They’re the ones you might forget about when you’re reading the newspaper, but they also happen to be one of the most important teams behind it’s production. Imagine if no one was there the make sure articles were uniform or pictures were the right size…The Guilfordian would be a hot mess, and it certainly wouldn’t be the award-winning college newspaper we’ve come to expect every Friday.
Upon entering the main lobby of Founders, newly renovated in 2012 and updated to fit more specific needs of the newspaper staff and other Guilford organizations, if you travel through the clear glass doors to your left, you’ll find yourself standing in the Student Organizations and Media Commons, a spacious area full of anything media-related you could possibly need. It’s like if Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory stopped making candy, instead assigning the Oompa Loompas the meticulous new task of building tablets and laptops. If you continue onward, you can take a right into the realm of the layout staff – the Pub Suite. Upon entering, you are greeted by the familiar hum of technology, ticking of fingers typing rapidly on keyboards, and an overabundance of mouse clicks. Michaela Beggins, ‘16, one of two layout editors, rolls around in a wheeled chair giving directions and answering everyone’s questions patiently, including mine.
“I enjoy working with the layout staff because it’s when I get to be artistic. I love being creative, but I don’t really make traditional art like the art students – this is my creative outlet,” Michaela says, “I also really love getting in here with the whole staff – we spend a lot of time together and we’ve gotten really close. We get silly, but we’re professional, too. This is our chance to use art in a professional way.”
Using art in a professional way is a big part of just about any job today. Artists are found everywhere, and this idea is crucial. You might not be drawing from life or painting en plein air, but you need people with a creative outlook on your team in what our parents like to call the “real world”, wherever you end up. This is why it’s frustrating to the layout staff that no one seems to recognize the sheer amount of work they put into The Guilfordian on a daily basis. “I wish people knew how meticulous everything is, because you have to get these tiny, minute things perfect. You might not necessarily notice if something was off, but we do. It might take half an hour to make sure one word is in the right place. It’s a lot of time, effort, and fiddling,” says layout staff member Gloria Hoover, ‘15.
Everyone I spoke to agrees on this point, and I know we as creatives can sympathize. Think for a second: How often have you slaved over a work of art, only to have your audience casually glance over it, not even taking into consideration how long it took? Pretty frustrating.
Despite the fact that they’re doing a necessary job that gets overlooked, morale is high. While I was in there, I was well aware of how close these people are and how hard they work making our newspaper look as amazing as possible. And hey, next time you’re enjoying the Quakeria’s Pizza or chicken nuggets from The Grill while you read your copy of The Guilfordian, take a moment to shuffle through the pages, thinking about all the hard work behind the blocks of text and pictures – the layout staff deserves it!