This summer I had the opportunity to work at The Design Minds Inc (TDM), a museum exhibition design firm that operates out of Fairfax, VA.
They have between 15-20 team members who specialize in either content and research or graphic design. They do have some interaction with each other in order to finalize the exhibit but much of their work is done independent on the other. I worked with the content specialists for the duration of my internship but the work I did was able to be incorporated into the graphics of the different projects. The three major projects that I worked on that was tied to the graphics rather than content was the Fort Point Reference Package, Arlington National Cemetery Newspaper Collection, and the Reference Sheets.
Fort Point if a National Park Service site in San Francisco, California and rests directly under the Golden Gate Bridge. TDM needed me to find images of objects that were to be reproduced for the museum since they did not have originals on the site. I had to design a document that made it easy for the client to see the types of objects we were going to be creating in addition to the historical documentation of those objects.
The second assignment I had was to gather images for the Arlington National Cemetery which was primarily a content-based project but was also going to be incorporated into the gallery spaces at Arlington National Cemetery. This ties directly into the inspiration stage that we use for the IMA Process and gave me a better understanding of the larger term structure of this particular project.
The third major assignment I had was working in Adobe InDesign to edit the fonts and colors of their reference sheets. The reference sheets would have information about all of their past clients which could be then used to show potential new clients at different conferences and conventions. Since multiple people helped in creating these reference sheets, there were minute errors in fonts and colors in different spots throughout the document. I had to go through and edit all of these fonts and colors to make them consistent through the entirety of the document. There were three documents I had to edit, each of which were 40-60 pages long. Initially, I went through every paragraph and manually changed each of the fonts. I gradually taught myself little tricked that made this easier to do. The first one was if I dragged over multiple sections I could change them at the same time. This helped me extensively for a few days until I learned that if I deleted the font or color it would ask me to replace it with another. This allowed for me to change the fonts and colors of everything in the entirety of the document. I also made quick fonts and labeled them based on the corresponding section of the document in case they wanted to make edits in the future.
I learned a lot about various processes in the creative process during my 6-week internship at The Design Minds. Although I did not get to do to much creative work, I learned the importance of doing the basics before doing the advanced work. Research and finding inspiration are essential to creating a final product which I tended to overlook in my previous work experience.
Hunter Winters ’21
POE: Digital Public History