Graphic Design News

Student in Graphic Design Class help Restore Ship

It is the type of project in which even college-aged graphic design students rarely get the chance to participate, but students in one high school’s graphic design class made it happen.

Graphic design students at Union High School in New Jersey are helping the S.S. United States Conservancy save and restore one the country’s valuable relics; the S.S. United States.

The Conservancy is made up of members who own the ship or are considered stewards of the ship. They are attempting to create a partnership with public and private organization to refurbish the relic.

The S.S. United States was, at one time, an ocean liner that was designed mostly for civilian luxury cruises but built with the caveat that it could move troops across the Atlantic if it was ever needed. The dilapidated ship is now sitting in a South Philadelphia dock and in need of some serious help from a few willing participants in preserving the natural history of the ship.

Students in Union High School’s graphic design class decided that they wanted to help, so they created a big sign calling people to action in the important restoration project. Their creation has (almost) as many bells and whistles as the ship itself according to reports. The sign is 60 inches tall and has a smoking smoke stack and light-up portholes to draw attention to its message that it’s “Time for Action” in preserving the relic.

The graphic design class heard about the needs of the S.S. United States through the Conservancy, who appealed to the public for help. The S.S. United States Conservancy came to the school to give a presentation about the ship’s history and current predicament. It was after the presentation that the graphic design students presented the Conservancy members with their promotional sign, which will be put to good use in the effort to get help restoring the ship.


Earning a Graphic Design School Degree Online

Online degree programs are becoming more popular with every graduating class and industries like graphic design are the ideal fields of study when it comes to earning an online degree. Graphic design schools offer loads of training about technology, concepts, artistic styles, marketing, and more. It is one of the few schools of art in which nearly 100% of the occupation requires digital rendering and web-based or computer-based technology to execute.

For students who wish to attend graphic design school, the advent and acceptance of online degree programs is great news. The almost all-digital nature of graphic design makes it a completely relevant study in the online education genre. Furthermore, graphic design schools taught primarily through online courses force learners to become even more familiar with the technology they will inevitably use in the future: computer applications and internet-based marketing.

While not all graphic designers are entering the field of online marketing, the lion’s share of them do work in digital desktop publishing. There are far fewer limitations on the types of degrees that can be earned online from a graphic design school than most other occupations out there. Add to this the flexibility of online class schedules and the lowered cost of an online degree, and the perfect picture begins to develop.

So what kind of degrees can you earn online from a graphic design school? Associate of Arts (A.A), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), and Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) makeup the majority of degree programs that can be completed through a primarily online curriculum. Degree levels allow students to choose exactly how detailed they will get in their education and the level of graphic design jobs for which they will be qualified to apply upon graduation.

With an online A.A. degree from a graphic design school, students are recognized to have an understanding of print and online technologies, concept development, brand management, typography, and packaging designs. New A.A. degree holders can apply for entry level positions in graphic design and work their way up to other positions or can work on their next level of degree.

With an online B.F.A. from a graphic design school, employers accept that the student knows everything that an A.A. student knows and that they are especially aware of the problem in various industries of marketing and design. They also learn about problem solving, learn how to be innovative with their designs, and are trained in the social causes for marketing strategies.

Online degree holders with an M.F.A. from an accredited graphic design school are believed to be the most well-trained college graduates once they’ve earned their master’s degree. In addition to all of the subordinate degree learning, these graphic designers are trained in public speaking to narrate graphic design concepts and have become strategy experts. Students with this type of degree from an online graphic design school are widely-accepted at most graphic design jobs after graduation and are the highest earners in the group.

Graphic Design News

Contest Teaches Graphic Design Students about Self-Promotion

A contest sponsored by the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) is out to teach students in graphic design classes how to sell themselves to potential employers in the future.

The “Why Hire Me?” contest is open for submission from graphic design instructors on behalf of students until June 15th, with prizes including up to $2,000 and a trip to the GRAPH EXPO 2012 in Chicago.

This is the fourth annual contest hosted by GAERF for student works. The contest is open to secondary and post secondary graphic design schools. Secondary graphic design instructors may submit up to 5 student campaigns, but post-secondary school teachers may submit an unlimited number of student designs for consideration in the contest.

The challenge of the Why Hire Me contest is to create a self-promoting marketing campaign that the student believes will put them a step-ahead of other professional competitors in the job market. To accomplish this task, however, student must consider which type of graphic design discipline they most desire to pursue.

