Degree in Graphics Design

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by julianharry, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. julianharry macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #1
    I want to pursue my grad in graphics design from a well reputed university having good campus placements. As far as drawing & painting is concerned I have got good skills. Right now I’m unable to decide whether I should go for my grad in this stream only or ..
    Suggestions please. Kindly help.
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #2
    Take a minor in business, accounting, or something else.

    While being artistic can be nice, sometime a management job at the same firm can lead to job growth.
     
  3. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #3
    Are you looking to get a graduate degree or a bachelors degree?

    Its hard to suggest alternates without knowing more about your needs, interests and prior experience.
     
  4. julianharry thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2009
    #4
    hmm.. I m looking for bachelor's degree. Looking forward to have your suggestions ASAP.
     
  5. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #5
    If you are good and can afford it, go to one of the few reputable schools that specialize in traditional graphic design. Pratt, RISD, Art Center, RIT, etc...

    If you are talented and motivated, you'll learn a lot at any of those schools, but you'll also pay a ton of tuition. However, I'd rather come out of a top school with $80K in debt than a state school or diploma mill school with $20K debt. The former will give you better earning potential because you'll learn more and have a better portfolio.

    If you can't afford to pay or don't want to have to have a huge educational debt, then look at going to a 4 year college (that has a good design program). That's the route I took. I did my general ed at a community college and then transferred in as a junior. Once I passed the stringent portfolio review and got excepted into the program, the real hard work began. Make sure that the school teaches a strong foundation in process and elements of design. NOT have you do a bunch of software tutorials and then leave you to do stuff on your own. The school I went to doesn't teach the software- for the most part, they expect you to learn that on your own. What I learned is creative development process, design fundamentals, color theory, type... etc. Oh, and also how to stay awake for 2 days straight.

    Finally, do some soul searching and decide it you really have a passion for design. It's tough to learn because it encompasses so many disciplines. Prepare to do overnighters if you're not extremely organized and motivated. At my school they piled on the work and were critical of whatever you put out unless it was amazing. And, there were ALWAYS 2 or 3 students who do better work than you, so it can be demoralizing. What kind of "designer" do you want to become? That will tell you what direction you want to go in. If you go to a traditional design school, don't plan on doing a lot of "art" type of stuff. Or, if you are into film/video and photography, you won't use that as much as type, shape, line, dot, space, color.... We had to do large posters with nothing but type and 2 colors to work with.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. Dal123 macrumors 6502a

    Dal123

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #6
    I agree with artistic and need to manage it like a business with time being spent on projects and costs etc. Need to keep an eye on figures.
    I don't think that you should take a course in business accounting etc, just a bit of common sense. We learnt at college invoicing and managing prices etc, bit of common sense and you will be hiring an accountant to do your accounts.
    Sunbaked does make a good point; running it like a business too and not just an artist, I think you should concentrate on your design, and hire an accountant and you should learn about invoicing in your course or already learned if you're doing a degree.
    That's only my opinion though :), and the great thing about this forum taking others input and making your own decision ;).
     
  7. rozwell macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    #7
    I started a 4 year program at an art school and decided it wasn't for me. I hit the code (programming/design in my case) and made it my main focus. Stopped playing video games, stopped hanging out excessively and stopped all other distractions and time sinks and just learned.

    I am not saying its for everyone and I definitely liked the idea of going to school, but it just didn't work out. If you are a self starter the web is a massive resource for design. Check out and follow every design blog you can find. A few of my favorites:

    http://qbn.com
    http://cpluv.com
    http://reformrevolution.com
    http://notcot.com
    http://thefwa.com

    Most of what they taught in my school was learning from practicing designers often "tracing" what they did in a sense, learning their mark to hone your skills and develop your own. I suggest you learn every technique, every concept and every tool you can before you go to college (or not). Getting those road blocks out of the way will allow you to focus on whats really being taught, not what "x" button in Photoshop does.

    You can have an amazing porfolio and go to the worst school or come from a great school and have a weak portfolio. $80k vs $20k doesn't directly relate to YOUR effort and YOUR talent and ultimately a job.
     
  8. moderniste macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    #8
    This is good advice, because it will be easier to get summer jobs or first jobs out of college if you have some business experience.

    I completely disagree about getting $80k in debt for art school. I know several recent grads of very good schools and they are feeling hopeless with their struggles and are saying it wasn't worthwhile. Maybe someday it will pay off for them, but it's foolish to do in this economy unless you can really afford it. If you want a prestigious degree, wait until you're ready for grad school.

