An intern turned full-time team member shares her IDeaS origin story and offers a few brand design pointers she’s picked up along the way.
It’s hard to believe I started my IDeaS journey over three years ago. I had no idea my internship would turn into a full-time position when I applied, but I’ve had the opportunity to explore different avenues of interest I might not have been able to if my career path turned out differently—time really does fly when you’re having fun!
Moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota from a small town in Wisconsin really presented a contrasting way of living than what I’d been used to. From the exciting activities and places to go all the way to the five-lane traffic during rush hour, my day-to-day experience was completely flipped which, all in all, added to the ambition for something different.
In those first few days as an intern I didn’t anticipate just how much of my life, personally and professionally, would be impacted. It was the first job I’ve ever had where I felt included, respected and truly part of a team. I was now able to apply the skills I was learning in school to the tasks this role presented me, and I saw the projects I was working on used by various departments almost immediately.
IDeaS has a phenomenal intern program. I enjoyed my time with the other intern class of 2018, and we were all able to support each other in and outside of work. It was a great introduction to life after graduation and set the bar high for other workplaces.
I had never needed to follow any brand guidelines in school because you are designing for yourself and a grade rather than an organization. My first challenge was learning about who IDeaS is as a company and how to translate that into various graphics. I needed to make sure what our external audience sees is a direct reflection of ourselves and what we offer. I am forever grateful to my team for their patience and help back then—and still today. Design is a good amount of objectivity, trial and error, but being able to rely on others makes this process all the more successful.
I learned the simplest way to make sure your document is polished and on brand is to use consistent brand fonts and establish hierarchy of headers, sub-headers, and body copy. Brand colors can also be introduced to bring emphasis to a topic or product. If you are going to use images, make sure they are relevant and appropriate for your subject—any kind of visual will most likely be the first thing the viewer sees on the page. Margins and space are necessary to keep your audience engaged with your content. Continuous text with no sort of break could result in your content not fully being digested by the user if they aren’t allowed a small moment to breathe and think between the lines.
Sales brochures, office signage for HR, client-facing graphics for Enablement & Engagement, event graphics for the shows we attend and so many other visuals I was introduced to had aided in showing me what the expectations were going to be as I continued to learn in my position. My creative process in the beginning of my time here is different from how I create now and will create down the road, but that is the beauty of design. There is always room for improvement, and your current opinion on something will most likely change in the future.
When I was offered to extend my internship throughout the remainder of my senior year of college, I was ecstatic. I could continue to receive professional experience within my field and not have to go back to working at jobs that did not provide the same beneficial payoff. IDeaS let me take my laptop, a monitor, a mouse and keyboard with me back to my hometown while I finished out my time at University of Wisconsin–Stout.
For the next couple of months I would go to class during the day then balance my homework with my responsibilities from IDeaS in the evening and into the night. I was interning for about a year until I received my bachelor’s degree for graphic design in the spring of 2019. I was then offered a full-time position at IDeaS and was able to completely move myself to the Twin Cities and back into our Bloomington office.
With more time and my full focus now on IDeaS, I was brought in on larger production projects, working on anything from social media images and promotional banners to physical pieces like magazine advertisements, event print items, and stage backdrops. Having gone through the process, I now get to speak with our incoming interns about realistic practices, expectations and future possibilities.
And IDeaS continues to present new opportunities for my career growth. I have recently begun my training with motion graphics and video editing with the help of my team to further my abilities in the design field. This has opened up a whole other aspect and appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes to present ourselves with our best foot forward. I continue to look for more ways we can broaden IDeaS’ branding to match our drive to be the best in the industry.
IDeaS is a truly innovative company and rewarding workplace full of passionate, creative, and wonderful people. If you’re looking for an internship opportunity, or thinking about a career move in hospitality technology, be sure to put IDeaS high on your list.