See Lauren design...in Switzerland?

Hi there, I'm Lauren! Follow me on my adventures through Europe as I take on my graphic design internship in Switzerland this summer.

Sep 2
Auf Wiedersehen die Schweiz!
Looking back on this experience, I can safely say it was the most rewarding one I could ever ask for. I learned so much about the graphic design industry and myself. Even my world has opened up to many new things as well as new friendships which I will always treasure. Not many interns are lucky enough to have spent a whole summer in Europe with their college room mate. Overall it was the perfect final chapter in our journey as design students and possibly the best beginning of a exciting future in graphic design.
Rather than touring and writing more travel entries in my blog, I have spent the last few weeks preparing myself for the next big step in my career. For my final thoughts, I’d like to point out what I have came to realize through my job searching. I’ve noticed in today’s job market, it’s simply not enough to be remarkable at print design. Although it’s nothing new to most people, these are the things they don’t teach you in art school. As someone who appreciates and enjoys designing for print, it’s been hard for me to accept the truth. Over the course of this summer, I’ve come to embrace living in the digital age. Therefore I’m making it my mission to learn all there is to know about technology and web developing in order keep doing what I love. I will always have my passion for illustration and art but clearly, if I want to grow as a designer, I can’t allow myself to become complacent.
The world of graphic design and development is continually reinventing itself due to new technology and change or trends in society. Unfortunately, most art and design schools cannot keep up with this demand. It’s been up to designers to make that effort on their own. Without that kind of commitment it becomes more difficult to (1) jump start a career in such a competitive industry and (2) connect with our fellow developers.
It’s overwhelming enough being fresh out of school and on top of that, expected to do everything. But there’s one thing I’ve learned from university as well as the real world, and that’s problem solving. Problem solving is what graphic designers and web developers do best and I truly believe you can’t have one without the other. In addition, combining the two might work in some cases but just because a developer claims to also be a designer, doesn’t mean they’re that good. And vice versa. Designers should always be designing, communicating, and connecting the audience through visual stimulation. While a developer knows exactly how to make it work. From my experience at ICON Worldwide, I know how important it is to understand the language and technology before I can create the design, which is why I will never stop being a student. Remember, as long as you keep yourself open to learning new things, there will always be more room to grow. Don’t ever think you know everything.
More related articles:

www.ibm.com/developerworks/web/library/wa-webfiles/
www.kyleschaeffer.com/best-practices/from-developer-to-designer/
www.noupe.com/how-tos/how-to-grow-as-a-designer-or-developer.html

Auf Wiedersehen die Schweiz!

Looking back on this experience, I can safely say it was the most rewarding one I could ever ask for. I learned so much about the graphic design industry and myself. Even my world has opened up to many new things as well as new friendships which I will always treasure. Not many interns are lucky enough to have spent a whole summer in Europe with their college room mate. Overall it was the perfect final chapter in our journey as design students and possibly the best beginning of a exciting future in graphic design.

Rather than touring and writing more travel entries in my blog, I have spent the last few weeks preparing myself for the next big step in my career. For my final thoughts, I’d like to point out what I have came to realize through my job searching. I’ve noticed in today’s job market, it’s simply not enough to be remarkable at print design. Although it’s nothing new to most people, these are the things they don’t teach you in art school. As someone who appreciates and enjoys designing for print, it’s been hard for me to accept the truth. Over the course of this summer, I’ve come to embrace living in the digital age. Therefore I’m making it my mission to learn all there is to know about technology and web developing in order keep doing what I love. I will always have my passion for illustration and art but clearly, if I want to grow as a designer, I can’t allow myself to become complacent.

The world of graphic design and development is continually reinventing itself due to new technology and change or trends in society. Unfortunately, most art and design schools cannot keep up with this demand. It’s been up to designers to make that effort on their own. Without that kind of commitment it becomes more difficult to (1) jump start a career in such a competitive industry and (2) connect with our fellow developers.

