Robyn Koenig

For many, the first step into your industry-of-choice starts with an internship. In preparation for this “real world” introduction, take the following steps to earn your graphic design internship.

  1. Research the company
  2. Be yourself
  3. Bring a portfolio
  4. Talk through your process
  5. Send a thank you note

After selecting companies you feel fit your creative spirit and career aspirations, pour your passion into crafting a perfect cover letter and resume, remain diligent about following up with prospective employers, answer every phone call and monitor email to ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity for an interview. Then, after all the waiting — and let’s be honest, some stress — you receive the call offering an interview for the design internship of your dreams! So, what do you do now to prepare?

1. Research the company

Now that the interview is scheduled and placed on your calendar (hint, hint!), the first thing you should do is research the company, in detail, if you haven’t already. Read about how the company started, make note of the leadership, research their company culture, list of clients and portfolio of work. This initial step will help when the employer asks, and they will ask, “Why are you interested in a design internship with us?” You will demonstrate that you took the initiative to research and familiarize yourself with their company.

2. Be yourself


This one tops the list for any interview, but it’s true. Most people get a case of the nerves during any interview, so you are not alone if you feel anxious the day-of. Take a few deep breaths, try to stay relaxed and just be yourself. Employers want to see the real you. Not only do employers look to see if your skillsets are up to par, but they also take into consideration how you fit into their culture. Have personality during the interview and show the company why you’d be a great extension of their team.

3. Bring a portfolio

When interviewing for a graphic design internship, make sure you bring a professional and polished portfolio in digital and/or print versions. If you designed a website, bring an iPad or laptop with you to the interview so you can walk through the site — do not rely on the interviewer to supply the technology. If you designed a printed piece, bring a mock-up so you can talk through your design process from conception to implementation. An equally important second part to this step — take pride in your work. As you talk through your portfolio with the interviewer, speak with confidence about the things you created. Do not mention what you should have done or would have done. Talk about your pieces in a positive light and focus on things you did well in the execution, or how you solved the design problem.

4. Talk through your process

While your portfolio shows the interviewer the end-product of your creativity, it does not convey the story behind your creative genius. Start with explaining the project or assignment to show your understanding of the audience and design problem. Demonstrate your critical and design thinking by answering the following questions:

  • What challenges did the project present and how did you solve them?
  • Did you work within a budget or time constraints?
  • What was your strategic approach?

As you explain, take ownership of the project and the design decisions you made along the way. Describe your purposeful design choices that influenced your decisions and the strategy behind them. Please know, graphic design professionals do not want to hear you did something “because it was pretty.”

5. Send a thank you note

After you make it through the interview — and, you will definitely make it through — be sure to send a thank you note to the interviewers. This may seem like an outdated gesture, but a handwritten thank you note speaks volumes. Take the opportunity to thank them once again for their time and consideration and to express your interest in interning with their company. Not to mention, it will help you stay fresh in their minds as they make their decision.

Making the best impression during your interview requires preparation. While you’re there to try and land an internship, you could also be speaking with your future full-time employer. Take the necessary steps to impress before and after the interview, and always remember to be yourself.

Great news! We’re hiring a Graphic Design Intern for Summer 2019 so you can put these new skilled you just learned to use! For the details and to apply online, visit the careers section on our website. Be sure to submit your application by March 15.

Adriana Guidi

The ‘A’ in STEAM

Adriana Guidi

“Design is where science and art break even,” said Designer and Entrepreneur Robin Mathew. Most people don’t recognize a correlation between science, technology, engineering, and math as they relate to art, but at A. Bright Idea, we certainly do.

Digital Canvas

It might surprise you to know just how much technology goes into graphic design. Throughout a whole workday, technology gets used to establish creative to bring brands and advertisements to life. No longer solely centered around creating a piece of art, a graphic designer’s strategy now includes a focus on functionality and how their work will succeed in the digital world.

Users can now access online information via desktop, mobile or tablet surfaces. With a change in user experience comes a shift in design strategy. Responsive design, for example, involves creating a website to work on large horizontal desktops as well as a small portrait phone. Designers must keep this in mind during the development process to ensure any text, graphics or videos will function properly no matter the source.

By committing to life-long learning, designers and artists can smoothly transition as technology continues to evolve, thus becoming artistic and creative in a digital and technological sense.

Modern Paintbrush

Just as Leonardo da Vinci found common ground between science and art, so do contemporary graphic designers. A computer, in turn, becomes the paintbrush.

Technology provided the fuel for art to not only evolve but come to life with a direct purpose that integrates directly into everyday life. Whenever you see a logo for a company or a design on a website, you witness art in a digital form.

For the most part, graphic designers start out with a sketch of an idea before turning to technology to elevate it to the next level. Software suites, like Adobe Creative Cloud, allow graphic designers to easily transition from sketch to vector — digital images created by placing lines and shapes in a given two-dimensional space — arrange pages of a brochure or create custom animations. When designers use this software to enable creative freedom, the technological and artistic worlds collide.

Unexpected Inspiration

Creative inspiration can stem from anywhere. Designers use math and science for concept inspiration, as well as product execution. Math allows designers to create crisp and accurate graphics. Simple, yet important things like measuring out the sides of a brochure or making sure lines run precisely parallel to each other make designs as perfect and functional as possible. Designers also use math to scale images, convert units, write print specifications and develop dielines for printed projects.

