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Conclusion I feel that, throughout all of the processes that took place in this class, I have not only developed a firmer grasp on digital design, but I have learned how to do design in a practical sense. The most obvious improvements I have made this semester in the area of design are in learning software programs. I had never used Adobe InDesign before, and thanks to a host of tutorials and some help from my classmate Vanessa, I was able to create some very professional and useful business materials that I am planning on using once I begin to freelance edit in earnest. Although there are so many software programs out there and I cannot possibly learn all the ones I will use in my professional life, accomplishing the task of being able to design on one of the most highly used programs today has given me plenty of confidence that I can learn more and become more comfortable with using any software program in the future. Being able to use Adobe InDesign also showed me that the languages of writing and design really aren’t that dissimilar; they are more like different dialects of the same language. While I could write ekphrastically about art theory before I came to this class, I couldn’t do art and design theory, but now that I have created some myself I feel more comfortable with proposing my own ideas about design. And because the world of writing and design is changing so rapidly, this skill is very beneficial if I want to keep up. I also benefitted greatly from David Sherman’s Creative Workshop, in which I had to demand myself to be creative within a certain time frame. Working well under pressure is necessary for working in any type of professional setting, and developing this skill has proved invaluable. Even though I went back and reworked my designs before submitting them as final copies, I think that the demand that I go with “first thought best thought” helped me trust my own creative self and the creative process in general. The final project in which I designed my own book stretched everything I had yet learned in this class and, because we had talked about so much theory and because my peers


are supportive and open to giving good feedback, I felt completely prepared for it. Because I had written the copy that I was inserting into my page designs, I knew that I knew more about the characters than I was giving to my readers because the story is so short. I was able to fill in some of the missing holes that the brevity of my story required with design elements, such as color choices to convey certain moods and the downward angle of the point-of-view pictures I used to convey the protagonist’s lack of self-assurance. I feel that my book is overall a big success. All of this excitement about what I have learned in this class is not to say that I have nothing left to learn about this subject; in reality, I have just scratched the surface of digital media and design. I would have liked to design more of my Creative Workshop challenges on software programs, because that would have made me much more comfortable with InDesign and Photoshop. I also would have liked to use my own pictures when making my Literary Research Design, because then I would not have had to worry about copyright laws and I could go ahead and publish it on an e-publisher. I am looking forward to learning more about these programs and photography in the future so that I can be responsible for a greater percentage of my design and so that my designs look more professional. I am also excited to have learned so much about the theory behind digital media studies. I feel much more knowledgeable about how communication works as a process throughout the multiple ages of communication that Ulmer points out: orality, literacy, and now electracy. I feel ready to enter conversations with other professors and businesspeople about the future of communication and my part in it, and I am excited and inspired to see where electracy continues to go and where I will be contributing to it.

20 Document Design Conclusion