It’s overwhelming enough being fresh out of school and on top of that, expected to do everything. But there’s one thing I’ve learned from university as well as the real world, and that’s problem solving. Problem solving is what graphic designers and web developers do best and I truly believe you can’t have one without the other. In addition, combining the two might work in some cases but just because a developer claims to also be a designer, doesn’t mean they’re that good. And vice versa. Designers should always be designing, communicating, and connecting the audience through visual stimulation. While a developer knows exactly how to make it work. From my experience at ICON Worldwide, I know how important it is to understand the language and technology before I can create the design, which is why I will never stop being a student. Remember, as long as you keep yourself open to learning new things, there will always be more room to grow. Don’t ever think you know everything.

More related articles:


Aug 15
"Computers are to design as microwaves are to cooking.”
–Milton Glaser

"Computers are to design as microwaves are to cooking.”

–Milton Glaser


Aug 8

My Ball and Chain

"Oh dear, I think my laptop is officially glued to my body." That’s my way of saying, I’ve been working hard at updating my portfolio this whole weekend. Yet, I still have some more work to do before I can even publish past project from this year. For those of you who haven’t read my "About Me" page, let me explain my situation a bit. You see, between the Senior Graphic Design Show, my Graduation ceremony, and moving to Switzerland–I haven’t had much time to self-promote myself. I kid you not, my world completely changed within a month. Therefore my portfolio was constantly being pushed to the back burner. Now that I’m only three weeks away from returning to the states, I can focus on the importants things which are refining my portfolio, job searching, and rewriting my bio and cover letters. 

As far as the ideal portfolio goes, my philosophy is to simply include a wide range of work that displays exercises in problem solving, concept development, and most importantly, work that you can be proud of. Whether it’s student projects or published work, as long as it’s an excellent piece that shows off your skills, then it definitely has earned a spot in your repertoire. If you’re a recent graduate and you have little to no published work in your portfolio then I don’t feel it should make or break you. I mean, I just graduated college less than three months ago and I’m no where near the experience level of a seasoned professional so of course most of my work are student projects. Graduates cannot solely rely on their portfolios. We should also be thinking about building a network and getting involved in more freelancing.

I’ve read quite a few articles about preparing yourself for job interviews as well as prepping your portfolio and I’ve found that there’s always a wrong way of doing it but no one really seems to know the right way. Every designer, young or old, has a totally different opinion on this matter. Some advice leans more towards an edgy-way of thinking while others are even more conflicting. Some say a portfolio is not a reflection of your personality while other companies want to see the kind of person you are. So we might as well embrace the fact there is no right way, there’s just your way. Standing out must be better then blending in, right? Either way, it’s up to the designer to decide what works best for him/her and if it’s done in a way that’s attention-grabbing or mind-blowing then people will have to recognize that kind of talent.

p.s. Here are some helpful links:


Aug 6

The Real Sex in the City. Amsterdam is by far the most beautiful and cultured city in my opinion. And even though it’s jam-packed with tourists from all over the world, it’s the kind of city that was meant for young people to explore. Both Ms. Amy Parker and I had quite the adventure–we met some nice people, tried new things, and only got lost a few times.
On the first day, we took a newEUROPE walking tour through different sections of the city. Starting from Centrum and the Red Light District, to shops around Nieuwmarkt and finally ending in an area near the Jordaan. During the tour we learned a lot about the history of the city as well as seeing hidden places such as the secret garden at the Begijnhof. And it was all FREE, with the exception of leaving the tour guide a generous tip. Later on that day we decided to drink as the Dutch do and participate in a pub crawl which visits 5 different pubs throughout the Red Light District. One complimentary shot of Yager at every bar which also comes with a free T-shirt to constantly remind you of the most amusing and embarrassing night you’ll have in Amsterdam.
On day two, we immediately needed a delicious breakfast to cure our hangovers which we found at the Small Talk Cafe near the Rijksmuseum. (By the way, if you are the kind of person who loves pancakes as much as I do, you absolutely have to try Dutch pancakes. They come in various flavors–I throughly enjoyed the banana.) Anyway, we checked out some tourist sites including the Sex Museum, which felt more like a haunted house because of the tacky looking mannequins and voice recordings of people “screaming.” It was hilarious but luckily, admission was only 4 Euros. Later on that day, we went to visit the Anne Frank House. Since we had made reservations perviously we were able to walk right in (which I highly recommend because the line is often very very long.) Going to the Anne Frank House was hands down the most worthwhile experience on my European voyage. You could actually feel the tension and fear that Anne Frank had felt inside the antic. Living day after day in complete darkness and silence for two years. The curators of the museum did such an amazing job of telling Anne’s story, conceptually and visually. It was inspiring yet emotionally draining. We needed something to cheer us up so we meet with some new friends from Denmark and made a night of it.
The next day we had to soak up every last bit of Amsterdam before it was time to leave so we walked as far as we could. It was on this day that I noticed the strong presences of an art scene in the city of Amsterdam. There’s graffiti throughout each street and alleyway as well as print shops and art galleries galore. However, I didn’t notice any graphic design studios, I’m thinking if there is anywhere I would love to set up shop, it would be here. 
Needless to say, I sometimes forget how grateful I am to be a designer. In a way, design got me here. It gave me a chance to live in Europe and be exposed to all of these new cultures and rituals which I hope to bring back with me to states and help further my creative process and the way I see the world.

