SND & Me: sleep deprived but it was worth it

This weekend at SND was one of the best experiences I have had yet through Newhouse.  At first I was upset that we had to spend the entire weekend at the competition, but after the first few hours I understood why this was important to my future and realized that this was an opportunity to meet some amazing contacts. Even if I was sleep deprived by Monday morning, it was all worth it.

For news design in general, I learned about how many different styles there are out there. There is no right or wrong design, just some designs that are better executed than others. There was definitely a strong difference between the newspapers that made information readily available and easy to follow. I also saw many examples of how newspapers are going for a more newsmagazine feel, using many more images and color as I noted in my What’s Next assignment.

I learned not only about design during the weekend, but also a lot about where I want to go with my career.  After spending a day in a room with some of the best news photography from around the world, I realized that I want to do that. I want to take a photo that will make people feel emotions. I want to be behind the camera, capturing sights that many will never get the chance to experience.  This realization made me understand where my passion is in life. I never got tired of looking through the photos either, which is more than I can say about all of the writing I have been doing in Newhouse.

I not only was allowed to look through the works of art that were on display all over Drumlins but also had the opportunity to speak with judges and other professionals about the works. One individual in specific, Tomaso Capuano, the creative director at the Wall Street Journal, really opened my eyes as a student of design and photography.  We talked about the struggles that almost all individuals go through right out of school and at their first job. He told me I will be “scared shitless” and really make some big mistakes at first. I will feel as if I can’t do it, feel like I will be a failure and not succeed in the job. But through all of this negativity, there was a happy ending to the story. After about a month or so I will figure out what I am supposed to be doing, how to accomplish my job and what it takes to succeed.  This was very nice to hear. Especially if as many people go through this as he said, I will try to remember this and overcome it when the time comes.  Although the whole idea still scares me.

From this conversation and others that I had, I understand that the industry is a very competitive field. You have to be talented to succeed and have pitches ready at a moments notice and ideas of your own to work on. I am up for the challenge and hope that the people I end up working for are as down to earth as the facilitators and judges seemed to be here.

I also had other great talks with the judges. The other interesting ones consisted of talking about some of the pieces I thought were great that didn’t get any votes. In these discussions, I learned to train my eye to see things that I hadn’t seen and to understand a bit more about design. It was really eye opening and informative.

I didn’t agree with all of the winning pages, and still didn’t understand why some of them won, even after having judges try to explain it to me. There were many others there, that I will post, that I liked, and as a consumer would like to see more papers simulate. I found out that most of the papers I liked were German publications. There was a nice use of white space, more leading between rows of type and an all around cleaner feeling. I think this is how I want to design my paper for the Cazenovia prototype.

It was nice how close knit the group seemed to get by the end of the competition.  I feel as if I got a taste of what it would be like to work in design. With creativity all around, talk of ideas, talk about what is good and bad, and how everything in the end made a lot more sense I really think I would love to work in the field one day.


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