    You don't say what country you're from, but there are good design programs all over the world. Don't limit yourself.

    Edit: 4 years at RISD costs over $138,000 not including living expenses/ supplies/ etc. The average graphic design salary in the US is $46,000. So if you paid a tenth of your income every year, it would take 30 years to pay that off, assuming no interest on the loan and scholarships to cover everything else.
     
  9. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #9
    A good graphics course will cover invoicing and basic accounting so don't waste time going to business school.

    These days print design and web design seem to fall under the same term of graphic design. While technically correct i.e. designing with graphics, they are inherently different practices. If someone hires a graphic designer these days they seem to think you are a jack of all trades and can do web design (inc heavy coding :rolleyes: ) as well as print design.

    My advice is try and find a course that covers quite a wide range of areas. Web design, print design, colour theory, basic admin (for freelancing) etc.

    If you specialise in one subject , logo design for example, you are going to struggle as a professional designer. As much as I don't like it you really do need to be a jack of all trades.

    I started out as a traditional print designer with very little to no web knowledge. I now have to maintain a huge website (which I had to build) and although Im not actually trained to do it I am pretty much expected to. :(
     
  10. eleven2brett macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Location:
    H-Town
    #10
    For a while I was thinking about pursuing a career in motion graphics. I took a tour of Full Sail in Winter Park, Florida. They have an amazing campus there! When the tour was wrapping up I asked one of the advisers if most of their graduates went on to get jobs at firms or strike out on their own and freelance. He said that the overwhelming majority were freelancers. That more or less made up my mind about the whole deal. Freelancing is never something I had seen as appealing, although I know for a lot of people that is what they want to do. Really all a degree is essentially is a piece of paper that says that you had dedication to study "x" topic. And in my opinion that doesn't really mean much when your freelancing for smaller clients, or even bigger clients and you have a strong portfolio.
     
  11. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #11
    Dont goto full-sail. That is, if you're serious about art.


    A quick google search and I read what I already knew:

    Full Sail: Where dreams go to die. - ::: mograph :::
    Interested in Full Sail? you better look at this...
    IGDA Forums - Is Full Sail taken seriously?
    Ripoff Report: Fullsail Real World Education Ripoff Deceptive ...

    and my favorite:
    http://fullsailsucks.ytmnd.com/
     
  12. eleven2brett macrumors regular

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    Oct 20, 2008
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    H-Town
  13. julianharry thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #13
    Actually for designing degree I am interested in online education. Can you please suggest me something on this? Coz to continue with campus classes is bit difficult for me. Kindly suggest me any good platform for online education.
     
  14. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #14
    In your original post you mentioned that you were looking for a "reputed" university that had good campus placements... personally, I don't think you are going to find those properties in an online course. They have fundamentally different business models and goals.

    As discussed in this thread:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=774587

    a design education is built around critique and student interaction. While online degree programs exist, few are accredited. Personally, I don't see how they can provide the full experience of a traditional design education.

    If you are looking to bolster your tech skills, online courses can work well. If you are looking for a professionally-oriented design program, I have yet to see the results.

    While such programs can help you develop a strong portfolio, they don't provide the presentation, speaking, critique and overall studio skills that I, as an employer, expect a professional designer to bring with them from school.
     
  15. carollaura macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    #15
    You can look for Kaplan University, U.S, which provides online degree in graphics design. This is one of the best accredited univ.
     
  16. shamrock593 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #16
    http://www.personaldesigndegree.com/

    Web design, not graphic design, but might be helpful.
     
  17. cretony38 macrumors member

    cretony38

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles (lots of Apple stores)
    #17
    Been there...

    After School I went to work at an Ad Agency mostly Print, some TV. I hated competeing with all my classmates for the few jobs open. One of my instructors came in on some freelance jobs at that agency. They would lose accounts and we'd get laid off all the time. Then I'd freelance 'til they called back. Got out of that game, now I'm a database manager for the State. Which is when I could to afford to pay off my student loan.

    watch the job market very very closely .

    P.S. some of the previous posts... Ecch! you guys couldn't write a manual with that kind of spelling. And you're recommending schools?!
     
  18. julianharry thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #18
    Could you please assist on how to contact the university for more Information regarding the course?
     
