Advice to the next class of designers

When I first enrolled in publication design, I didn’t think it would be easy but I also didn’t think it would be this hard. I have a newfound respect for editors and designers. There have been many long nights agonizing over typography and color palettes. Now that I am on the other side, here is some advice I’d like to give to next year’s class of designers.

  1. Your first idea will not be your best idea. Work through it anyway. There will come a time where you feel like you have hit a wall creativity. Don’t give up, there will be breakthroughs and triumphs along the way, too.
  2. Sometimes simpler better. There’s no need to perform elaborate design acrobatics. Simpler is often better. Use your whitespace wisely. Develop a hierarchy and give your viewers a point of entry for every page.
  3. Be ready to explain your design choices. Graphic design is more than just arranging elements on a page. You need to be able to explain your choices. Once you start to think strategically you will have an easier time with your project (Also, Professor Strong requires an accompanying rationale for each phase of the project).
  4. Step outside of your comfort zone. We all have preferences when it comes to design, but don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Play with fonts and colors you might not otherwise consider. Know all your options.
  5. PRINT, PRINT, PRINT! Once you get 2 or 3 spreads done, make sure to print your work. Your designs are likely going to look way different in print then they do on screen. Text that looks good on the computer may be way too big in print. Colors also look different on paper than they do with the backlighting of a screen. Also, printing allows you to take a closer look at your progress. Cross things out, circle things you’d like to change, write notes. This will help you in the long run, trust me.

If you follow these five tips, you will be able to make the most of your time in Professor Strong’s class. Also, don’t be afraid to stop in her office to talk with her about your ideas. She is always more than willing to help and makes herself very available for students. Thanks your the great semester, Professor Strong! I have gained valuable skills that will serve me well in my public relations career.