Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Graphic Design Program Begins

The spring semester at CMU has begin and this marks the first semester that I have been able to take classes that are only allowed for students who have been accepted into the program. The classes on my schedule are:

- Intro to Western Art II

- Aesthetics

- Introduction to Graphic Arts

- Design Bureau*

- Advanced Typography*

The classes with the (*) are the Graphic Design major only classes. The introduction to Graphic Arts is for my Media, Design, Production, and Technology minor, but I think it will have some similarities to the Intro to Graphic Design class that I completed three semesters ago.

Design Bureau is going to be my favorite class because this class consists of dealing with actual clients. My professor is organizing our clients and then depending on how many clients we have, we will be split into groups or work individually. When conversing with my peers, there apparently have been some horror stories in the past with clients that have been very disobedient, ungrateful, and ultimately problematic. I see this as just being part of the challenge and it is simply business. The edge I have in this situation is that I was originally a business major so I have background knowledge on how to orchestrate a business meeting. I was also a salesman for Sears and for Cutco which has its extra benefits.

In this class the required textbook is "How to be a graphic designer, without losing your soul" by Adrian Shaughnessy.

How To Be A Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul

I began reading this book today and I am already excited about sharing it with you.

Another book that I have been reading and would like to recommend to you is called "Logo Design Love" by David Airey. The title of the book is a giveaway, it obviously about logos, but it will give you an insight for any of you logo lovers out there or for those who wish to become one.

Logo Design Love

Advanced Typography will be a fun, but challenging class because of its intensity with type usage. I have often noticed that it has been tough to find a certain type choice for a specific project with a plethora of type options available. As I have been told, I will eventually figure out my favorite typefaces to apply to my style of design.

One of my major struggles is finding my style. I know that when you think of a specific designer or artist you will know their certain style. When I think of myself, I have no style to identify with but I'd rather learn everything I can because I do not want to be limited. This ideology of wanting to learn it all limits the ability to fine tune a specific style because the time consumed by other styles interfere with expanded my knowledge on the other. I think this is the point where a lot of college students are at, which is the stage of experimentation.

Learning all of these new things are exciting, but they are also overwhelming when you are trying to learn them all at once. This semester I am going to apply a tactic that I have learned from a couple of motivational speakers that I have been listening to on my iPad. I learned the tactic of goal setting in a unique way. Instead of cramming all of my goals together, getting overwhelmed, and then ending up getting rarely anything done, I am going set individual goals one at a time. I will not move forward to the next goal until I have mastered the previous goal (this only applies to projects outside of school work). Once everything is ironed out between school and side projects with this new goal setting routine, then this semester should be smooth sailing.

If you're a Graphic Design student and you are reading this, one tip I can give to you is don't be limited by what your professors teach you in school. Go out and learn everything you can on your own. You will learn so much more in addition to what you learn in school. Just don't get overwhelmed by it and learn at your own pace. I guess I'll add an additional tip. This world is becoming more and more interconnected so learn skills other than just graphic design because that will give you the edge against the competition and may be required for your jobs in the future.


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