Sunday, May 1, 2011

Can Anyone Be a Designer?

With the advancement in software and a rebirth in craft movement it seems that everyone wants, and can be a designer. But can they? Lots of designers have the humble start of no schooling and go onto become very successful designer. Some are just crafters looking to make something trendy. Most people ARE capable of being designers. A primary function of a designer is to organize information, but also combining function and aesthetics. Designers need an aptitude for problem solving. Designers can be very talented not going to school, because you are judged by your portfolio not your school and grade.

School has the advantages of teachers being more knowledgeable in the field than you, and they can impart knowledge and skills that would take you much longer to figure out on your own. Fellow students are great assets to your education. Learning along with others creates a common bond, easy networking, and you would be amazed the magnitude of what you can learn from your peers. In our projects we each learned tricks to the different tools, and we able to help each other out. Being a student gives you the foundation to begin learning on your own. School also will provide you the history of graphic design, and knowing the history can help you understand the conventions in design today and better understand your tools.
With motivation you don’t require the aid that teachers and your fellow students can provide, but if you find you need that form of encouragement and supports there are plenty of blogs around that you that can give you the help of your peers in a non-intimidating way. It can be hard to keep the motivation up to learn on your own. I know that I continually endeavor to learn on my own new tips and tricks, but I always become lazy. I have considered taking short classes for support of teachers and the forced commitment of attending class.
Scheduling time, set apart from the rest of your day, can help ensure you take time to learn a new skill. Keeping a clean and distraction free workspace also helps ensure success. My TV and Netflix often distract me from achieving my goal. Put up design inspiration. Engage in alternative activities. Diversity can be a great asset to a designer. Graphic Design is not solely for computers, in decades past they did not have computers to accelerate the design process, so get practice drawing, painting, and if you can I strongly suggest screenprint and letterpress. Letterpress gives you a new appreciation for the simplified way we are able to layout type on a computer, as well as be having more detailed attention toward kerning and leading.
Even after school a designer is not done learning, so it is important to continue growth in your craft with: books, tutorials, lectures, and perhaps more classes! Design, software, and society are continually changing, so always look for an opportunity to learn. It is never too late to begin learning. --Wow how many more clich├ęs can I fit here!? Many people can be successful without school, now she focuses more on her photography and blogging. Check out Heather Armstrong on or her interview with Debbie Millman

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