I know this question might seem a little obvious, but I'm a Freshman (14) in high school thinking about the future. What classes would you recommend if you attended college and got a design related degree? I'm not exactly sure what kind of design I want to focus on yet, but I know it's something I'm passionate about and I know it's the field of work I would like to go into.
I personally prefer designing for the web, but some of the best design classes I took weren't necessarily "pure design" classes. Photography taught me how to make better compositions, bookbinding taught me how to prepare work and think several steps ahead, and Letterpress taught me how to better work with type, and understand how tiny things come together to make something overall great. While whatever college you may choose will probably have some kind of step-by-step degree program, don't forget to explore outside it some. Who knows what other classes may teach you.
Saving this comment until college! Thanks for the insight Spencer.
At 14 you have no idea what you'll want to do in 4 years time. I promise. Also remember that the world of design will have changed a lot by 2017/2018. Great that you're getting started so early. Just remember to have fun, and don't take things too seriously.
That's really great advice Zander. Thanks a lot man.
Here are a few online classes / resources to explore:
I don't know how it works is the US. In the UK I would recommend graphic communication then in your final year master in the area you like most. Typography is always a valuable class. Then take photography as a night class and in between all of them teach yourself coding with something like Treehouse. Oh and don't forget to have some fun ;).
Thanks! Sounds like a good strategy. I forgot about coding. That's something I'd like to learn as well. Cheers!
You're welcome. And don't forget to look up from a screen now and then. Go to galleries, movies, talks. Taking pictures is a great way to understand composition.
Figure drawing. With live models.
Often good design has the same basis as good art. Composition, contrast, communication. Those can be learned in drawing, photography, and other traditional art classes. It's best you learn from the masters right now about the theory and practice of creative composition. That applies to any kind of design. If you can find a typography, print work, or writing class those will be really helpful. Also at 14, you are in a perfect place for the 10,000 hour theory. To become a master at something, you need to spend at least 10,000 hours (7 years). Find the thing you love the most and do it over and over.
I definitely think cross-disciplinary design is the future but I can't say many universities have caught on. Schools tend to restrict design classes to specific majors so an industrial design student wouldn't take typography. However, that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't.
If you aren't sure what design discipline to focus on then just start making stuff! Build a webpage, sketch a product design, make a poster, etc. You'll eventually find your calling.
Really appreciate the advice. I happen to have a great design school right in my city which offers loads of possibilities. I'll take your advice and just start making things. I suppose that's the first step. Thanks!
I'd say some "boring" classes like Color Theory or Art History are really handy and most of current designers lack that education. I believe they are very important to train you visual baggage/taste
YeaThanks for the advice Miguel!
As a graphic designer with about 5 years of professional experience, currently in his 2nd year of an Information Design degree:
Take business classes.
Interesting. You're the first one to tell me to take business classes. I see where you're coming from though. Thanks!
Can anyone recommend some online classes?
I have a full time job and going back to college isn't an option. We have evening courses for adults here in Belgium, but none of them seem to educate graphic design on a college level. It's really frustrating.
http://teamtreehouse.com is really nice.