New Statesman Internship – overview at the end

After a small extension to my placement, I have now completed my internship at the New Statesman.

Totalling up the days, it is no wonder that the time has flown by. Taking into account office breaks after the centenary edition and my unfortunate day of sickness, the weeks were a little fractured to begin with and I had initially thought that I would struggle to ever get my body clock into the swing of things! However, once into the regular flow of office rhythm it provided an extremely useful view into the nuts and bolts of magazine publishing on this scale.

I have had the opportunity to work on more projects that I anticipated, from the large at the end to the small icons and daily tasks that help to keep the office on the same page- literally and metaphorically! My research had already prepared me for one of the regular design intern tasks – which was sort of cheating, no? – but I definitely felt pushed out of my comfort zone of existing knowledge and experience. Picking up Quark Xpress definitely fell into that category, as did becoming so accustomed to Windows that I would take 10 minutes to readjust to shortcuts on my small cluster of Macs!As a result of these cover and leaflet design tasks, I have discovered that contrary to my opinion of my abilities, I do indeed have an illustrative streak that can be coaxed out with my increasing fondness for Illustrator. Even the illustrations that were not used, can be put towards a body of portfolio work alongside the final cover pieces.

I am especially looking forward to being able to pick up the next edition on Thursday and open it to the supplement that I laid out and designed both the cover and full backpage infographic for. Hopefully it still bears a resemblance to how I left them! It might be small and the bit that everybody gets irritated with because it is akin to junk mail, but it is physical proof for me of something that I thought I could not and would not be able to achieve.

During one of the last times I saw her, Kate Sibley cryptically remarked that compared to the notebook I had half filled with notes during my work in their studio, I would soon be needing a much bigger one. This is the resulting object of the last 4 weeks:

Normally held together with an elastic band, I have a fantastic book of useful notes, memories, hints and software notes to refer to in the future.  With spare printouts, to-do lists, software shortcuts, passwords and login names, I would have been lost without it!

Speaking of which, I was also lucky enough to find a couple of gems amongst the bottom of Book City that I had grown accustomed to. Fortunately they were in the stack soon to be shipped out of the office for a new life, so I was able to take them home for some quiet perusal.

I shall finish this post with a ritual that I took to performing to record my desk-mess and habit forming munches. I think I might best reflect on my time in the office, as the place I managed to nurse an addiction to grapes and edamame beans, while being the regular Friday dealer of chocolate covered coffee beans to the hardworking editorial interns to my side! Good times, very interesting good times indeed.

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