Hello, my name is YiQiang Wang and my major is communication design. In the first semester of my university, I chose my major, communication design, because I like drawing and creating things since I was a kid, and I also learned some related knowledge before going to college, so I chose this major. My dream is to become an excellent designer.
a）In my past projects and assignments, I sometimes refer to a lot of resources and works for inspiration, but I don’t copy them because I know it is unethical and even illegal to use other people’s works without permission. However, sometimes when I do painting practice, I will imitate some painter’s painting, but my behavior is not an infringement, because in AIGA’s GUIDE TO COPYRIGHT, the part of Fair use is written that one of the criteria for determining whether a work is fair or infringing is whether it is used for profit, and the painting I imitate was not for profit, but only as a personal training of painting.
The way I give credit to the artist is by indicating the original author and uploading the artist’s original work, so that people who see my paintings know that my paintings are only imitated. I think that using this method will not only improve my own painting and let more people know about the original artist, but also allow viewers to give me feedback by comparing the original with my copied work.
b) I think the Shepard Fairey case is a good reminder for designers and everyone who needs to use different resources, because some people will use other people’s work without any statement (for example, save as an image in Google Images and use it) but they won’t get any punishment in most cases, but this does not mean that this is correct, If your works that infringe copyright is influential enough or found by the original author, then you are likely to be severely punished, like the Shepard Fairey Case, so designers must not take chances to casually use other people’s works.
A) As a communication design student, I often refer to and use a lot of resources when doing projects and creating my own work, which is unavoidable, but as an original writer I also deeply understand the importance of copyright, so I think designers should follow the AIGA ethical guidelines so that they can use resources without infringing on the author’s copyright.
Here is an example of how I follow the AIGA guidelines for ethics. I often need a variety of sound resources when I am working on a video project, so I have collected a lot of free sound resource sites, most of these sites are free, but I need to mention the source of the resource, so I usually add the source of the sound at the end of the film. I think this is important for design beginners or students because they don’t have the money to buy the resources that they need to pay for, but by mentioning the source of the resource they can also promote the resource site, so it’s the best of both worlds. At the time of my internship, my company also followed the AIGA code of ethics by purchasing memberships to various paid resource sites so that employees could use the various resources without violating the AIGA code of ethics.
B) I didn’t know much about the content of the confidentiality agreement because my internship didn’t involve in-depth or confidential information, so I didn’t sign a confidentiality agreement. However, after I read the sample confidentiality agreement, I have a better understanding of the content of the confidentiality agreement and I also know the things that the employees need to follow after signing the confidentiality agreement. I also have a better understanding of the importance of NDAs, and I think that if an employee’s work involves confidential information, the company must make the employee sign an NDA, because if the employee does not sign an NDA, the employee may reveal confidential information and cause damage to the company and the client. I also think that most interns do not sign confidentiality agreements, because interns are only non-regular employees and companies may not give very important and confidential work to interns. As for the intern’s journal, I think it can be shared in class as long as it is approved by the client and the supervisor, as it is not a business practice and will not cause major damage to the client or the company.
During my one-month internship, I discovered my weaknesses of poor communication skills, in addition to spelling mistakes, forgetting some of the work processes and poor working conditions, which made me not do my job well and brought losses to the company. But surprisingly, my supervisor’s evaluation was not as low as I thought. When I was filling out my Internship Evaluation, my supervisor spoke with me and she commented that my design skills were good except for my poor communication skills with clients. I was surprised by my supervisor’s evaluation and it made me realize that I need to work on this weakness more so that I can become a better professional designer.
In this month’s internship, I learned a lot of things and gained a good mentor and friend, so I bought some small gifts for my colleagues to thank them and hope that our friendship will continue.
During the one-month internship, my self-assessment of myself is that I have excellent design skills, but poor communication skills with clients.
I have been teaching myself the use of Photoshop since before I went to college, and it has been 9 years since then. Besides Photoshop I also learned the use of many adobe software during my college years, so I am very confident in the use of design software. In addition to the use of software, I also took a lot of art history courses, so my understanding of design theory is also very good. However, in the real workplace, I found a big problem with me, that is, my communication skills are poor, which causes me not to understand the client’s meaning well when I communicate with them, and I cannot make my design work exactly what the client wants.