The Real Sex in the City. Amsterdam is by far the most beautiful and cultured city in my opinion. And even though it’s jam-packed with tourists from all over the world, it’s the kind of city that was meant for young people to explore. Both Ms. Amy Parker and I had quite the adventure–we met some nice people, tried new things, and only got lost a few times.

On the first day, we took a newEUROPE walking tour through different sections of the city. Starting from Centrum and the Red Light District, to shops around Nieuwmarkt and finally ending in an area near the Jordaan. During the tour we learned a lot about the history of the city as well as seeing hidden places such as the secret garden at the Begijnhof. And it was all FREE, with the exception of leaving the tour guide a generous tip. Later on that day we decided to drink as the Dutch do and participate in a pub crawl which visits 5 different pubs throughout the Red Light District. One complimentary shot of Yager at every bar which also comes with a free T-shirt to constantly remind you of the most amusing and embarrassing night you’ll have in Amsterdam.

On day two, we immediately needed a delicious breakfast to cure our hangovers which we found at the Small Talk Cafe near the Rijksmuseum. (By the way, if you are the kind of person who loves pancakes as much as I do, you absolutely have to try Dutch pancakes. They come in various flavors–I throughly enjoyed the banana.) Anyway, we checked out some tourist sites including the Sex Museum, which felt more like a haunted house because of the tacky looking mannequins and voice recordings of people “screaming.” It was hilarious but luckily, admission was only 4 Euros. Later on that day, we went to visit the Anne Frank House. Since we had made reservations perviously we were able to walk right in (which I highly recommend because the line is often very very long.) Going to the Anne Frank House was hands down the most worthwhile experience on my European voyage. You could actually feel the tension and fear that Anne Frank had felt inside the antic. Living day after day in complete darkness and silence for two years. The curators of the museum did such an amazing job of telling Anne’s story, conceptually and visually. It was inspiring yet emotionally draining. We needed something to cheer us up so we meet with some new friends from Denmark and made a night of it.

The next day we had to soak up every last bit of Amsterdam before it was time to leave so we walked as far as we could. It was on this day that I noticed the strong presences of an art scene in the city of Amsterdam. There’s graffiti throughout each street and alleyway as well as print shops and art galleries galore. However, I didn’t notice any graphic design studios, I’m thinking if there is anywhere I would love to set up shop, it would be here. 

Needless to say, I sometimes forget how grateful I am to be a designer. In a way, design got me here. It gave me a chance to live in Europe and be exposed to all of these new cultures and rituals which I hope to bring back with me to states and help further my creative process and the way I see the world.


Jul 27
"I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.”
– Orson Welles

"I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.

