I will always remember the year I spent at the Gannett Louisville Design Studio as one of the building blocks of my design career. I worked in a newsroom environment with the pressures of a nightly deadline and an emphasis on constructing engaging and visual news covers. I quickly learned how to think on my feet when designing for a basketball game that would end 20 minutes before deadline, or how to juggle designing pages for papers in Battle Creek and Cincinnati while keeping a specific regional focus for each.
I primarily worked on the Lansing State Journal, which was a match made in heaven for a recent MSU grad and the local editors at the paper. I redesigned the “Game Day” pages that ran the day of Michigan State football games and generated graphics to accompany features in the section. The biggest honor was being chosen to design the front page of the 138th Kentucky Derby special section. In Kentucky, Derby Day is bigger than Christmas. I presented a couple of options to the higher ups at the studio and was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t have to go through rounds and rounds of changes after they approved my initial design. I even was able to go down to the derby that year and soak in the atmosphere and large, colorful hats that fill Churchhill Downs.