Week #1: WISE Goals

My main goal for the upcoming WISE semester is to experience the environment of a real design studio. Throughout the semester I also aim to get better at design and improve my social skills in a professional setting.

A little background about myself- I have had a passion for art my whole life and have decided to pursue an art and design education in college this fall. I hope to attended an art and design school and study graphic design or industrial design. After design school, I hope to be a partner in a design firm similar to Veneer Studio (the firm I am interning at this semester every Monday and Thursday after school).

Veneer Studio is an interactive design firm. This means that they help companies create their brand identity and website. The designers at Veneer design logos, websites, business cards, newsletters, business names, product names, slogans, videos, product packaging, promotional items and just about anything else you can think of that will help a company show off to its customers what it does, who it is, and the values it stands for. The idea that complex concepts about a company’s reputation and identity can be translated through graphics and word choice is very interesting to me. For example, a bank might want to appear reliable and safe so the design elements on the bank’s website should communicate a reliable and safe message.

Because I would like to work in a design firm some day, I want to use this internship opportunity to learn about the different roles in each design project from interacting and planning with clients to the technical skills of creating the graphics. I want to observe the jobs that each of the members of the firm does and how each of them contributes to each project. I understand that each member of the firm has a slightly different role, but I do not completely understand what tasks each role includes. By spending time in the office and helping out with small tasks for each of the firm members, I hope to gain a better understanding of the structure of a design studio and how all the pieces come together to create a final project. I also hope to be able to sit in on a meeting with a client to observe the process of how the designers understand what the clients want.

I want to further develop my own sense of design aesthetic by learning from the designers at the studio. I feel that I have a lot to learn from watching other designer’s creative processes and listening to their critiques on my work. I am very passionate about design and am excited to learn as much as I can about it from the people working at Veneer. Paige, the member of the firm who I originally contacted to inquire about an internship at Veneer, asked me to come up with a project that I could work on when I finished all of the work given to me or if there were no tasks given to me on that day. My WISE mentor at Miramonte, Trish Stuber (who, by the way, is very friendly and nice to work with), runs a charity called Wishers and Dreamers that makes miniature hospital gowns to put on stuffed animals to give to kids in the hospital. Trish said that I can work on redesigning the Wishers and Dreamers website as my extra project! I am very excited to have this opportunity to practice design and learn with hands on experience this semester.

I have been to my 3rd space twice now, once to meet the members of the firm and once as my first official day as an intern. Both times I felt very nervous and uncomfortable around the adults who work at the firm, even though they are all very nice and friendly. I normally feel uncomfortable around most adults and authority figures, but these feelings are amplified with the members of the design firm because I am afraid of sounding unintelligent and not being taken seriously because of my age and imaturity. A personal goal I am setting for myself this semester is to conquer this insecurity and gain more confidence in my interactions with the members of the firm. I am less excited about achieving this goal than I am about understanding the inner workings of the firm and improving my design skills because I am an introvert and thinking about any social interactions brings me a certain level of anxiety. However, the friendly and relaxed atmosphere at Veneer is important to the studio’s productivity and collaboration and I want to act friendly and be able to relax and focus on my work.

My first official day in the office was today, Thursday January 29th. Paige asked me to create a list of companies that provide competing services for one of their newest clients. (I am not supposed to mention what the company does or its name until the company has officially been created). For each competing company I included the company’s logo, headline, description on google and a short description about the services it provides. Before today, I had no idea that part of creating a brand identity included understanding the niches that other companies who provide similar services occupy and the brand identities of those companies. It was interesting to see the different identities and themes that the competing companies, who all provided similar services, put forward depending on which demographic they were targeting and other factors.

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