– Orson Welles


Jul 20
During my past internships I’ve seen co-workers come and go, all of which were bittersweet. Of course I felt happy for them because I knew they were off to bigger and better things. But at the same time it can be rather heartbreaking to say goodbye to that person. Especially in our situation at ICON–after all we see each other at work all day long, then we go home and hang out some more (plus we sometimes travel together on the weekends.) As a result of this we’ve managed to become a family and I know it’s made my experience with adjusting in Switzerland a lot more fun. Unfortunately, we knew going into this that every member of our little clan would eventually have to return home. At this moment, the lovely Ms. Abby Anderson is flying back to Michigan and I want her to know how much it saddens me to see her empty chair and desk next to mine at the office! I would imagine this is why throwing farewell parties are amazing coping mechanisms because they usually involve cake and/or alcohol, preferably both.
Anyhow, I hope for the best of luck to Abby with her career in graphic design. As well as best wishes on her wedding day with the ever so knowledgeable one, Christopher Jones (which I’m totally crashing #justsaying.)
To see what more Abby is up to, visit http://abbyabbyabby.tumblr.com/

During my past internships I’ve seen co-workers come and go, all of which were bittersweet. Of course I felt happy for them because I knew they were off to bigger and better things. But at the same time it can be rather heartbreaking to say goodbye to that person. Especially in our situation at ICON–after all we see each other at work all day long, then we go home and hang out some more (plus we sometimes travel together on the weekends.) As a result of this we’ve managed to become a family and I know it’s made my experience with adjusting in Switzerland a lot more fun. Unfortunately, we knew going into this that every member of our little clan would eventually have to return home. At this moment, the lovely Ms. Abby Anderson is flying back to Michigan and I want her to know how much it saddens me to see her empty chair and desk next to mine at the office! I would imagine this is why throwing farewell parties are amazing coping mechanisms because they usually involve cake and/or alcohol, preferably both.

Anyhow, I hope for the best of luck to Abby with her career in graphic design. As well as best wishes on her wedding day with the ever so knowledgeable one, Christopher Jones (which I’m totally crashing #justsaying.)

To see what more Abby is up to, visit http://abbyabbyabby.tumblr.com/


Jul 13
Climbed a mountain and proud of it! Before coming to Switzerland, my life was no different from that of a house cat’s as far as outdoor activities go. I never went camping or had summer camp as a child. My summers have always been spent going to the beach with my family and I could never imagine either of my parents pitching a tent. This experience at Zermatt has definitely opened my eyes and has inspired me to spice up my life, be more active and become somewhat of thrill seeker. Amy and I both hiked from the bottom, all the way to Schwarzsee (2580 m ü.M) which took about four hours. As we got closer to the cable car stop in Schwarzsee, the air became thinner and it even started to hail but by God it was glorious. After we reached our destination we then took the cable car to the Matterhorn Glacier Palace and we literally walked inside a glacier––there were just tunnels of ice crystals and sculptures everywhere!
This hiking trip was one of the most self-fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had and I couldn’t have done it by myself, thanks to some fancy hiking socks and a really good friend I made it to the top ;)

Climbed a mountain and proud of it! Before coming to Switzerland, my life was no different from that of a house cat’s as far as outdoor activities go. I never went camping or had summer camp as a child. My summers have always been spent going to the beach with my family and I could never imagine either of my parents pitching a tent. This experience at Zermatt has definitely opened my eyes and has inspired me to spice up my life, be more active and become somewhat of thrill seeker. Amy and I both hiked from the bottom, all the way to Schwarzsee (2580 m ü.M) which took about four hours. As we got closer to the cable car stop in Schwarzsee, the air became thinner and it even started to hail but by God it was glorious. After we reached our destination we then took the cable car to the Matterhorn Glacier Palace and we literally walked inside a glacier––there were just tunnels of ice crystals and sculptures everywhere!

This hiking trip was one of the most self-fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had and I couldn’t have done it by myself, thanks to some fancy hiking socks and a really good friend I made it to the top ;)


Jul 8
One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, Seealpsee.
Next stop Zermatt!

One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, Seealpsee.

Next stop Zermatt!


Jul 6

Client: I really want to make a good impression on our home page - I want a rotating banner with big images that span the entire width of the screen. Lots of them flying at the viewer, make it dynamic, whatever. And most importantly, the site needs to load FAST! I like how Google just pops up for me instantly, each time.

Me: Well… If we go with really big images, and multiple ones at that, it’s going to be a bit -

Client: And it has to have music too.

Clients From Hell:

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