Lessons Learned

3 Pieces of Advice

The Critiques

One of my biggest pieces of advice is to pay attention to the critiques from Professor Strong and your peers because these will have the biggest impact on the overall outcome of your magazine. For the first few weeks of the semester, I felt very nervous to come to class with my work and present it to everyone in the room. However, I eventually learned that the critiques are essential to the success of my work and I should not take them personally!! There will be days that you will come to class with something that you are extremely proud of, only for the class to point out all of the things they don’t like about it. Do not get discouraged – everyone wants to see each other succeed:) 



One of the biggest critiques that everyone received throughout the semester was to choose better photographs. I know it may seem hard to find high-quality photographs that do not violate copyright, but I promise you that it is possible. Websites like Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels will become your best friends because they have some very nice photographs that are totally free to use. Professor Strong will also give you a lot more insight on photography and how to choose the best images possible. 


It’s a Typeface, Not a Font!

I had always heard these two terms used interchangeably; however, Professor Strong made it very clear that when in doubt, you should call it a typeface. She will provide more context on this about halfway through the semester, but make it a habit to start calling it a typeface now!


3 Important Things I Learned


The Grid

At the beginning of the semester while reading the previous class’ “Lessons Learned” assignment, I kept reading about the grid. I thought to myself, what is a grid, and why is it so important?! Now that I have completed the course and worked on the grid for 15 weeks straight I understand. I used to use the ruler to make lines for myself and essentially make a grid; however, knowing how to adjust the margins and the gutter on the master page has made the design of my publication so much easier. 



GRA 207 gave me a brief introduction to the complicated world of typography; however, VIS 527 was the deep dive. My favorite lecture was Professor Strong’s presentation on typography styles, weights, and the feelings that different typefaces evoke. I also became much more familiar with kerning and leading – specifically being able to point out when something looks wrong. We interact with advertisements, title sequences, product packaging, etc. every single day of our lives. This class has caused me to pay more attention to these art forms and look at them through a critical lens. It sounds nerdy to put it in writing, but it is actually a really fun activity!!


Paragraph Styles

Creating paragraph styles was a hack that I didn’t know I needed. You probably won’t get to this point in your publication until about halfway through, but this will help create cohesion because you can specify the typeface, size, indent width, etc. and then apply it to all of your body copy. You can also create color libraries in which you create a color palette that you can easily use and apply to your entire magazine.