In my very first post, I defined my goals for this semester. One of my main objectives was to become proficient in Adobe, so I would not have to use templates and plug things into layouts created by other people. Before I started, people who know how to use Photoshop and InDesign were wizards to me; I couldn’t imagine being able to do that myself anytime soon. So granted, my expectations weren’t too high when I enrolled for this class. I figured I’d be able to learn a few tips and tricks but overall not feel very proficient in any of the Adobe programs after all.
When we started out with activities, like the font games or the design blitz, I wasn’t sure in how far that would help me get accustomed to design. I would have preferred to get a tutorial on how to use serif and sans serif fonts instead. That’s why I felt I struggled a little bit with some of my first designs. The tutorials, however, gave me a pretty solid skill set to work with for my early assignments. I liked the brainstorming phases and Pinterest boards I had to create before the business card assignment. I felt like it really helped me visualize what I want my design to look like. I will certainly do that before all of my future works.
Looking at my business card now, it seems like I was on the right track with my vision but I was lacking the skills to fine-tune my design. Although I was quite happy with the outcome, I felt not very confident in my InDesign skills at the time. But in the process, I learned that giving up or scratching a project as soon as it proves to be difficult is not an option for me. Even if it takes me hours of trial and error, it is going to be rewarding to stick to an ambitious design idea because I will feel more accomplished after.
I really felt like my learning took a big leap when I worked on my direct mailers. Although Photoshop was new to me and I struggled to find my way around the different tools and layers, I told myself to keep working and try to figure it out. After a week of working on my project, I slowly felt more confident and started to realize the perks of Photoshop over InDesign. Anything related to picture manipulation, changing colors and sizes, and cutting objects is easier here but a lot of the other things are more difficult. But again, I taught me patience and after I returned to Photoshop after a week, I felt a lot calmer and more confident.
I have heard of Canva before and how easy it is to use it but after trying it for the first time I was really impressed how efficient and simple it is. The pre-made layouts are beautiful and sophisticated and there is no way any of your work will look bad. But at the same time, I felt less accomplished and rewarded as if I was creating them in InDesign of Photoshop, BECAUSE it was so easy. But I will for sure use Canva for things that I have to design on the go – it’s just too convenient.
Finally, my newsletter project. At this point, I felt really confident in my InDesign skills and I very much enjoyed this assignment. I also learned that taking enough time for your designs is important because nothing good is going to come from rushing and stressing!
I can definitely see myself use design programs a lot later in my PR career, especially InDesign and Canva. Looking back at my assignments, I realized I have come quite far. I definitely learned more than I had ever expected.