A few months ago, I became an Art Director for the first time. The task? to oversee, along with Yannis Davy, the visual layout and typesetting of two annual journals published by the University of Toronto (Mindwaves and Compass). Mindwaves and Compass are compilations of creative non-fiction and research pieces (respectively), written by students in the Professional Writing and Communications Program at U of T.
I majored in this same Professional Writing program (along with another major in Digital Communications), and will be graduating this June, so working on this project felt even more special.
This year, the editors-in-chief and the faculty supervisor wanted strong photographic elements used throughout the books, especially on the covers. So having Yannis on the team was great, since he knew a lot about photography.
What I enjoyed the most about this project was the team effort. Despite the tight deadlines and the fact that we, as students, all had school projects and tests to deal with as well, we still put in extra hours to make these books happen. And EVERYONE put in effort. From the writers to the team of editors, to the editors-in-chief, to the faculty advisor. Everyone. It was inspiring.
What did I learn? Asides from the power of team work, I learned about persevering, setting goals and achieving those goals. It was my last semester at U of T, I was taking six courses, five of which were task-heavy writing courses. Had I only wanted to “just pass” these classes then taking on this design project would not be a problem. But I needed to do well in these classes in order to have a chance at grad school next year! It was quite difficult, at times, to balance school and this project. But I did. And I’m glad I did. Because now, look what happened. I am credited as designer, on something that people actually pay money for!
I also learned new typesetting skills, and honed the typesetting skills I already had. Going in to the project, I had only done typesetting for a little brochure assignment in one of my design classes, which did not require as much cohesion and attention to detail as this project did.
Going further, I know that everything I have learned from this project will make all the difference in my design career. This makes me excited.
If, at this point, you assume that this post is about me “showing off,” then you have missed the point of this blog post. The point of the blog post is to celebrate a little victory (as we all should, right?), inspire you to push on when times get rough, and to, well, finally put my blog’s design category to use! Ha! You can assume, though, that there will be more posts in this category. In the mean time, stay passionate and keep your head up!