Wendy Raven McNair
Author & Artist




Graphic designers should design in a way that allows them to make quick easy changes to images when editors ask for last minute adjustments.

When I was a student at Kennesaw State University, I worked for The Sentinel, the school newspaper. I started off as a Production Assistant and became a Graphic Illustrator, learning many valuable lessons.

I will briefly explain the steps of getting an idea into print and why it's important to design in a way that allows you versatility.

We begin with the production manager or editor requesting an image (for example an image about smoking in the dorms is needed for an article).

Sometimes the request is very specific and the editor tells you exactly what to create or whether the image should be designed to fit a space shaped like a square, portrait (tall), landscape (wide), circle, etc. Sometimes, which I find more fun, you're given creative license.

For this assignment the image had to fit a portrait shaped space. This is my original image.


Notice the design is taller than it is wide so that it will fit a portrait shaped space. I created it in Illustrator, an image editing software program.

The editor used InDesign, a layout software program, to place my image with the text of the article. The final image appeared in the newspaper like this...

I tweaked the image to change it to landscape (by stretching the dorm and the KSU sign, and shortening the dorm and the couple) to fit the space. The editor added the drop shadow. For comparison, the images are side-by-side below.


That's how an idea makes it into print. Even though the editor originally asked for a portrait layout, for some reason the space available changed to landscape and I had to quickly adjust my image on short notice so that it would fit the space.

So be professional and keep a good attitude by creating versatile designs that make tweaking fast and easy.

Have fun creating!