Michelle Yamamoto: Designer
June 10, 2021
In her two years on The Cardinal Times, Michelle Yamamoto has specialized in both reporting and designing. She joined to continue her brother’s legacy on The Cardinal Times and to combine her love of writing and art.
Yamamoto enjoyed the freedom of The Cardinal Times and that she was able to work with other designers and writers to produce the best visuals.
“I really liked that it gave me a creative outlet within school, because a lot of times I feel like I don’t have time to do creative art and things because of schoolwork,” Yamamoto said. “So [becoming a designer] was a way to kind of incorporate both into one.”
Michelle’s favorite memories while working on the newspaper were writing review articles with her fellow reporter Avery Hellberg about local food in Portland. They wrote one about the best donuts in Portland, and another reviewing the local coffee shops.
“We literally just went around the city trying different donuts, and because it was for reporting we could just leave during class time and go eat donuts. I think that people liked reading it because it was a really fun article that was different from a lot of typical Cardinal Times formats.”
Yamamoto worked hard on her designs and writing, but said she faced some challenges working as a designer that, through overcoming, helped her improve her visuals and design process.
“The first idea you have for a visual usually won’t work out,” she said. “You usually have to play around with it a lot. It’s a little bit of a challenge if you are set on one visual idea, it might not always turn out exactly how you want it to.”
Yamamoto learned some important lessons while working as a designer that she will continue to use as she goes off to college.
“I think something I learned is how key and important communication is between editors, and when I’m making visuals for people. It’s really important that everyone knows the status the visual is at so that there’s no miscommunications along the way.”
During her time at The Cardinal Times, Yamamoto picked up some tips and tricks about being a designer and how to get past challenging visuals. She offered her advice to future Cardinal Times designers, recommending Pinterest for inspiration and YouTube for tutorials on how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. She also encouraged looking at any recommended videos that appear because those can teach you how to solve a problem in many different ways.
Yamamoto’s creativity doesn’t stop on The Cardinal Times pages. In her free time, Yamamoto likes to spend her time expressing her creativity through different forms of art.
“I like to do physical art in addition to digital art. I really like water coloring. That’s probably my favorite medium. I [also] really like thrift shopping, clothes, fashion and that kind of stuff.”
As for the future, Yamamoto will attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and is planning to major in political science and minor in marketing.