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  • Katherine Qiao



​Description: This was a reflection on my forays into university book publication.


The chill of the computer lab creeps upon me slowly, a spider extending legs invisible to the glancing eye. The clock hits 8, 9 in the evening, and then 12, 2, 3 in the morning. Soon, it is around 5 am and though I shiver under the wraps of my thin jacket, I do not avert my eyes from the computer screen. Too many tabs litter the display. My fingers flick back and forth on the touchpad to grab at one image after another, dragging it onto the Adobe InDesign window. It takes a few minutes to arrange Alana Meisner’s poem Tantrum in front of Jackie White’s waterfall photograph with a gray textbox of 85% transparency (or opacity in more technical terms). I toggle with the textbox position and font color until the words shall I scream or shall I cry? of Alana’s first few lines stand out well against the hue of Jackie’s Niagara Falls’ airy-light blue. Then I check back again in the top corner under the Master Pages tab to make sure the page number is still visible on every page of Blueprint Club’s magazine. The software can be finicky, like a child, with layer arrangement sometimes.

Finally, I am satisfied with that spread’s layout. I sit back from the Mac to take a deep breath, stretching out on my chair. Suddenly I’m aware that I am the only human in the lab, with just the wind of air-conditioning as company. The exhilaration of seeing my graphic design work gradually come together pumps through my brain, the only thing keeping me functioning at this hour.

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