LEADERSHIP: In fall and spring terms, the design desk is typically led by a design editor and and assistant design editor. In summers, this desk typically is led by a design editor. 

STAFF: In fall and spring terms, the design desk typically has one senior designer, one designer and interns as needed. In summer, this desk typically has one other designer and interns as needed.

PLANNING: This desk should hold one meeting a week, often it can be timed to a production shift, to look back at past issues’ successes and room for improvement. Additionally, the design editor should attend as many afternoon news meetings as possible as well as the weekly enterprise meeting to discuss high-level enterprise and maintain progress on Crimson Quarterly, Living Guide and other special publications under its umbrella. Organizationally, you need a master schedule system for your desk members, and to liaison with desk editors’ budget systems for organizing coverage. 

COMMUNICATION: Leaders of this desk should regularly check competitors like The Norman Transcript, The Oklahoman and others to be familiar with their design approaches. Communication should be a blend of in-person where possible and in Slack for broader transparency and understanding throughout the broader group of newsroom editors and their respective desks. Often, that manifests in a Slack channel for designers, for CQ, for #production-crew and other pop-up channels if needed beyond existing channels the design editors can visit. It’s especially important for the design editor to communicate and coordinate with editors of other desks about story needs, progress and possibilities. The design editor also must communicate effectively with and be a liaison among the editors of the enterprise, photo, video and copy desks as the work they shepherd draws on all those areas. 

MINDSET: The most successful design desks are on their toes, actively seeking out ambitious, explanatory, investigative, creative avenues for our journalism, rather than ones on their heels, simply assembling whatever comes to them on designated production days. Additionally, editors should keep in mind the varied audiences – on campus, in the city/state and beyond – our work can serve.