A big thank-you to our apprentice Krystyn Sylvester for writing this blog post. Krystyn graduated from MassCollege of Art this spring. Congratulations Krystyn!
For the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of being an apprentice at Opus Design in Boston. My time here has been invaluable to my growth as a designer. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider this experience:
A new experience
I had never designed with a studio prior to my apprenticeship. Rather, my experience consisted of freelancing and an internship at a design agency. After getting to know the impersonal and manufactured nature of a large agency, I knew I wanted to experience a different way of thinking and working.
Fortunately, I was invited to apprentice at Opus. 🙂
Design here isn’t pre-packaged content. Here, thoughtfulness and research are essential. Design solutions are more creative and tailored to each client. Plus, the rest of the team is friendly and always helpful with both constructive feedback and design guidance
The design process
I learned just how important research and analysis are to the design process. To produce thoughtful and successful work, one needs to delve into the problem and the brand or organization that need help solving it. At first, I was surprised by how much effort went into the research phase of designing. However, I soon realized how important it was in achieving success.
The importance of accessibility was another aspect of design I was completely unaware of. Because many of our clients are rooted in research or education, it’s important that their digital work, be it emails or websites, is accessible and readable to everyone. Colors and type styles must be checked against an accessibility scale. Learning about this part of graphic design was a turning point in making sure future designs are comprehensible.
My past experiences were self-directed. Even at an agency, I was left to work on my own for days at a time. Opus is totally different. I collaborate on projects with other designers and gain super helpful feedback on projects right away. This allows me to learn more about client design than any other experience. Daily team meetings and workshops strengthened this collaborative process and made Opus much more of a team than a collection of designers.
My apprenticeship has been overall helpful, insightful, and rewarding. I absolutely recommend a similar experience to any other student designer.