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Lessons learned

1.GET READY TO WORK!
In order to succeed in graphic design and get the most out of this class you need to put in the effort. I probably spent over 5 hours each week in this class working with the software in order to get really comfortable with it. Unlike other classes you can’t just put in a couple hours and hope to make something incredible, it requires playing around with everything changing the layouts a couple of hundreds of times or spending forty-five minutes searching for the perfect font for four words. It is a lot of work, but I found doing the work for this class 100x more enjoyable than my other courses.
2. LET GO  
Sometimes as designers we fall in love with certain components that we created and no matter how much we think they fit, they don’t always do. Listen to Professor Strong when she tells you an element doesn’t make sense because she will not be the only one who doesn’t understand it. In the end whether it be a picture you fell in love with or a something you spent hours in Illustrator using the pen tool to make, sometimes you just need to let go of it because you will end up creating something better through the process.
3. GET THE SOFTWARE ON YOUR LAPTOP

Having all of the Adobe software installed on you laptop will save you so much time. Halfway through the semester I decided that I was sick of the cold walks to Newhouse, sitting in a lab on a computer that was so huge I couldn’t look at the whole screen all at once. Not only was it convenient to pull out my laptop and work while in between classes, but actually ended up saving me time where I could get to bed a little earlier.  Instead of late nights in the lab I got to spend it in my bed cuddled up with a nice, warm cup of coffee and in my pajamas.
4. DO TOPICS YOU LOVE

On all of these projects you can chose whatever topic you want to. I had so much creating my own type of magazine and searching through endless photos of things I was excited about. It got to be a problem that I only wanted to do work for GRA 217 over all of my others. For the website and poster choosing events and organizations made the process so much more enjoyable because I was able to put so much effort into something I was passionate about. It also never hurt to show off what you created because it could end up being something you were really proud of. Plus it makes the painful amount of hours seem so much better.
5. TAKE THE FEEDBACK & MAKE APPOINTMENTS FOR OFFICE HOURS 

When I started this class I didn’t think that getting good grades would be SO hard. In the first few critiques I felt like everyone was so against me, but I realized everyone is only being critical to help me out. It really helped getting input from Prof. Strong in her office because sometimes I would get nervous asking certain questions in front of the class and signing up early is key as well! Getting feedback really helps with the creative and design process and if you’re ever unsure about something or feel that you should go a certain direction, you can’t go wrong with spending 20 minutes one-on-one with Professor Strong getting the clarity you need.

Brianna Thompson

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