Thoughts From The Nerdy Design Intern

Thoughts From The Nerdy Design Intern

Posted on December 13, 2016 nerdymind

I am NerdyMind's spring 2013 design intern! I worked with the NERDS from the beginning of March through May and it's been an excellent experience. I wanted to take this internship because it is different from any of my other internships. It's a chance to work in a real world environment with a growing company. So far, I've learned how to research and communicate with printing companies and relay that information to the clients. I've been able to act as a liaison between the printer and the client, which has been very valuable.

I was able to take a tour of Mountain Media with McKenzie. This was a great opportunity to create a contact in the printing community and to learn about the different kinds of printing. We also learned about different papers and perforations and die cuts. It reminded me that print is still a major part of graphic design and it's important to be well versed on printing techniques so as to be able to communicate with the printer and create a perfect product.

I've also been able to work with a company whose brand NerdyMind is basically building from the ground up; THRIVE! Partners. When I first began working here, I was given the logo and brand colors that NerdyMind created. I was then given a to-do list of "swag" items that THRIVE! wanted us to design. So far, I have designed coasters, mouse pads, letterhead, folders, stickers, nameplates, and nametags that all adhere to the branding that NerdyMind set in place for THRIVE!. I think the most interesting thing that I learned was that not only do you have to design according to what the client wants, but according to what the printers can accomplish. THRIVE! wanted hexagon shaped coasters but there were hardly any printers that had this particular die cut. I designed all the hexagon coasters before I researched the printers and therefore had to go back and redesign according to printer specifications. Also, the more colors used in a design, the more expensive the printing job is. All of these things have to be taken into account when designing.

I have also been working with Dan on a WordPress website design & build for the Fort Collins Masonic Center (where the NERDS are located). It's interesting to learn the ins and outs and differences between using a WordPress template and hand coding. So far, I've mostly been working on editing content of the site, which has also been a learning experience. Not only do you have to be good at being an artist to be a designer, you also have to be a good communicator and writer as well. There's no point in having a beautiful website if the copy is not up to par.

Working with the NERDS has been an amazing learning experience. I've learned so much from the 2 and half months that I've been working here. I think the most valuable thing they've done for me so far is to not hold my hand through the different projects. They give me a project to work on and let me figure out how to get it done. Of course, if I ask questions they have no problem with helping me troubleshoot, or sitting down with me to teach me different tips and tricks. However, for the most part, they have left me to my own devices. This has been good for me because this is how it will be when I get my own job. I will be expected to know what I'm doing or to figure it out for myself. Overall, being an intern at NerdyMind has taught me to be a well-rounded designer and I am grateful to the NERDS for giving me such an amazing experience.