Lessons Learned

Dear future class:
You are about to begin your prototype publication. This is going to be a long yet rewarding journey so get ready to dive right in. You don’t have a lot of time to get this done. Even though 15 weeks sounds like a lot, you’ll quickly notice you’re running out of time. Believe it or not, some of us during our final prototype presentation said the final product would be better if we had more time. With that said, I have some pieces of advice and some lessons I learned that I hope will help bring out the best in your prototype.

Advice for you

  1. Go in for help  This is my biggest regret so don’t let this be you. Often times, you don’t get enough out of class critiques so, office hours will be a good time to get thorough feedback. Office hours have plenty of benefits. You may learn whether you’ve been using grids the right way, or you may learn why Indesign won’t do what you want it to do, and overall your publication will come out looking stronger.
  2. Come up with a strong concept
    After you’ve decided on a topic, it’s important that you create a thoughtful mission statement. Your publication should serve a purpose to the reader. This will guide the stories you choose to put in and the style of the publication.
  3. Don’t procrastinate
    Design take a lot of time so when you do something last minute. It’ll show. Leave yourself time to work on your prototype outside of class. There are opportunities to work in class but it’ll require a hefty amount of time to create something professional you can be proud of.

What I learned

  1. Design is tedious
    After speaking to an art director from Rolling Stone magazine for my grad presentation, I learned that design is work. You may need to go through multiple drafts, rounds of feedback, and different concepts to get to the point of what you’re trying to convey. Think about the story that is being told and how you can convey that through design.
  2. Design is thought
    As mentioned, design takes a lot of time because it requires proper thinking– a rationale behind your art direction. You can’t just choose to do something because it look pretty. Each photo, placement, typeface, columns, furniture, color, etc., serves a purpose. To get that creative juice flowing, look at examples, sketch things out, ask questions, and keep an open mind.
  3. Design is a method of communication
    What’s special about design is that its sole purpose is to communicate a message. You use layout/design to engage a reader which is a major component of the storytelling itself. Through design, you can make a reader feel some way or think a certain way. You’ll learn to utilize different design principles to create a cohesive layout that is in line with your prototype concept.