By Francesca Mayr
Global Media/Visual Journalism & Graphic Design
This summer, I am working as a digital design intern at DDCworks, an advertising and public relations agency in Conshohocken. From the second floor of a 150 year old converted paper mill by the Schuylkill River, the company cultivates a cohesive brand image in its clientele. The exposed brick walls, glass partitions, and park benches serve as the fittingly innovative backdrop for the innovative ideas generated therein.
The opportunity is particularly exciting as I will learn from skilled, warm, and accomplished individuals in a variety of disciplines. As an integrated agency, they support various capabilities including: media, public relations, design, brand identity, web, etc. Although I have recently started in this position, I feel that I am already learning and growing from the ‘real-world environment’. While college classes and programs are invaluable in their preparatory objectives, nothing compares to the knowledge gleaned from hearing discussions with clients and various office personnel when they are strategizing, addressing challenges and consulting on other interesting topics in a specialized field.
After mere days on the job, I have a new appreciation for my global media major which instills a communications mindset, regardless of the tools used. As a digital design intern, my first assignment is wire framing pages for DDCworks’ new website. Wire frames serve as a blueprint for building the site. The pages designed in adobe illustrator display and explain both the visual design and functionality of each page. Aside from greater experience with the tool itself, this task is an exercise in enhancing user experience and anticipating usability requirements.
As communications students, we are instructed in how best to communicate a message. We are taught to consider the most effective way to guide readers, watchers, listeners, etc. through information. This understanding is essential in creating an easily navigable website. This globally applicable frame of mind is the true value of a communications education.