Dear fellow graphic design educators,
AIA (architecture) has one. As does CIDA (interior design). ITAA (apparel design), with only 800 members, has multiple. And IDSA (product/industrial design) gives one too.
These design organizations, peers of the AIGA, give their educators an annual award for excellence in teaching and scholarship. We should do the same.
Well over two years ago I approached the AIGA Design Educators Committee with an idea for creating a national graphic design educators award to acknowledge graphic design faculty for their teaching, research, creative practice and service
to the discipline.
While the AIGA has awarded its Medal to full-time educators (Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Meredith Davis and a few others), the vast majority of recipients have received it for their contributions to professional practice, and that’s as
it should be. The educator award would not replace or compete with the AIGA Medal or Fellow Award, nor would recipients of one be excluded from receiving the other.
I believe though that graphic design educators should be recognized annually with a specific award, reflecting AIGA’s large educational membership (students and faculty) and the maturation of graphic design from a service-oriented profession
to a full-fledged discipline, inclusive of social, cultural, critical and theoretical aspects.
The award could consist of three sub-awards, honoring faculty for particular achievements in teaching, scholarship and service, and acknowledging excellence, innovation, creativity and impact in graphic design education. A panel of AIGA design
educators and professionals would review nominations annually and make recommendations to the AIGA Board for a final decision. Concerns about how this might be financed could be allayed by requiring an application fee, just as the AIGA 50 Books Competition
charges $45 per book.
In a November 13, 2012 email to me regarding the proposal, former AIGA president Doug Powell laid out a timeline of approval processes over the year 2013, aiming toward a spring 2014 launch. He stated, of his and AIGA executive director Ric
Grefé’s, thoughts: “We are both very enthusiastic about this possibility….”
Apparently, the AIGA DEC has been working on this proposal, but I’m not sure it’s as far along as one might hope. Both the DEC and the AIGA presidency have different people involved since earlier interest. Perhaps more support from rank and
file members would help propel the concept of a national graphic design education award towards being a reality.
Please join me in encouraging the DEC and AIGA leadership to act soon to make this idea an award-giving one.
Steven McCarthy, Professor
College of Design
University of Minnesota
Question for creative directors (or personel in charge of hiring designers)...
I've worked hard to put together original, strong cover letters & resumes. Triple checked that grammar and punctuation is correct, even had others double check it before sending it. I address the creative director or person responsible. I have put together
complete book portfolios as well as a print sample folder that allows you to hold the piece, open it, and actually see the project. Then proceeded to have interviews. I am met with comments like "this is striking", your work is "fresh", "you have a lot of
talent", and "this is a beautifully designed piece". And then there is no outcome. I follow up and am told that they will get back to me. But I never get critiqued and it is like pulling teeth for people get back to me. I was once told by a creative director
that "persistence is key" and that if you want a design job to go in face to face. Now that the digital realm has pulled a majority of face to face communication away, how do you go about getting true and honest feedback?
I graduated from design school with the impresssion that I needed to prepare myself for harsh criticism techniques. I'm literally asking for criticism and not getting it. I want to better myself as a designer, support good values and ethics, and land a great
If nothing else, I'd love some advice on how to not be overlooked when I do all the right things (address the person responsible (and correctly), have correct grammar and spelling, provide to the point explanations of employment history.... so on..)
Solution: forego the application and portfolio entrance initially. Instead of applying to these companies first, remember this key insight: people who hire other people seldom like that process any more than the applicant. It doesn't matter if your work
is stunning, not initially, the person who does the hiring is looking for the diamond in the rough, but know that cannot usually happen with resumes, cover letters, and so forth. Strength of work, obviously, is important, but seldom initially. What is important
is hunger, drive, and a learner's humility. So what to do? Here is an idea that is mutually edifying, forget the job, ask for that person's guidance. Release yourself from wanting a job with that person's company, clear that out of your mind. Begin with a
short, polite, request for now-and-then guidance (a bit of mentoring). If you don't mind trying this experiment, use these words after you greet the person and concisely introduce yourself: "I know we are in a competitive field and for that I believe I have
prepared as good if not better than my competition. Still, even thought I receive much praise with my work, no results materialize. If I may boldly ask, and only as your time permits, I could really use your counsel. It's entirely fine if this will not work
with your schedule at this time. If it might, I would be willing to send to you what I am presenting to Creative Directors and I would be eager to learn of your immediate impression, even short critique, of these items."
