Saumya Mittal. Graphic and Media Design
As I complete two months of my internship here at LOCAL (https://www.wedesignlocal.com/) in Mumbai, here are a few things I felt it might be relevant to share what I have learnt so far.
1) If the client calls you after work hours, you do not pick up.
2) If the client expects you to work on weekends, you do not agree.
Points 1&2 are especially relevant to India, as people don’t respect the lines between personal and professional life. I don’t think the same problem would arise in Europe or other western countries.
3) You can never be too organised.
I always thought I was organised until I started working. Arranging and Naming files in the correct order is something I’ve been struggling with. As a designer, I usually always forget to download files in an organised manner as I’m really into what I’m creating at the moment. As a result, if anyone except me wants to access the file later, they wouldn’t know what I’ve named it.
4) The bigger the client, the more painful the entire design process is.
I’ve had the opportunity to work for big international companies and small startups in the past two months. I have learnt that smaller clients are much easier and flexible to work with. Though big clients pay more, smaller clients give you more creative freedom. Permissions take lesser time with them.
Bigger brands on the other hand, already have a very strict and restricted set of brand guidelines which leaves you very little to play around with. However, a studio being a business, needs both kinds to run.
5) Responsibility is stressful.
I chose to work with a smaller studio as I wanted my work and my contributions to count. I wanted actual roles and responsibilities and not be the jobless intern. Luckily, my boss entrusted me with important responsibilities and I realised how stressful they can be. Being directly in touch and coordination with clients as big as estee really stressed me out. There is absolutely no room for error.
6) Keyboard shortcuts are your best friend in the design industry.
Every time I see my boss work on any software I learn at least 5 new keyboard shortcuts. I thought I knew illustrator and photoshop well, turns out there’s quite a bit I didn’t know.
7) Never do charity. (For your clients)
We’re supposed to keep a tab here at the studio on the amount of time we spent working on each client. If a client has asked only for one creative, we focus on making only that one. More iterations, not options. Time is precious, you have to be careful about who you spend it on.
8) Document everything.
Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. Hence, it is crucial to always document and keep every process and experience.
9) Don’t make books and menus on AI.
I made a giant mistake of creating a food menu on illustrator. It took me twice as much as time it would’ve taken on indesign to format the entire thing. Lesson learnt for life. Any long document should always be created on indesign.
10) It’s alright to make mistakes, as long as you don’t repeat them over and over again.
Every time I made a mistake in the office which my boss later pointed out, I spent the rest of the day trying to come up with a reasonable defence for myself in my own head. I soon realised that the only person getting affected by that is me.
I have adopted a more reasonable approach now.
Accept the mistake. And don’t repeat it again.
11) “God is in the Details.”
This was a tagline we used for branding a luxury fashion store called evoluzione in India. I feel it’s quite relevant to us even as designers who work in the industry. I’ve realised that the most embarrassing thing that can happen while working is that the client points out a mistake which has slipped your eye.
12) Ask as many questions as possible.
Every time I haven’t asked my boss what exactly she wants for the fear of sounding stupid, I’ve actually done something stupider.
13) Personal work and inspirations are the source of every good idea.
Here at LOCAL, we usually have brainstorming sessions when we take over a new client. Every valuable contribution I’ve made to these discussions so far, has come from work I’ve followed or found during my free time.
14) I have to make more notes.
Quite self explanatory.
15) Make friends with rejections and restrictions.
Everything you create at work goes through a number or rejections, your colleagues, your boss, and then your clients. We work with a lot more restrictions than we do at university. It’s always better to not take things personally. Helps you sleep better at night.