Starting in May, I had an internship with the wonderful Denise Bosler of Denise Bosler LLC (also a design professor at Kutztown University). *Check out her work at http://www.bosler.com!* It was such an awesome experience, I’ve learned more working with her then I have in a few semesters of designing. Getting the opportunity to work one-on-one with an accomplished designer/illustrator/professor is so rewarding as compared to fighting for attention in a class of 20+ students.
To start of the summer, I joined Denise at the Surtex show at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. It was essentially a B2B market filled with the latest artwork, designers and licensors from around the world. Nearly 300 exhibitors were selling and licensing the art and designs of approximately 1,000 artists and designers. The show drew around 6,000 buyers and licensees. This is a photo of Denise’s booth where attendees of the show could view her work and discuss projects with her:
This was a great experience for me to be able to see where Denise gets the bulk of her clients from and how they communicate. She taught me about the different forms of licensing artwork and how she goes about doing business with her clients. One of my “assignments” was to walk around the whole show and see what kinds of new ideas and products people were putting out there. Holy cow! Such great design work and inventive ways of getting illustrations and typography out there.
I got a chance to work with Denise on a wide variety of projects throughout the summer. One of the earliest things she allowed me to take part in was when a representative from Target contacted her and asked for her to create some patterns and designs for gift bags and wrapping paper for their upcoming birthday release. They provided a recommended color palette and with that, she handed the assignment over to me and allowed me to start creating. Pictured here are some of the designs that I came up with. The one on the red background was chosen to go on to the next “round” (the whole process takes months); so this design I created has the possibility of being available to buy in Target stores – how exciting!
Another one of the projects I got to do from the very beginning stages was designing a postcard for the Faculty Exhibition at Kutztown University. Denise and I had the idea to use moveable type pieces to create the name of the show on the back of the card. I took the time to arrange the pieces and then photographed them. We put the image into the computer and with some color changing ended up with the final product. As far as the back of the postcard, the information was given to me so I just needed to arrange it in a pleasing way and pick a font that was attention-catching yet easy to read.
Along with the postcard that was being sent out to the public, I needed to create the invitation for the gallery opening that would only be sent out to certain people. This was a really great project because I was given so much information that I needed to include so trying to find a proper way to organize it and still have it look artistic was a challenge. Marlin and Regina Miller donated a great deal of money to the school for this gallery, and so it was named after them. Being that they are an older couple, I wanted to give the invitation a more sophisticated look while still making it fun.
In addition to all of her other projects, Denise has also been in the process of writing her own book about typography. It was interesting to see all of the processes she had to go through in order to keep everything organized and completed in a timely manner. For her book, I worked on some small graphics l to help the reader understand what’s being said throughout the book.
I also got to create information graphics based off of the entries sent in from all over the world, so collecting the information was a bit tedious. As you can see, I found which schools sent entries and how many, which countries, and finally the types of entries based on the chapters in the book. After collecting all of the data, it was up to me to create. I did research on information graphics and found that it’s a rapidly growing field in graphic design, and after looking at some really great examples, I started putting mine together. This isn’t the finished product, but I’m really happy with what it looks like thus far, especially after all the time I put into it!
Overall, I am extremely pleased with my internship expericnce. Working for Denise helped me to understand all of the hard work that goes into having your own business. She taught me about licensing artwork and the profits she is able to make between the different kinds of licensing. Throughout all of the projects that we did together, I got to see first-hand how important deadlines are. She got numerous calls asking for a turn-around time of a day or two on projects. Also, while doing the Valentines, we got responses back along the lines of “I don’t feel like that character is popping out at me off of the box” and we’d have to translate what that means in order to fix the design. Even having someone respond with “that’s not quite the right red color” can become a time-consuming task. Along with this, I learned a lot of shortcuts and different options within Photoshop and Illustrator that can save time while working on projects.
I also really enjoyed that we were able to work in her home office. It gave me a better sense of her as a designer and as a person and also allowed me to be relaxed (having two German Shepherds as company didn’t hurt either!). I’m glad that I did my internship at the time that I did because she taught me a lot of useful things that I hadn’t been exposed to yet. The fact that Denise herself is a teacher by profession was obviously really helpful also. I don’t think I would have learned nearly as much, technically, if I would have had an internship at another company. I probably would have been expected to know a lot more, and she understood that not all of her interns are going to have the same educational background. I feel much more prepared for my senior year and for getting ready to go into the job market after interning for Denise.
How I spent my summer vacation! 🙂