I'd be naive to think I understand everything in the agency world that greenlight exists in, yet in the short amount of time I've been able to work with this company I feel as though I have firmly grasped a much deeper understanding of how this industry truly works, and I owe it all to gl.
So here's an intern's take on the industry must-knows before entering it full time:
1. Know What A Press Check Is. I'd never really been a part of the printing process before. As a student, I've gotten to tour printing facilities but I was unaware of the relationship between the printer and designer that underlies everything. With greenlight, I've been able to attend various press checks and see the struggles of color matching, "slitter dust", and the successes of a perfect print. Being exposed to this aspect has been incredibly valuable. I’ve learned what you can and cannot do when it comes to beginning the creative process. I've observed first-hand how important communication and precision is in this aspect. When the proof gets sent to the client and they sign off on it, nothing can be compromised or looked over. Press check after press check will happen until the product looks as promised. Which leads us to number two...
2. Relationships Are Key. The relationship a company has outside and within the office is so important. Knowing your clients and printers on a personal level lends itself to a smooth path to completion. When the two parties involved mutually respect each other, it makes the communication process much easier and the work much more enjoyable. I've been able to witness the attention greenlight gives not only to its client’s projects, but also to the individual. Being able to sit in on meetings and press checks without knowing the prior relationship formed with clients and see the kind of knowledge they have of each other within and outside of the workplace speaks volumes about the kind of time and attention that is required to have successful relationships with those in your industry.
3. Propose A Solution Outside Of The Box. Because of the in depth relationships an agency can have with a client, it's important to give the client what they ask for and make sure they know that they're being listened to. But as a creative, sometimes we have a vision that we want to execute and propose to the client as well. Working with Hotel Derek's business card redesign, I was able to complete what they'd asked for but was also encouraged by coworkers to push alternative executions. When it came down to the presentation, the client was drawn more towards the alternative than what she had originally proposed. As long as you can stick with the brand standards and guidelines, I've learned that you show creative conception and execution through going above and beyond what the ask is as long as you can give them a well-executed version of what they originally wanted.
4. Never Assume That You Know Everything. Internships are similar to school in that they are both a learning experience. Both have an end date and when you’re done with either, you assume that you’ll know all there is to know. But this industry is ever changing. There is only so much you can learn in school based on your curriculum, but having access to the industry teaches you the intangible aspect of the real world. There are very few constants and you’ve got to be willing to always be learning if you want to succeed. The people in this office are incredibly successful based on the fact that they are always willing to do just that. They never assume that they know all that they can know, or that they will create the best solution the first time around.
5. Work Somewhere That Makes You Happy. While I've been at greenlight, the one thing that is incredibly obvious is that the people who work here genuinely want to be here everyday. Everyone is continuously in high spirits and positive about the creative process. Tight deadlines and printing errors are simply not enough to discourage staff. This positivity makes for an incredibly open environment where creative ideas can be tossed around until execution.
The past 3 months of this internship have flown by, but I cannot express how much I’ve enjoyed my time here. The endless devotion to greenlight these people have is incredibly inspiring and I now understand exactly how a successful creative agency should work. I leave here everyday inspired by the people around me and get to come back each time more and more eager to learn, observe, and design. I’m incredibly grateful to greenlight for all I have learned, and that they gave me the opportunity to work with them this semester.
Until next time, gl fam.