You have nothing to lose going this route, and if you are selective and professional, it is likely that someone will assist and offer great counsel. When you find that person, (and this is huge), in your concise reply of thanks, add a hook before the finish
or your email. For example, "Your insights were on target and I will be making these adjustments this weekend. If you don't mind, I'd be happy to show you the results and then, later, let you know how these adjustments affected my search for a great position."
The point is, try to approach gate-keepers (decision-makers) not as one hoping for a position, (join the masses!), but one who is serious about improvement, has a learning mindset, and positive outlook. This may not open THE door you want, but will put you
on a path of adventure for those doors to open you may not have even know existed.
Best of Blessings on your search,
One more thing: try to get a deep relation and positive contact with people you meet in a given company. I mean try to interest and engage them as much as possible, to make them want to follow you and your work.
I've done several portfolio reviews as Art Director in advertising agency, and when we had a job to do, we often picked creative in a real hurry. It happened few times, that we picked the one we have talked to recently, to assume the contact is fresh and
the one is still available for a job. So, that way, we based our choice on first impression and availability, not actual works. Of course, this is not a rule, in some jobs the quality and original ideas are more important than time.
Kind of out of date, but what's another point of view gonna hurt?
I highly recommend not putting all of your eggs in one basket. My first interaction with an agency head, I had served him coffee a few times and made small talk. Later on I stopped him in public and he asked for a business card. The next two times I ran
in to him he kept telling me he owed me an email. To this day, it has never happened. About two years have passed and the situation you are in is fairly common.
I do agree with Konrad though. Start asking for informational interviews and just get some time to talk shop. Make connections with people on more of a personal level too. There's a ton to talk about. Maybe even then, a friend of that Art Director can spend
some time with you. Also, check out portfolio one on ones. Man, almost started to ramble there...
There's a lot of luck and perserverance to being a designer. I don't know if I believe in luck, but it seems necessary. Just do your great work, be consistently awesome, and things have to work. Jack White said something like that once.
I am a sophomore going into Graphic Design, and right now I am trying to look at summer opportunities for studying abroad.
I was hoping that I could glean some information from you all about where you think the best places to study abroad are, or what are some of the best schools outside of the US.
I've finished a project with a broadside accordian fold, flat 21x34, finished 10.5x4.25. Sent it to the printer my client wanted and the proof that they sent back was a mess. It was .25" short on the width and height, and the panels were folded in a variety
of widths. I marked up the proof & sent it back, requesting an accurate proof that demonstrates they can do the job. I just received an email asking me to approve the job and promising that they will do it right, but they can't provide an accurate folded proof
because of the proofing paper. In 20 years, I've never had a printer suggest that I approve a job without an accurate proof. Especially when the job involves folds. You have to see that everything lines up on the equipment that is being used. Has the printing
business changed this much with PDF proofs and online ordering that a complex job doesn;t receive a good quality proof? Please give me your opinions, because I'm concerned that the client will shrug and say OK. Thanks!
Hello everyone! I have a technical questions that has been driving me crazy, and probably has a very simple solution. Whenevner I create a document in Indesign that has a stroke added to any of it's text then save it as a PDF and upload it online to a digital
library such as Scribd, it's like the stoke doesnt line up with the text and the outcome is awful and not readable. Suggestions?
The work consists of sheets of paper made of porcelain to fit onto the structures in the space. They seem to have been caught and spread by gusts of wind, and momentarily derive their shape from clinging to walls and corners. An idea originally developed for a windy archway in...
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Semih Talha Türk
Production design internshipMixbook
Palo Alto, CaliforniaJuly 20 2015
Updated portfolio of designer/animator Daniel Coutinho, member of AIGA! Excellent montage of motion graphics: https://vimeo.com/133424211
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