Graphic designs students can choose from a wide array of career paths upon graduation in disciplines including art and design, science, and technology, communications, and business. Within each discipline, the student must further differentiate his or herself by choosing a specific job title, with options like web page designs, multimedia designer, cartoonists, package designers, pre-media specialist, production manager, editor, and many more.

One first place contest winner will be chosen from a post-secondary graphic design school and one from a secondary school before the GRAPH EXPO in October, along with a second and third place per type of school. First place prize for contestants, in addition to the all-expenses paid trip to the expo, is $2,000. Second place will be awarded $1,500 and third place will win $1,000.

Graphic Design News

Graphic Design Class Designs Drunk Driving Billboard

A graphic design class was recently awarded a project thanks to a grant by the Illinois Department of Transportation to help the class create billboards that would help drivers remember to slow down, buckle up, and never drink and drive.

The Ottawa Township High School graphic design class was awarded the project, which was spearheaded by the school’s group “OTHS Pirates Displaying Awareness Team”.

OTHS graphic design students designed the billboards with emotions in mind, playing on the natural anxiety that occurs when a patrol car pulls up behind a car and turns on the lights and sirens. The graphic design class listened to the presentation normally given by the OTHS Pirates Displaying Awareness Team to gain inspiration for their project.

The Illinois Department of Transportation awarded the grant to the Pirates Displaying Awareness Team for their efforts to inform and educate teens and other motorists about the dangers of intoxicated and distracted driving. The team also uses a smashed car that was wrecked by one of the school’s former students to make their point about drunk driving.

The team recently won an award for their efforts in the Illinois Operation Teen Safe Driving program, as well. The group won $2,500 through the competition.

The graphic design class at OTHS designed four billboards for the project, but only one was selected. It features the OTHS Pirates logo and the message “Slow Down O-Town”. The billboard depicts a dark night with bright red, yellow, and blue lights (presumably flashing) on the roof of a patrol car.

The design was said to be inspired by the feeling a person gets from being pulled over – an emotional reminder of just one of the many reasons that driving impaired is a bad idea. The billboard was designed by Mackenzie Alderman, senior and student of graphic design classes at the school.

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.

Graphic Design News

School’s Graphic Design Lecture Series in March

Teachers from acclaimed graphic design schools are coming together at a college in Fitchburg, MA to talk to students and the public about the influence and impact of graphic design and graphic arts on culture and the world around us.

The free Graphic Design Lecture Series will take place over the course of three events, spread out through March, April, and May of this year at Fitchburg State University.

Among the speakers are professors of graphic design from schools such as the Rhode Island School of Design, Massachusetts College of Art, School of Visual Arts at Boston University, who have won multiple awards in their respective fields of study. The first lecture in the series will be conducted by Clifford Stoltze, the winner of the design association’s 2005 Fellow Award and former AIGA Boston vice president.

Stoltze is well known in the graphic design industry for his passion for graphic designs relating to music and album art and will kick of the lecture series by presenting some of the music industry’s greatest graphic design accomplishments, including a few from his own company’s projects (Stoltze Designs). He will discuss his report, “LP2CD+: A Compilation of Design for Music”, which provides a look at more than forty years in graphic design for music.

The school’s April presentation will be hosted by Richard Doubleday that discusses cultural identity in graphic design. Doubleday conducts several ongoing project from his home at Boston University where he is seeking to create an impressive body of work relating to the cultural impacts and connections to graphic design and cultural diversity in General.

The graphic design lecture series at the school will wrap up in May with a presentation by Alston Purvis, American graphic designer, artist, author, and school professor. Mr. Purvis is schedule to discuss the last 100 years of innovation in Dutch poster designs.

Graphic Design News

Artistry Important in Schools of Graphic Design

Graphic design is about being creative, solving problems, and having the wisdom and conceptual “know how” – just a few of the skill sets one will learn in graphic design classes.

Schools of graphic design also teach the important skills necessary to keep up with others in the field through introductions to technology and software that will be used in the real world, but those that are in the field say this is just the tip of the iceberg.

While all agree that designers will spend a lot of time chasing the latest technologies, success depends on the creativity of the individual graphic designer and his or her ability to get the job done within the constraints of the project. Many graphic designers (successful graphic designers) say that it is the art itself that keeps them successful. This wisdom isn’t limited to those who graduated from schools of graphic design, either.

