Friday, April 5, 2013

Encouragement for New Designers

Here at RHD we have a lot of young designers who email us or tell us in person that they wish they could work at RHD, or have a business like RHD, or design ads like RHD.

Well, this morning I was going through some old boxes and I came across this little gem....

What is this piece of work you ask? Well, it's the first ad I ever designed. This was designed in 1997 when I was an intern at The Showbox magazine. I worked there for 3 months, and for the month of June and July, all I was able to design was 1/4 and 1/2 page black and white ads for shows. Which are pretty much template based. 

By August, Cherie gave me the go-ahead to get to design the ad for V8 Ranch, since it was my family, and for Wessington Springs Club Calf Producers, and R&R Cattle. 

I estimate I probably spent 10 hours on this ad. I remember pestering Laura Stanley to death about how to design an ad. (Laura was The Showbox editor at the time). I spent HOURS searching for this background. I tried every font on the computer. I mean, this was going to be my debut design in a magazine like The Showbox so I was pumped. 

I remember when it came out, I couldn't wait to show all my friends. My friend Matt Leo had spent the previous summer working at Pacific Showcase magazine and I felt like he was the friend who probably knew the most about ad design. I couldn't wait to show him.  Of course I was wanting some major bragging. 

But what did he say? "Rachel, this looks like crap!" 


He said, "You can't even read the headline! It looks like it says Congratulations V8 Uniors". 

Needless to say I was disappointed, but in the long run, that was the best thing that anyone could have said. Aside from the poor background and typography choice for a headline, it still was a pretty nice ad.  Good layout, good picture size, and legible captions. But ever since that day, I have always felt that typography and font choices were my first priority in designs. Because I always hear that old friend saying "It looks like V8 Uniors!' 

And, I post this to show any aspiring designer out there who's wondering how they get to be "like Ranch House Designs".....that it's not where you's where you finish :)

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