Three pieces of advice:
- Work a little bit each time you get feedback. I would suggest that every time you gain feedback from the professor and from classmates, write it all down and that same week, try and find some time to apply that feedback. Don’t wait until the last minute when each assignment is due to make your changes and see if they work because you will lose more time in the end trying to make everything fit together and look good. Also, as the semester starts to come to a close, you will have most of your changes applied and you won’t have to spend 24 hours in the lab at the last minute.
- Always ask for opinions. It’s not enough that you think something works, take a step back and look at it from another set of eyes or ask the person next to you what they think of what you’re currently doing. You might think something looks good in a certain spot but it could work even better in another place and someone else can give you that insight. You don’t need to take their advice, but it’s good to consider it and see if it works better or if your way was better.
- Always work with the professor. She’s the expert here and her advice is always good-natured. Constantly ask her opinion on your work and don’t wait until the week before your magazine or newspaper is due to ask her how some features in InDesign work or if something looks good in your prototype. There won’t be enough time to do it last minute and she’s there to teach and help you. Take advantage of that.
Three things I learned:
- To take a step further. It didn’t matter that I would just complete the requirements of the assignments if my work was mediocre. Don’t just do what you’re asked, but do more. Push yourself to work hard because the effort is shown and you will be rewarded. Don’t hold yourself back because something won’t come out right or you don’t know how to do some things. Ask for help, look up tutorials, and try your best to get the best results possible.
- It’s okay to find inspiration in other publications. How else would I know what works if I don’t see it in other magazines? Imitation is a form of flattery and there’s a reason some publications are more successful than others and they win awards for their designs.
- You can do it. It can be overwhelming and you might think that what you’re doing is bad, but it’s not. No one ever keeps their first ideas. That’s why drafts exists, so things can change for the better. The end results will be great and you’ll feel bad for ever thinking you couldn’t do it.