My college internship and first adult job
Part of the curriculum in the advertising program at the University of Texas was the opportunity to participate in a summer internship. It was encouraged but not required of advertising majors. I had worked with the Chairman of the Department of Advertising, Dr. Bill Mindak, and he had mentioned an opportunity to intern at the Dallas Times Herald newspaper. I interviewed with Mr. John Wolf, Director of Advertising at the paper.
It turned out to be a valuable learning experience. I rotated through several different departments - Promotion, Art, Sales, and Production. I learned about the printing industry, typesetting, paste-up, and how to better prepare work for reproduction.
After the initial few weeks of orientation rotations, I would cover the regular ad salesmen when they went on summer vacation. As I called on their accounts, I would often volunteer to redesign their logo or ad.
As a result of a successful internship, I was offered a full time job in the advertising department at the Dallas Times Herald after I graduated. When I went back to school in the fall, the department chair made a big deal out of a UT student winning the state-wide award. After graduation, I eventually did return to the paper to work. I enjoyed the design portion but I was not a great salesman - never have been. But it was a great entry-level job and a good start to a professional career in design.

A few fellow employees
Supervisor: Tom Farley or Farland, Casey Cohlmia, Casca Schade, Debbie Kaufman (another intern), Jean Prejean, Jim Wilson

Award & scholarship
I won the State of Texas Outstanding Intern Award and Scholarship sponsored by the Houston Advertising Club and the Dallas Advertising League. Entry submissions were from all over the state. My boss, John Wolf had nominated me for the award. I got a letter later that fall informing me that I had won the award and the monetary scholarship. The award ceremony was at the Westin Hotel at the Galleria in Houston. It was a fun day and a highlight of my college career. At that lunch and ceremony, an award was also given for outstanding intern in journalism. It was won by David Powell, also from the University of Texas and also from Hillcrest High School in Dallas. The two award winners for summer 1973 were both from the same university and the same high school. Our names and awards made statewide news.

Dates
Internship: summer 1973
Award ceremony: fall 1973
Employment: fall 1974-75




Arnold & Morgan Music Company
Full story.


An ad for a furniture store scheduled to run in a special edition to celebrate the opening of DFW airport.


Duffey's Furniture
Yuck, the ad I was given to run in the paper was too tough to navigate - too many different typefaces, different formats of setting the type, and too cluttered with info. I reworked the ad with a guideline of 'flush left, ragged right' set text to provide order and organization. I set the important words, Sale and trundle beds, in all caps for easy scanning. I knew the power of the word Sale (like Free) and put the name of the store in the headline for better memorability - in case someone read only the headline. The border respects the flush left margin and relates to the border around the name (their logo). A great lesson and experience for me was the line above the logo that says "Be sure to see our . . ". That was added by the client at the last minute. I was blind-sided and didn't take the time (as little of it that there was) to educate him about consistency. I asked him what 'excitingly new' meant but got no acceptable answer - he just wanted it. This ad was for trundle beds, not the import and antique emporium. It was also set in italics, centered, and with the first letter of all words capitalized. What a great lesson on what can happen when the designer lets clients make design decisions. Clients think they know better than the designer. I was okay since I had succeeded in changing the layout of the copy and the ad composition. But those two centered lines of copy will always haunt me.


Help Wanted classified ad
While in the promotions department, the director asked if I would design an ad to insert in the paper whenever they had space to fill. This was a 'filler' - you can see these in almost any newspaper. Most ads that promote the newspaper are there to fill space where a client ad was scheduled to go but the client failed to get the ad copy to the paper in time to meet the printing deadline (deadlines are absolutely firm in the newspaper business). So, this ad was to promoted classified ads. It had to be designed so that it could be reduced and enlarged to fit into a variety of sized spaces. Since classified ads are very dull, dry, and boring (they rely entirely on content), the concept with this ad was to be attractive - to be the best looking ad in the sea of set type. This would help it stand out and improve the appearance of the page. The headline was set with swashes to provide flair, border around the copy helped contain the sections of text and provide unity as an island floating in the sea of black ink on the page. It was a hit. The promotions director adopted the ad and used it for several years.



New Employee Manual
As a new 'employee', I had a bit of a confusing time learning all the policies, traditions and organization of the Dallas Times Herald. I proposed to the Advertising Director that he allow me to create a new employee orientation manual. I interviewed people, conducted research, and gathered forms and maps. I designed a binder for the new material with pockets to hold the existing forms. It was a hit. They adopted the idea and general organization. The paper's own art and promotion departments produced the new orientation manual. It felt good to have made such an impact as an intern.

  www.jamesrobertwatson.com/internship.html