Graphic Design News

A Graphic Design School Requires Software Purchase

As plans are made to turn the graphic design program into a four year major next fall, one school has decided to follow the lead of other major universities by requiring graphic design students to purchase their own design software licenses.

The change in requirements has been met with mixed reviews at Farmville, Virginia-based Longwood University, but as at least one school official points out, the shift to student purchased technology reduces the limitations of the program.

Right now, the computer lab at Longwood College is operated by the technology team and not the people who are in charge of the arts programs at the school. As Christopher Register pointed out in a report by the school’s new publication (The Rotunda), the technology in the school’s computer lab is dated and is not really updated to sufficiently support the design programs necessary for the graphic design class’ projects.

Graphic design students therefore run into problems with transferring their projects into a presentable format using school provided computers. To ease the burden of the requirements on the students in the program, the school has made a deal with a local bookstore to obtain graphic design software at deeply discounted prices. Where Adobe retails for nearly $2,000; the students can obtain a full copy of CS5.5 for less than $500.00.

To students, the requirement to purchase expensive software seems like a burden. However, the license they purchase will belong to them and they will then have an upgradable version of the design software they will inevitably use after graduating from the school.

While this may be of little comfort to those seeking graphic design classes at the school in the short term, programs included in the Adobe Suite of design products are critical in the graphic design industry and purchase of these programs will be inevitably necessary anyway.