At the start of the semester, the task of creating a unique magazine from scratch seemed daunting. Even articulating what I wanted the publication to be about proved difficult. At the start of this class, I only had a base understanding of magazine terms, so I knew I would be in for a challenge. But it was a challenge I loved working on. Here are some of my takeaways from this semester:
- Don’t leave all your work until the last second! Hands down this was the longest creative project I have ever worked on. With a semester long project like this, it is imperative that you do not leave everything for the night before – if you do, it shows in your design. The key to success in this class, or for me at least, was dedicating a little bit of time almost every night to working on the magazine. Even if that meant playing around with typefaces, or designing a brand new spread. Because of this, I created something that I’m so proud of, because I put my blood, sweat, and tears into it (not really but you get the point).
- Embrace the group critic. In years past, I was terrified to present my creative work to the class. I always doubted my abilities, and took it personally when anyone offered any sort of criticism. In the beginning of the semester, I had these same feelings, because I thought I was surrounded by elite designers. But, as the class went on and I got to know people, I discovered that we were all in the same boat, as we just wanted to make the best work that we could. I came to welcome the group critics, because my peers often offered feedback that I would have never thought of. And, I learned how to give constructive feedback as well. It was so great to see how everyone’s publication progressed throughout the course of the semester.
- Go to Prof Strong’s office hours. I know you hear this at the start of every semester, but these meetings will be so beneficial. It’s good to do check-ins with her, to not only show off your amazing work, but to make sure you have all the smaller details sorted out. The minutes go by quickly, so schedule often!
- When creating your magazine, pick a topic you’re passionate about. Not that this class isn’t fun, but you’ll have so much more fun if you design your magazine about something you love. I did mine for the Riot Grrrl feminist in your life, and I genuinely was excited to open my computer and start working on it. Making a publication that you would actually read is a special feelings (especially when you execute it well!)
No matter what type of graphic design you do, I wholeheartedly believe you should take this class. I learned so much about design and how to apply them, that I’ve seen myself using my new skills in my other classes. My magazine is a part of me, and I’m so pleased with how it came out.