AIGA | Crowdsourcing
99 Designs | Contests
Visual Explanation of Crowdsourcing
Design Crowd | Crowdsourcing Video
• Do you need a degree to be a graphic designer?
No. Kind of ironic since I’m in college getting a degree for it, isn’t it? However, I didn’t come to school just for the “degree”…I came to school to be further educated and to get an experience with the different kind of projects, etc. offered in the field. I think, in many senses, school is a great warm-up for graphic designers…you’re able to become a better, well-rounded artist, while continuing studies in design. It’s a chance to better your design skills BEFORE you have a job…When you get hired, they’re not going to wait for you to improve. They want you to be a KILLER designer…NOW.
• Is the portfolio more valuable than the degree?
Yes. And in a sense, I think that’s why we ultimately go to school for that degree= we want our portfolio to be AWESOME. In school, we get a lot of opportunities to try classes like letterpress, screen-printing, and other things that make GREAT portfolio additions…but hey, if you are talented without those classes, more power to you. Of course, a degree is recommended…especially in other majors more than others. But, as a graphic designer, I think that have an amazing, out-of-this-world portfolio is way more important than writing down “BFA in Graphic Design” or whichever degree. And, once again, I’m not crushing the idea of a degree…I’m obviously all for it since I’m specifically in school for that AND the added experience that comes with it…however, is it ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to be a graphic designer? No. Do you HAVE to have a degree in painting to consider yourself a painter or artist? Of course not. When it comes down to it…the portfolio weighs a lot heavier in the hiring process, etc.
• Have those that haven’t done what you have deserve to call themselves graphic designers?
Sure! But I’m willing to take them on in a portfolio stand-off 😉
• Do tutorials as lynda.com tutorials and adobe tutorials devalue going to school for graphic design?
Not really, considering lynda.com was the site I was told to visit daily when I GOT to art school. I have taught myself Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects, InDesign, and more…*ahem*…”taught” “myself.” I get it…art school doesn’t have time to teach everyone the programs, but I literally haven’t been taught anything from the programs…minus the lessons that were set up by a former graphic design STUDENT. Tutorials have been my teachers, in that sense…so I don’t think they devalue going to school at all. They’ve literally helped me REMAIN in art school.
• What skills have you gotten from school you don’t think you would have gotten by going straight into the industry?
Exposure to other art mediums, art processes, thinking processes, and immediate connections with professionals of the graphic design field. I am SO fortunate to have links and experiences with Kate, Gunnar, and Craig…all are so knowledgeable and obviously are a great source to come to for directional help. Going straight into the industry may leave someone naive or connectionless with the graphic design world: it’s good to have knowledge about what you’re getting yourself into. Although DEFINITELY not impossible, college does widen that experience and could help create a much better portfolio.