Jessica Griscti

Jessica Griscti

@fontofyou Joined over 7 years ago via an invitation from David B.

  • 5 stories
  • 6 comments
  • 12 upvotes
  • Posted to Ask DN: Have you had success with Interns?, Nov 12, 2015

    Another intern's perspective here! My most successful internship was with a small design firm where they let me work as a junior member of an actual design team on actual projects. Yes, I completed a lot of the tasks that the seniors didn't want/have time to handle. Things like implementing something that my senior designed across a hundred iterations. He designed the initial one, picked typefaces and the color scheme, and I made the rest of them. Tasks like these, while occasionally frustrating, really cement skills that I hadn't yet perfected, typesetting--especially how to rag left aligned text blocks. I also taught myself how to set up small macros in Photoshop so that I could automate the most repetitive tasks--resizing images for the website, for example. And I never would have taken the time to learn that skill unless I'd been given hundreds of photos that needed to be resized, properly named, and archived. Similarly, my seniors are the people who taught me al of the intricacies of paragraph and character styling in InDesign. These kinds of efficiencies are really important to learn, and don't often come up in design school. And what made each of these repetitive and dull tasks worth it was being able to see the finished product in the end, and being allowed to showcase the work in my personal portfolio, listing myself as a junior designer with a credit to my team and studio, of course.

    At this small studio, I was part of the team, so I scheduled progress meetings with my senior as they were needed. When I was there over the summer, they were usually once every other day, sometimes daily as I completed tasks and needed to move onto new ones. When you have an intern there only a couple of days a week, I liked having two progress "meetings" once in the morning that informed me of my daily task, and then one in the afternoon to check progress as needed. These meetings were shorter than summer ones. I also really liked having a back-burner project I could come back to whenever I ran out of things to do. It helped me feel productive, and that way I didn't have to constantly bug my senior for more work to do.

    In a small studio, orientation can be less formal. Interns definitely need to understand project workflow, naming conventions for files, office hierarchy--who I answer to, and who I go to for various problems I might have (not always design related, sometimes I need to know if I'm filling out my timesheet correctly and its always nice to designate someone who I can go to for work if my assigned senior designer is busy/out sick, etc). It's also really nice to let us know what time people typically take lunch, if there's an office dress code--the little things.

    My most structured internship was a summer at Viacom. They have a formal orientation process that goes over everything from which building I'll be working in, cafeteria locations, expected responsibilities, sexual harassment policies, timesheets and payment, etc. This orientation is lead by the company-wide internship supervisors who were our go-to people when it came to internship-related questions like handing our timesheets to the right people and getting all of our paperwork signed. Basically, they operated as Intern HR. They also ran optional networking and social events to reach interns in other departments. like Ethan said, optional is key! Obviously, a lot of this is only really possible/necessary at a company as huge as Viacom.

    On the department level, it operated like a small studio, except more formalized. At Viacom, there are several interns per department and each intern is assigned a direct supervisor. We met with our direct supervisor daily to receive tasks, and as needed to update them on our progress. I assisted on any projects that needed my help and in addition to that, all of the interns were required to work together on a project that we'd see to fruition by the end of the summer. We brainstormed with our supervisors, selected a project, assigned each other tasks, and met formally twice a week with our department supervisors to update them on the progress of the project. This was a nice touch, because even if we wouldn't be able to see the result of the department projects we were working on, we'd have a completed project by the end of the summer that we could showcase in our portfolios. It was also the only internship where I've really made good friends with the other interns, because we ended up working so closely with one another, often getting lunch together so we could talk about the work and eventually more personal topics.