The late Steve Jobs, a worldwide celebrity for technological innovations, knew that it wasn’t all of that programming that really influenced his success. It was his attention to the art of what he was doing that really inspired so many great ideas that surpassed the expectations of his competition. When discussing the importance of artistic talent, Jobs said, “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”

So it is with schools of graphic art and the practices learned there. Many graphic design classes can bring to light the talent (or lack of talent) in the realm of physical art; where hands-on creativity reigns over technical know-how. At its heart, graphic design is an art and successful designers are thinking like an artist. It requires the ability for one to “think outside of the box” to combine the most effective uses of artistry, technology, and concepts that are taught in graphic design schools.

Graphic Design News

Graphic Design Classes that Inspire

Graphic design classes usually take place in a college curriculum, but as many professionals are discovering they have their place outside of the structured college environment, too.

Independently taken, graphic design classes provide professionals with an edge over the competition and can help teens and adults decide if a career in graphic design is the right choice for them.

Short graphic design classes that are 6-weeks or less are an affordable way to discover hidden talents and make decisions about a pricier college education for those considering a career in the arts. For professionals, art classes can offer exponential growth potential and perhaps inspire a new career path for those struggling in their first career choice. Many graphic design classes are offer online, making it easier than ever to fit professional training into an already hectic professional schedule.

For students who aren’t sure of their future career and think that a career in graphic design might be an interesting option, one of the graphic design classes available through online providers is the ideal way to find out without breaking the bank to do it. Many online graphic design classes are 24 hours in length and cost less than $100. The prerequisite for online graphic design classes is a basic knowledge of computers.

Graphic design classes provide training on some of the industry’s most popular graphic art software programs and teach everything from basic web banner design to advanced print publishing methods. With the internet fast becoming the main way we communicate, professionals need to know how to present themselves online. The days of meet-and-greets with potential clients are swiftly fading away and graphic design classes offer an affordable way to make sure your first impression in the virtual world is as positive as your in-person meetings will be.

Graphic Design News

Rising Graphic Design Careers in Animation, Web Design

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graphic design careers are expected to continue in stability and see an overall 13% growth in job through 2018.

But not all graphic design careers are the same and according to the most recent reports, the best sector for graphic designers is going to be in animation and web design.

As huge as the web has become, there seems to be a gap in the number of graphic designers choosing a career in this sector of the job market. Graphic design career paths can take designers into many facets of the art – from promotional packaging and displays to marketing and logo designs; some even develop the government signs and markers we see on the side of the roads.

However, the BLS report indicates that these types of jobs are very saturated and the competition can be fierce. It does identify one underserved area of design, however – web related graphic design careers will be the most open in the job market for new designers. While it can take 1 to 3 years of “paying the dues” in a lower-end job before any advancement opportunities open up, graphic designers with training in web design and animation stand to make $10,000 more annually than any other type of designer. Furthermore, those with this specialty training will face less competition until the market starts filling up in the next 4 years.

Education is an important part of this process, obviously. At most graphic design firms, a bachelors degree is the minimum requirement for qualifying for a job with no prior experience. However, for freelance graphic designers and those that intend to start a firm as quickly as possible, there are also plenty of trade schools and colleges where one can earn an Associate’s Degree and Certificate courses.

Graphic Design News

Dual-Enrollment: Graphic Design School and High School Credit

Sometimes, graphic design school starts a little early; students in dual enrollment classes can get a head start on their degree.

Is it worth it to get a jump on credits they will have to earn at graphic design school after high school graduation? Most say yes, yes it is.

Being a dual-enrolled high school student is a lot of work. Not only are they studying their normal high school coursework, they are adding elements that most students would not learn until they entered into a college or university. For high-achieving high school students however, this added curriculum might just save them money and time when they finally get into a graphic design school.

Graphic design schools often teach the basics in the first years of their programs – stuff like how to run graphic design software and basic concept creation and management. High schools are already employing new technology and computers are part of the classroom. So a class in electronic drafting, for example, is likely going to involve getting to know some of the software a student might use in their college courses.

It makes sense for students who already know that they want to attend a graphic design school later to learn as much as they can before they get there. High schools offer electives, too, so it becomes easier with computer technology to blend these ideas together for high school juniors and seniors. This is one of the reasons that technical high schools are popping up in tons of cities around the country, too.

The term “dual enrollment” is important and differs slightly from “technical high school”. Students that are dually enrolled in a high school and passing college level coursework in a college approved curriculum are awarded credits for the classes that go toward their high school diploma and their college degree.