Book Design: One Good Intern Deserves Another

22 Jun

In 2003, my daughter and I moved from Austin to Waco in order to be closer to my family. I enrolled in Texas State Technical College’s Advertising Design and Print program in 2004. I had taken traditional drawing and design courses at MCC and a graphic design course at Baylor University. When I saw the job placement rate at TSTC I knew their ADP program was the perfect fit for me as a single mom.

Once I had a few Photoshop, Illustrator, and Quark courses under my belt, I became a graphics intern in the publishing office on campus. In the office I worked on book covers, fliers, and illustrations but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed page layout. Looking back now, I love typography so it makes sense that I would like working with the words on a page. With my knowledge of Quark, I was able to pick up InDesign (Adobe’s much friendlier page layout program) with very little trouble. Once I finished my internship, I stayed on as a student worker in the publishing office until I graduated in December of 2006. After graduation I applied for the full-time position of graphics specialist in the publishing office and I was hired in January.

Now I supervise the graphics interns each semester and direct them toward projects that are not only beneficial to the publishing office, but also to the student’s portfolio. The publishing interns have the option of working one or two semesters for course credit. More than half of the first semester interns stay on for a second semester. I spend the first semester getting to know the interns’ strengths as well as areas that could use more work.

First they work through six lessons that display their abilities in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign and finally how they all work together in the design of an in-house advertisement. This gives me a basis to judge who would be best for which project. Then, as projects are assigned throughout the semester, the intern’s imagination, and creativity, flexibility, and communication skills both on paper and in person are put to the test. This gives the intern a taste of what it is like to work in an office setting and have to meet deadlines.

By the second semester it is easy to see that each intern brings something special to TSTC Publishing. One student can draw amazingly realistic technical illustrations while another shows his talent when creating posters or brochures in InDesign. Yet another intern is completing an incredibly detailed bird’s eye view map of the college campus from nothing more than an idea and an example the publisher found online. Together, the interns round out the creative talent of the office and allow us as textbook publishers to offer a high quality product from cover to cover.


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