We had a couple of presentations by fourth-year students that talked about their internships. It was interesting to see what they had done and how much luck a lot of them had had.

We’re next!

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notes on Enjoy Poverty

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pics by Simone Bauhuis

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First drafts of thinking of a guerilla intervention…

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We had a day to create a typographic intervention as a reaction to a dilemma we were assigned to randomly.

I got the example of officials that don’t want to marry gay couples. What do you do when your job requires you to do something that’s against your personal beliefs?

I think that if you sign up for a job, your first job is to know what you would be asked to do. Don’t sign up if you don’t want to do the job. Duh. Especially with this example, it’s not only that they deny the service they’re being payed to deliver, it’s that they selectively deny service to serve whatever personal beliefs they have. I worked at a movie theater for a year and sometimes I had to clean up after others that apparently didn’t know what a toilet flush is. Or a toilet, for that matter… It sucks. I’d rather not do it. But it’s part of the job. It might make your morning less enjoyable if you have to do something you’d rather not do but at least at the end of the day you know you’ve done your job well and provided others with a service they payed for.

I did a performance where I was dressed up as a flight attendant and stated (audible typography) that my crew wouldn’t be serving straight passengers. Turning around the situation, showing the idiocy and hypocrisy of it.

In the end, most people didn’t get it. I learned to be more precise and to not use metaphors or hidden meanings if they’re not easily understandable. A good way to not stray away from your message is to simply write down what your message is in 1 sentence. Then, come up with different ideas that could convey the message. And then, compare the ideas with the simple sentence. If an idea strays away from the original message or doesn’t clearly convey it, it might not be the best idea…

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We had a workshop on giving and receiving feedback. It mostly was about the idea of a ‘fixed’ vs a ‘growth’ mindset.

After the presentation and videos, we were asked to think of our added value to a group. I like assignments like that because they’re things that make you think about yourself and add to your own value and self-perception. But they’re small things that you wouldn’t think of doing yourself, or that you wouldn’t take the time to do. In a group setting and as an assignment, you’re brought to think together, which usually works better for me than if I’d be doing it on my own.

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The last intro assignment lasted two days. Companies came to school to ask us to work on something for them.

I was in a group that worked for De Groene Amsterdammer. They wanted to reach more people without changing their current name, content and pretty much anything…

DGA is news magazine with big blocks of text. Images are rare and often only complimentary to the text instead of being at the same level. Their articles are their pride.

When we compared the current look of the magazine to their competitors, it immediately struck us as ‘one in a bunch’. It didn’t stand out at all. They all looked pretty much the same and all used the colour red.

We had asked why they use red, since their name is The Green (Groene) Amsterdammer. They said that red had been scientifically proven to attract attention. Sure, but not if it’s surrounded by more red…

What we did is rip off the front page to get to the inside of the magazine. The first thing we came across was the table of contents. We tried to make that work as a new cover but it was still too busy. As a reader, your attention wasn’t directed, you have no idea where you’re supposed to look. The effect is that you look everywhere at once and don’t see anything as a result.

What stood out was the quote the magazine always put next to the table of contents. So instead of making the table of contents the new cover, we brought out the quote and made it their centerpiece. We added a green diagonal plane to differ the magazine from their competitors, add some dynamics and refer to the brand name and history. We brought out the content they were really proud of. The new cover promises what DGA delivers, text.

One of the questions that came up was: ‘why make the name so small and push it to the background?’
That’s not what we feel we did. We didn’t push the name away, we brought out the content to deliver what is truly inside. Secondly, the people DGA wants to attract are people that are clever and inquisitive. If they are interested and want to know more about the magazine, there’s no doubt they’ll find the information they need, even if it’s a bit smaller than usual.

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The second introduction assignment was to make a small booklet in a couple of days. My group decided to choose poverty as our subject. Sandra and I went to the park to interview people asking them ‘what would make you feel poor?’

We then took all of the answers and picked out the three most interesting ones. A kid saying he was being bullied. A mother walking around with her kid that thinks of her phone first. And an older woman who was visibly well off saying that ‘they have already taken everything away from her’.

The others of the group had prepared other pieces and we put them all together in a small zine that we printed out tenfold.

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An introduction assignment. My group made a mobile in which we photographed ourselves.

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