My Internship at Center City District

Hello! My name is Grace Jonas, and I'm a junior advertising art direction major.

Hello! My name is Grace Jonas, and I’m a junior advertising art direction major. I’m a graphic design intern at Center City District (CCD). I’m excited to share my internship experience!

This was my first internship and I’ve learned a lot through this experience. CCD offers internships in the marketing, graphics, sponsorship, and research department. The graphics team at CCD is made up of two graphic designers and the creative director. I started in September and have been working two days a week for eight hours each day.

I use Adobe Illustrator, Indesign and Photoshop to complete post of the projects. My job is to help the graphics team create posters, advertisement, brochures, signage, and LED signage. I’ve also created a few projects in the Wintergarden located at Dilworth park.

My boss assigned me the project to create table wraps for the new tables that were going to be located inside the winter garden. I did a lot of variations and played with shape, size, arrangement and color. After creating about 30 art boards, my team and I did a group critique and decided on this design as the final design.


I also created the designs for the hand painted wooden signs in the Wintergarden. I used Adobe Illustrator to create the layout for the signs. The signs were three feet long and one foot wide. After creating the document, to align with the signs perfectly, I started playing with font choice and color. After creating some options, the graphics team and I did a group critique. First, we chose what colors we thought worked and then we focused on the font.

After choosing the right colors, I had to find the correct paint to order. I looked over many paint colors, and I chose three that I thought best matched my draft. Then, we sketched an outline of the font onto the signs. Next, we painted the signs with the correct colors. The finished result came out amazing. In the garden they add an earthy feel and fit in perfectly, because of the off white background color.

I’ve also created a lot of the signage that is located in the Rotham Rink, such as posters, A frame signs, and brochures. I have gained a lot of experience designing for CCD, For one, I didn’t just enhance my design skills, but I have learned how to design for a brand. I didn’t realize how many steps it takes to brand an organization. When branding an organization you learn to maintain a consistent style, throughout the website, social media, signage and logos. I had to design ‘in the box’, which means I didn’t get to do super creative artwork, because I had to follow CCD’s design rules. Learning how to design for brands, is experience that is very useful to me in my advertising career. I’m thankful to be getting this hands on experience at CCD.

Overall, this experience is everything I thought it would be and more. I was surprised that my creative director gave me a lot of responsibility and trusted me to complete projects. It was a great feeling to know that she trusted me and knew I was capable of designing. I always asked questions, or let my boss know if I didn’t have any work so I was always busy. What helped me push and develop my work even further was our group critiques. About once or twice a day, the design team and I would go over whatever project I was working on and provide design feedback.

Group critiques helped me finish up projects. I liked that we are a small team. Other agencies will tend to have like 10 or more creatives but CCD doesn’t need that many designers. However, working with a smaller team, allows us to build really strong communication skills. When my boss explains a new project to me, her communication is pretty clear and I know I can always go to her if I have any questions. My experience at CCD was great and I couldn’t have picked a better organization at which to complete my first internship.

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