FAQ

The Student Design Agency is the newest addition to Princeton University Student Agencies, dedicated to providing the University community with quality print, web, and graphic design services at affordable rates.

Working in conjunction with University Communications, and partnering with other agencies, organizations, and printers, the SDA provides a centralized solution for one-stop design, printing, and distribution. Below are a number of questions you may find useful when deciding on whether to apply for employment with us.

Why Join?

The Student Design Agency offers a unique opportunity to participate in a professional student run business, while also helping you build a strong design portfolio to take with you after you graduate. We pride ourselves on our reputation, our excellent relationships with clients, our timeliness, and our professionalism. By joining SDA you become an important part of a strong tradition that provides a meaningful and beautiful service to the Princeton community. It's a highly fulfilling experience that goes beyond simply designing posters.

How Does the Agency Work?

In brief, clients submit design requests which we then assign to a designer. The assignment process works through a system called 'bids' where every three bid cycles (one bid cycle is almost always one design request) designers are expected to submit their ideas for the project. Managers then assign projects, and the designer gets in touch with the client to carry the project to completion. Projects are typically delivered several days before the deadline to give the client time to make any requests for changes in the design.

What Should We Expect In Terms Of Time Commitment?

Outside of the bi-weekly meetings (which are brief), and the expectation that you post comments and critiques on other designers work on the forums - the time commitment is based on how much you're willing to commit. Some designers take on more projects than others, and we never ask a designer to take on a project if they don't want to. As a new designer, you can probably expect to take on one project (usually 8-10 hours) every 1-2 months. Or more if you want, it all depends on how active a member you are of SDA. That said, we do expect designers to stay committed to SDA even when they aren't doing any projects through regular bidding (every three cycles), forum critiques, and the bi-weekly meetings.

What Should We Submit For The Portfolio?

We ask that you submit 4-5 pieces of your best work. These can be examples of anything, and do not have to be an example of graphic design specifically. Many of our designers came to us with only a fine arts background, and hence submitted portfolios that were only works of fine art. When we critique the portfolio, which is the most important part of the application, we're looking for good design sense, and good design transcends all media. See our application form for details on how to submit your portfolio.

Do I Need To Know The Software?

Just as we don't assume for the portfolio that you'll be submitting works of graphic design in the narrow sense, we don't expect all beginners to be entirely versed in the software. We ask that question on our application to get a sense going forward of which designers might need a bit more help during office hours. We do expect you to gradually learn the software as you work with us, but this is a prime example of learning by doing, where taking on projects will help you get to level we'd like you to be at.

Finally, please feel free to send us an email with any questions you have about the application process or SDA in general. We look forward to reviewing your applications!