Book Design: Graphics Intern Tutorial #1

20 Jul

In the publishing office each semester we get several new graphics interns from TSTC Waco’s Advertising Design and Print Technology program. These students come in to the office with a wide variety of classroom experience from basic drawing skills to putting together a professional portfolio. After we have our official “getting to know the publishing office” meeting we get their class schedules and give them a few practice exercises or “tutorials” to determine their current knowledge and skills. These were developed by the graphics specialist before me, Katherine Wilson. The object of having interns complete the tutorials is not to rank one student above another, but rather to get an understanding of his or her strengths. With this knowledge, I am able to assign the projects we need to get done to the best person for the job.

The first area we evaluate is basic file management. In order to have an operation that runs smoothly we must be able to find the files we need even if the intern is away from his or her work station. We also use this tutorial to stress the importance of including a date on work that has been updated.

The student begins by right clicking with the mouse and selecting New<Folder as shown in figure1_01.pdf and click on Folder. Then the file must be named with the project name first, section (if there is one) and then the date. (See figure1_02.pdf.) Dating all documents is something we stress in the office because if the file is not dated, it will be hard to figure out what version of the project is most current. This is especially true in cases where someone besides the intern retrieves the file.

Now that the file is named we move on to managing the folder. The student is asked to open the folder he just made and make a new folder inside this one for images. Once the student names the file “images,” this is where all images for this project will be stored. Of course, projects without images would not need this extra folder.

When it is time to update document files, the student must make sure to change the date to the current date. This will help with corrections and/or give the student the opportunity to go back to later files if your current up-to-date file is corrupted, or unmanageable. (See figure104.pdf.)

When naming image files, however, the file name does not need to include the date. The intern names them according to the image he/she is saving. This allows easy recall when looking through a list of images. If there are several images of a rose, the student may use numbers to indicate the different rose files by labeling them rose01_image.tif, rose02_image.tif, and rose03_image.tif. When updating image files it is good to put the date the revision was made. So the updated image rose01_image.tif becomes rose01_image(revised_07-20-07). At first glance, this exercise seems to be a very basic one but it has proved to be a tremendous help in keeping the work of as many as 12 interns at a time uniform and easy to access.



3 Responses to “Book Design: Graphics Intern Tutorial #1”

  1. Stephen Tiano July 21, 2007 at 10:52 pm #

    Oh, please, naming files is as basic a skill as we need for this kind of work. And there must be agreement as to the naming conventions. One of my first regular clients, a packager for who I did only layout, and I had some static—this was nearly fifteen years ago—when we didn’t get our file naming straight and we didn’t notice the file mod dates. Consequently some corrected files got overwritten and I had to prove I’d really done corrections I was supposed to have.

  2. garsiaga July 23, 2007 at 7:36 am #

    Yes, that is exactly the type of mix-up we want to avoid. One bad file name could cost us time and therefore money in the long-run.

  3. Mark Long July 24, 2007 at 6:33 am #

    Well, I learned this the hard way a few years back when we first started using graphics interns in the office. At the end of the first semester I went in to organize and archive all their work and all I found were big jumbled collections of files mixed together–usually with names like Untitled-1 through Untitled-97–on their desktops. After that, we began emphasizing on day one exactly how they needed to organize their files for access during the semester as well as once the semester is over. Plus, their last job each semester is to do final clean up and categorizing of all their files–most importantly, discarding files not being used–before they leave.

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