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The Design Center / Creative Networking / May: Design Graduates  

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May: Design Graduates

... ready for the real world?

This May and June many designers, illustrators, photographers and visual communicators will be either graduating from design/art school... or participating in reviewing the portfolios of upcoming creatives -- perhaps even hiring them. During April we invited readers of the Design Cafe list and DTG to write in and relate a comment about their experience, or some advice to those just graduating from Design school. We also asked for comments from students about their experience and what they hope to achieve as they enter the field of graphic design.
      This month's winners have spoken so eloquently that your lowly editor is humbled, and cannot add any more to these thoughts of wisdom...

Suggestions for grads

Devi writes:
      "I began designing on a Macintosh although in some case required a Windows machine. My favourite choices are Macintosh (I own a PBG4) and have been getting into Macromedia products for animation/motion. I also like Adobe for print design and QuarkXPress for layout.
      Suggestions for grads is to attend many career and design workshops which may be offered free by your school. Send out your resumes to as many business as possible even if you think you may not qualify. Get as much interviewing experience as you can. Have good relations with your dept. professors and definitely get involved at school!"
[END QUOTE] Devi is a design professional from Indianapolis, IN USA

Praying for an agency job

Adrianne writes:
      "I work on a PC running Windows XP. I would have to say that I enjoy working on both Mac and PC, taking no sides in the matter of software. You can get the work done well on both! The software I use the most would have to be Adobe Illustrator. But my favorite software is Adobe InDesign. Oh what a welcome relief from Quark! I will graduate in May and will be moving to Austin, TX. Most of the work I have right now is freelance, but I'm praying for an agency job every time I interview for one. The newsletter has really helped me with ideas and concepts for projects. Thanks for keeping me "in the loop"!"
[END QUOTE] Adrianne is a Graduate and self employed freelancer from San Marcos, Texas, USA

Replace arogance with eagerness

Leah writes:
      "I've just entered the real world of design about two months ago. I had been out of school for about eight months, and finding a job that I could love and work in my field seemed bleek. An opportunity came up for a graphic design position that would probably be the best design job in my area - I had to go for it.
     I started adding a crop of new pieces to my portfolio because I wanted to make sure that the interviewers knew what I was capable of even though I had little experience. Putting my full heart into my preparation along with having a great internship behind me showed that I had the skills -- but the thing that led me to my current job was my attitude. They loved that I was able to deal with constructive criticism and that I could follow directions well. In the interview I acted professional but I showed that I had character and a sense of humor, something that all of the interviewers had. I needed to show them that I would be able to fit in with them. All of the applicants had the experience and great design styles but what landed me the job is the fact that they knew they'd be able to work along side of me every day.
     Now I get to work on a top of the line Mac with all the software I could ever need, including Adobe Photoshop, where I could spend hours dreaming up new ideas. So my advice is . . . don't ever be arogant and always have the eagerness to learn more. The excitement you reflect will be attractive to an employer. Eventually you'll land the job of your dreams."
[END QUOTE] Leah is a design professional from Wheeling, WV USA

Discourse on Graphic Design

Joan writes:
      "The graphic face that image and word has burned into society has become an expansion that cannot escape the most minor of details. Graphic design is everywhere in anything. It relies on a pictorial universality that blends themes from different cultures that communicates a specific intent.
      It's a monumental achievement to create easy to navigate, aesthetic designs that depend highly on the minds natural ability to be captivated. Through posters and product packaging, page layouts and logo lethargies, graphic design is the medium through which the designer, such as myself, can achieve contact with the rest of the world. Art makes man think; makes man wise; and wisdom makes life endurable.
      Graphic design is the inevitable flirtation that makes people pause and consider alternatives based on a fleeting flip through a magazine or package positioned in a store shelf. Who are the heroes in this industry? Those who can make it work.
      Not one person can excel above another, only designs battle for success. Yet in this balance between creativity, message and product is the scrapping dread that the clients have clouds of condensation fogging their ability to capture a well-designed concept. It is an inferiority moment when the industry head specifies the most unapproachable requirements for the task at hand.
      Graphic design is so phenomenal that it can transcend the barriers of language and tradition -- but it cannot always be prepared for the burdening moment of accidental offense. It's a careful dance that has to step lightly. Advances in technology play a key role in graphic design, however infuriating, the temperamental device of choice may behave. Missing from graphic design is consistent compatibility between fonts, software, systems and the printing press. I can see it working one day and that one day is on the way.
      In the design world I'm going to end up pushing. Pushing what? Pushing the envelope, the pen, a mouse, and my employers � and for what? I realize that the possibilities are limitless and I shall endure.
      I use a Mac G5 with movie-size flat panel. Favorite software: Adobe suites, Macromedia & Quark"
[END QUOTE] Joan is a design professional from Dearborn, MI, USA

Experience is the compression of time

Mile writes:
      "Real World Design is all about dealing with Time and Budget constraints. Design itself is all about restrictions and parameters and good design satisfies all of these restrictions. If there were no restrictions it would be art. However the "real world" also slaps on an added time and budget tariff. Without this tariff, designers insist they would always be happy and would consistently be producing award winning work. This is pure design or "high design", usually reserved for academics and competitions. Of these two determining restrictions, I would give more weight to time as being the more crippling to good design because you can always have a good design with a small budget. Time however equates with experience and this is invaluable when you are dealing with design. Experience is the compression of time and accounts for knowing what to do and how to do it. With all the time in the world you will eventually come to know what is required, but in the real world time is your money and no one can afford to let it bleed. Real World design separates the experienced from the novice with the blade of time.
     I use both MAC and PC Platforms and my favorite software is Adobe Photoshop"
[END QUOTE] Mile is a design professional from Vancouver, BC, Canada

And, that about wraps it up for this month. See'ya next month.

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