Friday, August 23, 2013

Base Design


My name is Ben Sifel, and I’m a senior Graphic Design major. During the summer, I was a graphic design intern for Base Design’s New York office. I worked alongside one other intern from RISD, and three other designers.

I found out about Base during one of many internship hunts I had where I basically just went on every possible blog I could for various firms, looking through resume after resume, portfolio after portfolio. I found the work of someone who had interned at Base Design, and I was immediately interested after seeing their
work online. They seemed to have a mix of creative work and commercial work that I thought was exciting and could be a productive learning experience for me. I was also really excited by the fact that for having offices in so many different cities (besides New York, they have offices in Brussels, Barcelona, Santiago, and Madrid), it was still a very small and intimate studio. I applied and was thrilled when I was offered the position.

From the very first day, I was treated like any other member of the staff. I was given the project of designing signage/material for a fashion tradeshow in New York and Las Vegas called Project. While I started off working alongside one of my fellow co-workers, eventually I started working on this project exclusively and basically was what I spent most of my internship doing. I also assisted in promotional material for Pantone, as well as package mock-ups for a women’s lingerie brand called Fleur de Mal. One of my favorite moments of the internship was staying till midnight with my co-worker Ethan working on this—we both agreed that it was not something we had ever expected to be doing for a job.

Working in such a small studio, as well as basically tackling a project on my own, was such an incredible learning experience. It was also a challenge, as I quickly had to learn to adapt to deadlines and production issues, which you cannot ever truly replicate at school. I also learned how to work efficiently and balance different projects (and a ton of nifty shortcuts). I was also given rundowns on how to use Photoshop for website mock-ups (layer comps, etc), as well LESS coding. A huge part of working for a firm is learning to adapt quickly; though I did not know either of those things, I was expected to learn swiftly and be working after just an hour or two.

Despite all of those projects, I think my most important role at Base was teaching all of my co-workers various American slang, as I was the only American in the office. A few highlights: tipsy, lone wolf, and bummer.