    Mentorship has been most valuable to me when I feel like I'm a member of the team. I appreciate when I'm included in the brainstorming processes--even if my ideas don't get picked, I'm learning a lot just listening to everyone pitch. I liked listening in on conference calls with clients. It's taught me a lot about how to speak with clients and problem solve, skills I've taken to my freelance work. When I make a mistake, personally, I'd rather you just told me straight so I can fix it. As an intern/junior, I'm not emotionally attached to the work I'm making and I just want to do it correctly. And if you're sitting next to me while I'm working totally feel free to share all of your keyboard shortcuts and cool tricks. I worked an internship once that would have been totally useless if my mentor didn't show me how to use the recolor artwork tool in Illustrator. On the other hand, when you like one of my ideas or designs, it goes a really long way if you point that out to our supervisor, or just tell me that you like it.

    Long story short, I wouldn't worry too much about a formalized internship. Just integrate your interns into the team as much as possible. Just the simple fact that you're looking for advice on how to fix the program shows you care more than a lot of internship supervisors. And if you have any other questions, feel free.

    1 point
  • Posted to Ask DN: How do you guys source fonts for your projects?, Oct 15, 2015

    Grilli Type and Dalton Maag both offer free trials, so hopefully foundries are moving towards a point where this becomes more common place!

    In Grilli's case, I know that the trial versions are often missing the full extended character set, but it's usually enough of a start so that you can get an idea of what the typeface looks like in use.

    They're both quality foundries too, so you at least know that the fonts you're using will be both well drawn and well-spaced.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Migrating from Mac to PC?, Oct 15, 2015

    I was a PC diehard up until 8 months ago. The reason I switched to Mac was the hardware is infinitely better. That said, the price markup on a Mac is awful, I agree.

    If you can run all of your software off a PC, there's really not much of a reason to Hackintosh, which is easier than it used to be, sure, but can be a nightmare if you don't have the correct hardware set up. There's a list floating around somewhere of PC laptops that are good to Hackintosh, but no matter what you do, you'll end up having to accept that certain things don't work. Last time I made one, it couldn't full screen video-playing applications, for example.

    The only reason I'd never switch back to PC is the trackpad on my MBP. However, price being as objectionable as it is in Brazil, the only PC laptop I've ever used that holds a candle to Macbook quality is the Asus Zenbook line. High resolution displays, smooth trackpads, and they're thin, light and often have a lot better specs than my Macbook for a fraction of the price.

    1 point
  • Posted to Ask DN: Tips for being a better mentor, especially for Interns , in reply to Alice Yan , Oct 12, 2015

    Sorry I've been so late to reply to this! Thank you for the link. It is a great and definitely helpful article.

    0 points
  • Posted to ASK DN: Why are apple products (especially laptops and desktop) so prevalent in the design industry? Designers, why do you prefer a Mac?, in reply to Alson Kaw , Mar 10, 2015

    FontLab at the moment, but all of the graduate programs I'm looking into use Robofont, which has only been developed (and probably will only ever be developed) for Mac.

    There's Glyphs too, but Robofont seems to be the most popular option.

    0 points
  • Posted to ASK DN: Why are apple products (especially laptops and desktop) so prevalent in the design industry? Designers, why do you prefer a Mac?, Mar 09, 2015

    As a lifelong user of PC until three weeks ago--always bought PC because you could get the same power for half the price--I'm now fully bought into the Apple ecosystem for one reason: hardware.

    My Macbook Pro has a higher resolution screen, a far better trackpad, and astoundingly long battery life compared to every PC I've used before it. Was it worth the premium price? It kills me to say this, but absolutely.

    As far as software/UI goes, I never had a problem with PC. People say they're more difficult and viruses are prevalent, which is simply untrue. Treat your machine with respect and care and it'll be fine.

    I love, however, that my Macbook comes to life immediately after I open it with 0 wake-up delay. And the easy screenshotting is an wonderful tool for a designer. Finally, I want to pursue type design, which is pretty much the only field of software left that is only written for Mac.

    And it's really, really nice that I no longer have conversations about why I'm designing with a PC.

    So, there's my reasoning, and after spending 6 or so years insisting I'd never buy a Mac, I'm not looking back.

    5 points
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