Alexa Díaz: Lessons Learned

Having the opportunity to read through the suggestions of former students has been extremely insightful as far as I should expect heading into the spring semester in this course. The fantastic fact of the matter is that there is no secret: If I work hard, channel my most creative self and don’t punish my talents by waiting until the last minute, there is no reason I cannot do my best work. And like with all things in communications, the key is to think critically about each and every step of the process.

Student No. 1’s advice to keep headlines in mind highlights the main component of ensuring your overall publication is strong, engaging and worth reading. Knowing myself as a student, it’s really easy to get caught up on the smaller details and spend time perfecting something that shouldn’t need much time dedicated to it in the first place. But being conscious of that and ensuring the publication is a solid read, including its headlines, will push me — and the design — forward.

Building off of that, Student No. 3 reminded me that yes, I do need to sketch. Sketching is something I have never really pushed myself to do as someone who knows she cannot draw very well at all. But through sketching, I can think about the ways in which I can make the design more serviceable and engaging. It won’t be possible for me to sit down, skipping several brainstorming steps beforehand, and just expect a beautiful, reader-friendly magazine to be magically pieced together in front of me. I know I can’t let myself slip into that easy, even lazy, trap and skip this step.

To sum up my primary two takeaways from the reading: The better the story, the better the design, the better the publication as a whole. And please, Alexa, take the time to do a sketch or two.