  19. julianharry thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #19
    Thanks a lot for providing such a beneficial link. I contacted the university through the website link you provided and got all my queries answered promptly.
     
  20. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #20
    If you are trying to be creative in your educational endeavors, like being a graphic designer...you are doing yourself a GREAT DISSERVICE by not attending real classes and opting for online.

    Without real physical, visual interactions between peers, your work will suffer and you wont truly get a real sense for how design/art/critique works.

    Online art degrees? If those exist, they shouldnt.

    I had to re-read some of the posts here because I just couldnt believe anyone would WANT to get an ART DEGREE without actually physically seeing other work.
     
  21. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #21
    First off, I have to say that the last few posts (before Sdashiki) set my spam filter off... anyone else?

    Secondly, I am in agreement with Sdashiki. Currently, fine arts education is based upon a peer-interaction critique model, as has been discussed on this site in other threads. Without this students are not adequately prepared to work in studios, interacting with colleagues and presenting their work to clients.

    Thirdly, as part of my role as a design educator I also serve as a design program accreditor. This means that I visit design programs around the country as an independent observer and evaluate them to insure that they are meeting agreed-upon standards. While some of the programs listed on http://www.thedegreeexperts.com are "accredited", they do so mostly through regional liberal arts channels. Such programs are not recognized by the national arts accrediting bodies.

    For instance, Kaplan -- while a national online program -- is accredited by the the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. An accreditation body local to the midwest.

    Finally, to describe a for-profit corporation such as Kaplan as "This is one of the best accredited univ." is a bit of a deceit, is it not?
     
  22. moderniste macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    #22
    The only online program I'm aware of offhand is this one (BA in visual studies or visual arts):
    http://www.newschool.edu/online/degrees_certificates.aspx?s=2

    I believe tuition is about the same as for their in-person classes (very high!) and competition to get in is likely fierce.

    If you are working now and absolutely cannot attend university, see if any local community colleges offer night classes that could give you some exposure to design and help build your portfolio.

    If that's not an option, I've heard good things about Sessions:
    http://www.sessions.edu/portal/

    However, they are not an accredited university and only offer their own certificates, which are probably useless. However, taking one or two courses might give you a feel for whether or not you'd like to continue with design.
     
  23. phaax macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2001
    #23
    Pratt, Copper Union, Yale, SVA, RISD, Art Center Pasadena and really few more are good school. They are expensive yet unfortunately the only to have "great" career. Look at the bios of great designer, they all come from the same school. Reason is that a real good education in design pass by a solid theoretical foundation and there isn't a lot of good professor at that.

    A good way to have good education at a fair price is to go abroad. Canada have some awesome school (OCAD, UQAM, NSCAD, Laval, Emily Carr, U of Alberta), so is Switzerland (ECAL, ZHDK, HFG Basel, Germany (HFG Leipzig, Bauhaus Dessau, Halle), England (but expensive) (UCP, RCA), Holland, France and so forth...

    But my best advice is once you got through undergrad, go to graduate in some social science (sociology, anthropology, philosophy...)
     
  24. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #24
    Do NOT take an online course for graphic design! There is no way you can get the same education as in person. There is NO substitution for real time critiques of your work and evaluation of peers. For me, that was the most important aspect of my graphic design program. I would create the assignment, then spend HOURS of time discussing what works and what doesn't and why not... then go off and do more revisions based on that feedback. Sure, you could do that online, but it would be cold and isolating, not to mention time consuming. I could email or post work for students and instructors to look at for comments, but it's hard to articulate a good crit without talking in person, and it's time consuming. More often, if I needed crit when class wasn't in session, I'd meet a fellow student on campus or a coffee shop. The only thing online classes are good for are those that are assignment based and don't need a lot of feedback. Courses like learning software, or writing papers, or learning business is the only thing that comes to mind.
     
  25. puffnstuff macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    #25
    Here is the thing, things like graphic design and web design yes you can learn on your own but the point of going to school is to network. If you are thinking of going to school online WTF would be the point? You won't be networking and you will be isolated. A degree in graphic design won't help you it's all about your portfolio and who you know. You can't "learn" it since it's a talent based thing either you know how to design or you just don't.

    And in reference to Pratt I don't know much about the school but the director at the Art institute I went to went there and he is a complete moron. No talent what's so ever. I thought I was bad at designing (i'm more into coding) until I looked at his site it was a complete WTF looked like something he made in geocities. :shrugs:
     

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