedback. Lastly, design should evoke positive emotions and create delightful experiences through aesthetics and meaningful interactions. By considering these principles, designers can create designs that meet user needs and provide a positive user experience.

Workplace Culture

The workplace culture here at CUFFH is both casual and professional. Having worked in a non-profit before that tends to be the work culture environment. However, a non-profit is no different from any other job, with work to be done, having tasks, meetings, and deadlines to meet. The internship is remote, with the capability to go in person when needed. Still maintaining casual professional attire on camera during Zoom meetings. Working on campus right after class in the computer lab; with a typical work day being 11a-4:30p Monday to Thursday and 8a-1p on Fridays, focused on working with my design partner. We have weekly meetings every Wednesday morning; showing our supervisor our progress and receiving feedback. At the end of this internship, we will present a pitch deck of the brand guide for CUFFH youth. 

Role at the Company

As a co-graphic designer at CUFFH, my primary responsibility is to collaborate with Angy, the lead designer, and bring the design elements outlined in the CUFFH brand guide to life. Specifically, I focus on creating various materials for the CUFFH Youth program, including posters, social media graphics, and digital designs.

To ensure consistency and adherence to the brand guidelines, I work closely with Angy to understand the vision and objectives of each project. This collaboration allows me to effectively translate Angy’s design concepts into tangible visual assets that effectively communicate the desired messages to the target audience.

When designing posters, I carefully consider the layout, typography, and color schemes to create visually appealing and informative materials. I aim to capture the attention of the viewer and effectively convey the key information about CUFFH Youth events, programs, or initiatives.

By actively contributing to the visual aspects of CUFFH’s communication efforts, I aim to strengthen the organization’s brand presence, engage the community, and support the mission of providing safe housing for all.

About the Company

CUFFH (Churches United for Fair Housing) is an organization based in Brooklyn, New York, dedicated to promoting fair and affordable housing in the community. CUFFH strives to address the housing disparities and inequalities that exist, particularly among low-income and marginalized individuals and families.

With a mission to create more equitable neighborhoods, CUFFH engages in various initiatives and programs. They provide advocacy and support for tenants facing eviction or housing discrimination, empowering them with knowledge and resources to protect their rights. Additionally, CUFFH actively works to develop affordable housing units and preserve existing affordable housing stock, collaborating with community members, churches, and other stakeholders.

Through their grassroots organizing and community engagement, CUFFH seeks to foster a sense of unity and collective action. They believe that housing is a fundamental human right and aim to create safe, sustainable, and inclusive communities where all residents can thrive.

CUFFH’s efforts in Brooklyn, NY, reflect their commitment to social justice and their dedication to addressing the housing challenges faced by vulnerable populations. By advocating for fair housing policies and supporting individuals and families in need, CUFFH plays a crucial role in promoting a more just and equitable society.

https://www.cuffh.org/

Ethical Design Guidelines: Entry 2A/2B

Ethical Design Guidelines: Entry 2A/2B

2a. Reflecting on my past experiences, I recall a recent situation where I needed to purchase a photo for the Ramadan design competition. After searching through stock photos, I finally found the perfect image. However, it required a licensing fee, which I willingly paid for the intended use of my project. I chose the license that aligned with my needs and how publicly my design would be reached. If I had planned to showcase the design publicly say in a national magazine or billboard, I would have needed to acquire additional rights to ensure I respected the artist’s work and obtained the necessary permissions. This experience reminded me of the importance of giving credit to artists and obtaining proper usage rights, even in educational or non-commercial contexts. By adhering to licensing terms, I upheld ethical conduct as a designer and honored the artist’s rights.

2b. Opinions on the arguments and outcome of the Fairey Copyright case may vary among students. Supporters argue that Shepard Fairey’s transformation of Manny Garcia’s photograph into the “Hope” poster created a powerful political message, falling within fair use and promoting freedom of expression. Critics emphasize that Fairey’s unauthorized use violated Garcia’s copyright, highlighting the importance of obtaining permission and attribution. The outcome of the case is seen differently, with some commending Fairey for acknowledging his mistake and settling with Garcia, demonstrating accountability. Others view it as a missed opportunity to establish clearer guidelines for fair use. Student opinions are shaped by their understanding of intellectual property rights, the value of artistic expression, and the delicate balance between creativity and legal responsibilities. However, if it wasn’t for a Garcia having taken the photo, which allowed Shepherd to create such an iconic poster, I’d believe we wouldn’t have had the first Black President in the United States. 

Sources:
Shepard Fairey Is Fined and Sentenced to Probation in ‘Hope’ Poster Case – The New York Times (nytimes.com

Copyright Fair Use and How it Works for Online Images: Social Media Examiner

Fisher, William et al. “Reflections on the Hope Poster Case.” Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, vol. 25, 2012.

Ethical Design Guidelines: Entry 1A/1B

1a. My experience so far at my internship has been a great start, researching more on the organization, understanding what they do, and more. Anticipating tackling design challenges to better assist in the mission of CUFFH.  Given company photos to work with taken by a personal photographer for hire. CUFFH values, authenticity, and realism in their art direction to highlight the mission they are trying to oversee and better connect to audiences and the community. Being ideal, it’s an important strategy for our Brand project for CUFFH youth. Using both illustration and photography to create a compelling visual identity. Nevertheless, it is essential for the new design to be consistent with the established logo’s branding and not be diminished. 

The ethic seen here at CUFFH so far is sourcing. As a non-profit Ethical choices are undoubtedly important to maintain a valuable reputation in the community. As a designer, we value authenticity as well. Sourcing images without interrupting copyright infringement, and legally obtaining photos. Unsplash and Pexel are great sites to obtain free stock images if needed. As designers, we must be aware of these things, from photos to type and any other intellectual property. Permission and understanding the terms of agreement of others’ work is part of the credit acknowledgment. 

1b. I did not need to adhere to any guidelines of any NDA conformations in my internship. 

However, Designers have a responsibility to prioritize ethics, which includes handling confidential information and respecting non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). These legal requirements are in place to safeguard trade secrets and sensitive business information. Upholding confidentiality is not only a professional obligation but also a way to build trust with clients. Designers must ensure the protection of proprietary information shared throughout the design process, from initial discussions to project completion. By handling sensitive data securely and honoring NDAs, designers demonstrate their commitment to professionalism and create a safe environment for collaboration, enabling businesses to safeguard their valuable assets.

Maintaining confidentiality is an essential aspect of design ethics that contributes to a positive industry reputation. By valuing client confidentiality, designers establish themselves as trustworthy partners who prioritize the security of their clients’ information. This commitment to ethical guidelines fosters a safe and secure environment for businesses to collaborate and protect their assets. Respecting non-disclosure agreements and handling confidential information with care and discretion are key elements of a designer’s ethical responsibility.