Back to (Design) School
In August many people around the world begin to focus on a new school year which usually starts in late August or September. It's a time of looking forward to new learning experiences.
During July, DTG readers were asked to help pick out the best in graphic design, image editing, publishing, typography or visual arts training and teaching!
- Favorite books for learning all the tricks
- The approach you like to take when learning new skills
- Favorite college courses or learning experiences
- Pros and Cons of Video vs. Book learning
- Classes, seminars, books good? Bad?
Seminars vs. Books or Classes
"A real can of worms is the "classes/seminars/books" issue. I've attened some "high-powered" seminars that were about as low-octane as they come and cost a relatively large amount of money. And, I've gone to some free things that were loaded with content and good ideas. I think that networking and sharing experiences with companies/instructors is the best way to winnow out the good from the bad. I personally get a great deal out of human interactions and my experience has been that the q/a periods are the best part of the experience."
[END QUOTE] Bill is a web design professional from Tooele, Utah
Favorite book and classes
"Favorite book - White, Alex W. "The Elements of Graphic Design". To learn new skills, I am a tactile learner. I need to learn by trial and error. For example, if I want to learn a new Photoshop skill, I will try to figure it out myself before turning to industry experts. Often times, I will pick up an entirely different skill along the way.
My favorite college courses have always been on Marketing- most recent course was Services Marketing. I prefer book learning because I like to move at my own pace; however, I think that auditory and visual learners would prefer video learning. I recommend a combination of both in order to cover all types of learners.
I think that a combination of classes, seminars and books is good to supplement daily on-the-job learning. I wouldn't recommend one method over the other; however, I think that it is essential to supplement book learning with some sort of interactive experience, be it an off-site class or seminar or simply and on-the-job group workshop."
[END QUOTE] Erin is a business professional from Cincnnati, Ohio, USA
Plot an orderly study path
"I plot an orderly study path when I decide to learn new techniques or software. However, having ADD, I also impatiently LOVE jumping ahead to learn much by trial and error. A woven course using books, tutorials and serendipity result in prized results and a love for learning never dulling with time. My artistic endeavors usually relate to interesting studies of faces and expressions. The software igniting my creative juices are Painter 8 and Photoshop CS."
[END QUOTE] Claudia is a self employed freelancer from Dadeville, AL, USA
Web Training for fast results
"I had wanted to learn Photoshop for some time now. When my company finally approved installation of the software at work, I immediately turned to the Web as a resource for initiating the learning process. While I really do enjoy campus-based learning, I wanted to jump into the software faster than a semester would allow. I found Ed 2 Go, a great resource for finding online, non-credit courses. I enrolled in Adobe Photoshop 7 for the Absolute Beginner, taught by Sherry London. Sherry has written and co-written many books on computer topics (like Photoshop 7 Magic; Illustrator 9 f/x and Design; Photoshop 6 Effects Magic and Painter 6 f/x and Design), and proved to be a knowledgeable and thoroughly enjoyable instructor. Although the 6-week, 12-lesson course schedule can sometimes seem daunting if you also happen to be working full-time, Sherry's totally approachable demeanor and supportiveness for all levels of ability make taking the course rewarding. Extensions are easy to obtain if necessary, and the entire process seems to be very well executed and is extremely affordable. I followed the beginner course with the Intro, and plan to take the Intermediate course when time allows. Altogether, it was well worth the time invested!
I work on a PC outfitted with Windows 2000 at work, and a PC with Windows XP at home--and although the quickly fading Interleaf desktop publishing system has long been a favorite, my new favorite undoubtedly has to be Photoshop."
[END QUOTE] Debi is a Publishing professional from South Windsor, CT
Obviously different people like different methods of learning. All of these are valid, and we agree that first of all:
* The best way to learn is the one you're most comfortable with and...
* A mixture of all the methods will most likely provide the best, most well-rounded, foundation for continued learning and growth.
Be sure to see our exploration of just some of the opportunities available for going back to (design) school."
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