Real stories from a day in the life in the field! Learn how a variety of careers interact with technology on a daily basis.

Day in the Life of a Designer

Designing is a collaborative job. It takes quite a bit of coordination between my teammates to put together websites, advertisements, newsletters, and other documents that our clients ask us to design.

Most mornings start off by logging onto my email to see if I’ve gotten any feedback on my projects. Usually my teammates provide feedback through an online proofing tool called ProofHQ which sends me email notifications when I have work to do. I create most of my work in the Adobe Creative Suite using tools like InDesign to lay out documents, Illustrator to draw content, and Photoshop to manipulate photos. Once I’ve created the artwork, I export my files as a PDF and upload them to our proofing software once again for review.

Sometimes projects are complex and they require further discussion with the team to make sure we are executing the work in the best way. Because my team is spread out across the entire country, we rely on technology like Skype to host phone calls where we can share our live computer screens to make communication about our work easier. Sometimes I use my cell phone to take pictures of my printed work in 3D and text them to my partners to make sure the work is satisfactory.

Sometimes my coworkers want to share files, photos or illustrations with me to use in my design projects. To do this, we use a server system to house our library of photo and illustration assets. This makes it easy for my teammates all over the world to see our working files and to upload content to us instantly.

Once our teammates all agree that the design files are approved, we need to send them to our print vendors. Because design files are often large and sometimes confidential, we cannot simply email our files away. We send print files to our vendors through FTP sites using applications like Filezilla or a cloud storage dropbox.

At the end of the day I like to make sure I’ve wrapped up all of the conversations and requests for artwork that have come through my email inbox throughout the course of the day. The best way to work efficiently as a designer is to make sure you have open communication about expectations with your teammates and technology makes it a lot quicker to do so.

-Carolyn McLean, Designer

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