I think the reason for my poor communication skills is first because of my introverted personality, which makes me not good at communicating with people, and the second reason is the lack of communication practice. During my college years, I encountered a pandemic, which caused me to spend a large part of my college time studying at home, which made me lack the opportunity to communicate with my professors and classmates. So in order to solve this aspect of my weakness, I will try to communicate more with different people and take courses on communication in the future.
During my one-month internship, I was assigned to work in the design department. The work of the design department is mainly to complete designs according to the clients’ requirements, and my duties are similar, except that I am not yet able to completely lead a project. In addition to the design department, there is also a reception department in the company where I did my internship. The reception department mainly receives customers and answers the phone, and I also worked in the reception department because one of my colleagues took two days off, which led to a shortage of staff, so I also had to receive customers during these two days, which made me feel uncomfortable because I am not a good communicator, which led to me not fully understanding the meaning expressed by the customers. Fortunately, my supervisor helped me to get through these two busy days.
During my internship month, I learned that it is very important to complete your duties in the workplace, because everyone in the company is busy, and if you can’t complete your duties well, it means that another person needs to do your work for you, thus increasing the workload. This simply does not always happen in the real workplace because it represents a lack of your ability and leads to dismissal. So I still have to keep practicing to make up for my lack of communication skills.
My mentor, who is also my supervisor, is very nice and has a similar experience to me. She taught me a lot of things during my month-long internship. In terms of work, probably because of my inexperience, I had some work that the client didn’t like and I didn’t know what to revise, while When I struggled for that, my mentor always taught me what to change and why I needed to change it here, and her suggestions always worked, which I think is because of the experience she gained from working for a long time and knowing the target audience, which is the thing I need to learn.
In addition to my work, my mentor also takes care of me in other aspects, because my internship is offline, I go to work every day, and my mentor sits near me, so sometimes when I am not feeling well, she always notices and comes to care for me, which makes me feel very warm.
I think it’s very important to have a good supervisor, mentor and colleague at work because they can help you a lot in your work and besides the work aspect, your supervisor, mentor and colleague may also become good friends with you and gain a friendship.
After a few weeks of internship, I have adjusted my physical and mental state to do my job better, but so far I am still unable to take full ownership of a project and instead the supervisor releases the project for me to complete.
Among the projects I’ve worked on so far, the one I remember the most is designing a poster for a restaurant chain. When I was communicating with the client, the client was not very clear about the design style they wanted, which made it impossible for me to move forward, so I created some mood boards for the client to choose from and finally settled on a design style. In the real design industry, some clients may have a lot of requirements, they clearly know what they want and the effect, and there are some clients who don’t know what they want, but when you design according to their own ideas, they may raise objections. So I think designers should communicate more with clients and want to create some sketches for clients to choose from so that they can make a job that satisfies them.
I imagined a design firm with a lot of staff and face-to-face interaction with clients, and a project would take weeks or even months, but the firm I am interning at is a very small firm, so it is very different from the design firm I imagined, and the projects the firm mainly receives are short-range and will be over in about a week, which means I need to interact with more clients, which make me not comfortable with it yet, but I’ll try my best.
In the first week of my internship I was mainly familiar with the workflow, although I tried my best to write down the workflow in detail, but I still made some mistakes. This made me realize that I should take each job more seriously, because it is no longer just a task assigned by the professor, but a real business, and my mistakes may bring losses to the customer, so I decided to spend more time to check whether each job is correct.
I had already started looking for an internship before the Internship course started, so I was lucky enough to start on the first day of the course. This was my first time working in a formal design firm, so it made me feel nervous. But luckily my colleagues were very nice and took good care of me.
In terms of work my supervisor first asked me a few questions and then let me do some work with Photoshop, and I started to work officially. Although the size of the company is not large, but the work is very busy, I was assigned a lot of work, although they are relatively simple work, but this still makes my hands busy, but I will adjust myself as soon as possible to better complete the work.
In this process of looking for internship opportunities, it made me understand two things, the first thing is that you need to expand your social circle and meet people from different fields as much as possible, it will be very helpful for designers to find jobs, the second thing is to prepare for your job, before looking for a job, you need to train your design skills (design theory, design software use) in advance so that you can receive better and more jobs.