On April 23, 2016 I had the opportunity to participate in Design Like Mad of Madison, Wi. Design Like Mad is an organization that hosts 12-hour design marathons to connect design students and professional designers with local non-profits.
We arrived at the Madison Public Library at nine in the morning, and left at nine at night. Thanks to their sponsors, we had doughnuts and coffee waiting for us as well as Ian's pizza later in the day (I was quick to snag myself a slice with macaroni and cheese). My team, Chris (Owner of Drawski), Maggie (a design student), and I worked with Jill (right) a representative from Operation Fresh Start to come up with advertising materials for their Building Futures campaign, which will help them serve twice as many at-risk youth by renovating a church to be their new base of operations.
Each team member had their own assignment: I created the posters, Matt made the infographics, and Maggie did the mailers. Design Like Mad was an amazing experience, and working with other designers collaboratively, in real time, was something I'd never experienced before. It was the most fun I'd ever had designing! There were some challenges though, such as the images that Operation Fresh Start provided. Some of them were too small for print, and most of them were taken with cell phones, so we worked with the best ones we could pick out. In addition, the computer I was provided wouldn't run Adobe Photoshop. Fortunately, I'd used GIMP before, and knew I would be able to use it instead. It all worked out, though because we got everything done on time, even though we ended up sending off the final products in the following days, as did most of the other teams.
Design Like Mad is a great community organization I'm happy to have in Madison. Many nonprofits have benefited from the help, and quite of few of the designers form lasting relationships with the nonprofits and their team mates. If you want to participate in Design Like Mad, see if they're in your city. If not, bring them to you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to see about starting an event near you.
See all the Design Like Mad 2016 Projects.
Skills USA is an organization for students pursuing technical and vocational careers. From Automotive Technology to Cosmetology, they have events for everyone. Skills USA has district, regional, state, and national competitions in many competitions including Advertising Design, my competition. During my senior year in high school, I competed in three advertising design competitions, the first of which was at Oregon High School, the second was at UW Stout, and the third was the long awaited Wisconsin State competition in Madison at the Alliant Energy Center. We arrived early in the morning, different competitions were held at different times, I took the opportunity to get everything ready, opening up my computer and checking that the school had installed the programs I would need. When the time came to compete, we started by taking a written test, and soon moved on to sketching out ideas. I came up with a page or so worth of rough ideas, eventually focusing in on one of them, later assigning color, and typeface. The next day, we arrived for the awards ceremony, and I placed second in Advertising Design, scoring 95% in creativity (See the final product on my Branding page).