When I signed up for this program, one of the first questions my parents asked me was “Why does it have to be in Spain? What are you doing there that you can’t do at Michigan State?” It seemed like a valid question at the time — both of our professors are from MSU, and we can learn to draw anywhere, right? I figured that it was basically an excuse to travel abroad and see some amazing things, and I was right — but in the last two days I’ve realized that there is one great reason for a group of budding designers to study in Spain — the newspapers here are on an entirely different level than the ones back home.
Today in class we heard from a former MSU student, Nick Mrozowski, now creative director for the Portuguese newspaper “i.” His presentation was informative and fascinating — several students said that this was by far their favorite day in the classroom here — and seeing his work made me wish I spoke Portuguese well enough to get a job there as well. “i” is published in full color and designed to look like a magazine even though there is a new issue every day. Vibrant, interesting, and full of illustrations and graphics, a publication like “i” is a dream job for up-and-coming designers like us. In fact, Nick said that they use more illustrations than any other current newspapers except the New York Times.
We also heard from Krissi Xenakis, another MSU alumni who talked to us about how to find inspiration and get out of creative blocks. She presented some really cool typography she had created using tweets by people like Britney Spears. As someone who is very interested in typography in design, I soaked up everything both Krissy and Nick had to say, and I could tell my classmates did too. Thanks again to both of them for making the trip. We appreciate it!
After class, everyone split off into groups and went their own ways — some to the beach, some to the market, some to the hostel, and some the the Olympic Museum. My colleague John had this to say about the museum:
The real selling points were the poor Spanish to English translations that resulted in hilarious picture captions and the fact that we could touch the objects in just about all of the exhibits.
I’ll let him fill you in on the rest of the Olympic complex experience.
Last, but certainly not least, I just want to say that everyone has been doing a great job with putting great photos and videos on the blog! You’ve all inspired John and me to put together a short video of our own – we hope you enjoy it!