Three weeks ago I was given the opportunity to step into the graphic design industry, more specifically the opportunity to work alongside and learn from the team at a design firm called Deschenes Regnier. I had done three previous work placements, yet Deschenes Regnier was different from the others.
My name is Renée Peters and I will soon graduate from the Red River College graphic design program. While at Deschenes Regnier, I learned many things through observation as well as instruction.
It was probably the calmest placement I’ve experienced, a characteristic I believe crucial to the working environment. With tight deadlines and multiple large projects, graphic design can be very stressful, yet Deschenes Regnier had a peaceful atmosphere. The absence of stressful pressure allowed for time and space to strive for the best design possible.
This brings me to another thing I learned. Details, details, details… It was enlightening to see the process behind multiple projects; logo design, banner designs, photo sourcing etc. Much effort and many rough drafts precede the final product.
Of course, we learn this in school, but seeing it applied in the real world provides much more motivation to print that extra draft or spend an extra hour on a project. Doing work for someone to be used in real life feels much different than doing work for a mark. While one wants to do well with both, the project that is actually going to be used spurs one on to greater effort.
The team at Deschenes Regnier works diligently and efficiently together. I learned how much I enjoy collaborative work. Being inexperienced this may be obvious, but I know of many people who want to do free lance and are doing so with very little experience. While the idea of working from home has its appeal, I’m not certain that the price paid is worth it. The advice of others or the art direction of someone who has been in the industry for 20 years are invaluable and would be sorely missed if freelancing. With freelance work I naturally try my best, but I know there are mistakes I pass over; mistakes that would be the very first thing noticed by an art director. So rather than sell clients mediocre design, I think getting industry experience for several years is paramount.
Overall, I’m very grateful for the time spent at Deschenes Regnier. It was a rewarding atmosphere to be in; taught me many different tricks of the trade; and provided a positive taste of what the future might hold.