Geometry acts as a building block for many different designs, such as creating icons and graphics to then use in making complete shapes. It seems like a simple concept, but designers more often than not use shapes to create a complete image, not free-hand drawings. For example, designers can create a light bulb through the use of geometry by setting various shapes at different angles and placements. This method requires a meticulous approach, bringing several different variables together to create an end product.

With so many variables to work through and consider, problem-solving becomes an essential part of a graphic designers’ process. When an engineer gets tasked with building a bridge, key components to consider include the quantity and cost of materials needed. Similarly, when designing a brochure, graphic designers also consider size and shape, materials, cost efficiencies and other variables to ensure a complete and functional final product.

Creativity and technology not only coexist but also produce groundbreaking ideas and outcomes. Art not only fits perfectly into science, technology, engineering and math, but creates a connection among all of them. Strategy and technicality have no limit when it comes to various industries. An engineer exudes the creativity of an artist, just as an artist emanates the innovation of an engineer.

Alison Tagliaferri

Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, marks the fourth time Pantone has selected a purple, or a variety of purple, as the Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid, a solid purple, in 2014; Blue Iris, a blue purple, in 2008; and Fuchsia Rose, described by Pantone as a “bright pink and purple” but looks like pink to most of us, in 2001.

When Pantone named Ultra Violet, a deep royal purple, the latest Color of the Year, the news thrilled our Bright Lights because we’re passionate lovers of purple.

It’s not because of our hometown pride in the purple-clad Baltimore Ravens, a team that, like A. Bright Idea, began in 1996. Beyond visually representing A. Bright Idea, purple is our brand.

Pantone sets the standard for colors used by the print and design industry. As a graphic designer, when I sit down to begin a logo or design, I sit down with a Pantone book. Like every designer, I turn to a Pantone book when it comes time to pick a color palette for a project. That helps me find colors that work together well in the Pantone swatch book. I also bring a Pantone color book to every press check to make sure the print color matches.

The Pantone Color Institute staff has selected a Color of the Year since 2000 and bases the selection on their analysis of pop culture, fashion, design and current events. Last year’s pick of Greenery as the 2017 Color of the Year represented a new beginning. Pantone describes Ultra Violet as the color that “lights the way” for what is to come. That phrase also resonates with us as Bright Lights who help light the way for our clients.

“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now,” Pantone wrote in the announcement. “The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

Courtesy of Pantone

Purple inspires creativity. A mindful color that energizes, yet calms, purple can represent sophistication, happiness, brightness and so much more. Purple’s not feminine or masculine. It’s gender neutral, allowing for a wide range of uses.

Pantone’s Color of the Year influences design trends across industries. In addition to A. Bright Idea, the designer handbag company where I started my career always incorporated the Pantone Color of the Year into the new line.

While it’s complementary to yellow, purple works well with a wide range of colors. Its popularity with designers may be one reason Pantone has picked a shade of purple four times for Color of the Year since 2000. Unlike a red or orange that tries to grab your attention, purple conveys tranquility and contemplation. A designer also can use it in larger color blocks.

For those of us at A. Bright Idea, purple always remains in style, providing our graphic designers with versatility. Tell us how you plan to incorporate Ultra Violet in the new year by commenting below.

Eric Bach

The light bulb. It’s synonymous with creativity, ideas and innovation. If you haven’t noticed, we are infatuated with these inspirational glass orbs of light. Each employee has an original, personalized light bulb icon. In fact, when a new “light” joins the team their first assignment is to determine what their light bulb will represent about them. It’s a process that demonstrates our approach at A. Bright Idea — a true, first collaboration with other members of the team.

When creating these icons, the challenge is figuring out how to communicate someone’s interest or expertise within the limitations of a light bulb.  As with any logo or icon project, the goal is to create a clear, simple and recognizable graphic reproducible at any size.

The process starts with concept sketching. Whether it is on a Wacom tablet or hand drawn in a notebook, sketching allows us to toss around a lot of ideas to see what sticks. Oftentimes eliminating what doesn’t work, ends up contributing to the discovery of a successful concept. After the team has discussed and decided on an option, it’s time to take the concept digital.

Sketch book

We begin by importing the sketched image into Adobe Illustrator; this serves as reference for the final icon. Next we roughly trace the hand drawn image with the pen tool, allowing us to have a rough editable form to refine. Once the rough form is captured, we refine the illustration by creating/manipulating editable line paths, followed by applying separate layers of color for shading and highlights. Keeping the lines editable and layers labeled, keeps us organized and makes changes efficient. Since all of A. Bright Idea’s icons are one color, we must rely on applying tints in order to create a sense of dimension.  After the working vector icons are reviewed and approved, it’s time to prep and export the files for use in print and multimedia applications.

We hope you enjoyed this spotlight on our team light bulb icons! Take a look at these lightbulbs and try to guess who’s is who’s.

ABIicons2016x

BEHIND THE SCENES: The Light Bulb Icon

How to Position Your Business for Success

BY CYNTHIA NUTWELL
December 2011

Expert Advice on Budgets, Marketing and More

In today’s uncertain economy, successful businesses are implementing strategies to ensure their long-term success. Whether it’s increasing budgets for growth or crafting effective marketing, I95 BUSINESS probed three business owners for ideas on how to position for success.

Positioning for Growth
Anita Brightman, president of A. Bright Idea Advertising & Public Relations, positions her 19-person firm for growth. With offices on both coasts, Brightman’s agency expansion is due to large federal contracts, small business brand development and environmental remediation projects. Brightman also deals with companies and clients who want to do more with shrinking budgets.

To read the full article, click here: http://i95business.com/2011/12/how-to-position-your-business-for-success/