My name is Elizabeth Widder. I am an Interactive Media Design (IMD) major with a support in Professional Communication (PCM) at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This blog is meant to share with you my personal communication identity: a collection of my learning, insights, and processes of developing my skills as an active participant in communication.

Elizabeth, Expanded

Developing my personal communication indentity

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A Sucker for Happy Endings

In second grade, I had a short story published in my elementary school’s art and literary book. It was called The Disappearing Snowflaks (yes, spelled without an ‘e’) and I was so proud of it. I laugh about it now, mostly because of the horrid spelling errors, but I’m still proud as ever.

My heroic story inspired me to write other short stories: one about a man finding life after his wife died, another about a plus-size girl falling in love the man of her dreams. Several other unfinished stories are scattered throughout spiral notebooks stashed in my closet.

I began to write because I loved dreaming of lives outside of my own. It was a chance for me to be the-girl-that-gets-the-guy, the-girl-that-solves-a-mystery, the-girl-that-saves-the-world. But it was also a chance for me to supply happy endings for other characters. I’ve always been partial to a good happy ending. Perhaps it’s my infatuation with Jane Austen novels and Disney movies… but I digress.

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We are interpreters – not merely translators between sender and receiver. What we say and how we say it makes a difference. If we want to speak to people, we need to know their language. In order to design for understanding, we need to understand design. - Erik Spiekermann

April 27th: World Graphic Design Day

Go out and get creative!!


Happy Communications/Graphic Design Day!

I should probably make a design especially for today…hmmmmm, brain storming time!

From Prom to Progress

Five years ago I was in high school getting ready for Junior Prom.

I had my dress, the nail and hair appointments scheduled, and the limo booked. I didn’t have a date, but that was fine by me. If Molly Ringwald could go to her prom in a killer dress alone, so could I. Besides, I had a fantastic group that I went with. We laughed and danced well into the night.

Professional communication was certainly the last thing on my mind that day. But as Senior year, college applications, and preparations for high school graduation began, communication was at a high priority. It continued to be a huge part of my higher education as well. Alverno has 8 abilities and successful professional communication plays a significant role in them all.

Now that another graduation is soon upon me, I can’t help but ponder where I and my communication skills will be in another five years. Of course I hope they continue to grow and develop. Who I am now as a writer is far from where I was in high school and will be much different than who I will be as a writer in the future.

If my “perfect life plan” works out, and I miss all the speed bumps along the way, I hope to be an art director for a magazine. For which magazine I have no idea, but I’ve always loved what they do: assembling the magazine and its pages, organizing the layouts, picking colors, types, covers, etc.  I told myself I would edit magazines ever since I received fresh glossy issues of Seventeen in the mail years ago.

As an art director, I will have to use effective communication in several areas:

  • overseeing other employees working with or underneath me (like designers, photographers, etc.)
  • sending emails and letters to fellow employees and my bosses, like the editor-in-chief
  • clearly articulating my designs, choices, and/or what I want to see
  • presenting myself as a professional communicator outside of the office as well; networking, talking with fans, followers, subscribers, and everyone else who is, in some correlation, involved with the magazine

Now this is only if my plan pans out. I cannot know for sure where I will be in five years time. No matter where I end up, however, the examples that I mentioned carry over a plethora of positions in one variation or another. I love the field of communication and how diverse it is. I also love following the progress, where it was and where it can go, both professionally and personally.

FLUX, n. 1 : a continuous moving on or passing by, change

Broccoli and peas. Such vegetables don’t have much to do with professional communication. But as I think more and more about, it’s possible that they do.

You see, like every proper child, I despised the green things. Leaving the table before eating at least a couple little trees or choking down a few spoonfuls of pesky peas was out of the question. This carried on for years until the unthinkable happened. One night, after avoiding my veggies for a good chunk of dinner, I finally succumbed to the nasty, evil, tasty buggers. Wait… tasty? Did I just enjoy broccoli and peas? I did. And this was the beginning. A beginning of a life in a state of constant flux.

Who I am now is not who I was ten years ago. Even one year ago. What I liked and what influenced me then might not interest or influence me now. And what I enjoy currently might be ridiculous to me in several years. Or even tomorrow. 

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