What I learned about the design industry

There are a two words that I learned about the design industry and two of them are these:  brutal, but fun.  I am currently ending my junior year and I have taken multiple design labs, art history and photography classes.  When I started my first semester in 2014 here at San Jose State, I was ecstatic.  I was so excited to start my education with a graphic design emphasis.  At that moment of sitting down in class, first day, quickly rummaging through my new backpack for my new 13-inch Macbook Pro with retina display, I ‘knew’ I was ready.  I really was not.  I was not even in the graphic design program yet because I still had to take design principle courses and other prerequisites.  It was a fun experience and all of the professors were very lenient and nice.  However, things changed once I took some serious courses after getting only ‘pre-admitted’ as one of the 45 picked.

Graphic design is difficult.  Design is difficult.  It is very different compared to fine arts, studio art, pictorial art, and more.  Graphic design is all about visual communication and making the message clear.  Of course there is still many bits of creativity, but we cannot just create something or add splashes of color because it looks good.  Secondly, design professors are also design-ers.  Before the lecture/lab had even started, your professor probably works for multiple clients, a number of companies, or even have their own name business.  This means that they are more critical than ever.  Get ready for constructive (or even personal) criticism.  Don’t take it personal that far in, though.  They are only harsh because they want you to improve.  Note, they do not know you as a friend or even acquaintance.  You are the apprentice and they are your teachers.  They will guide you, but they will not piggyback your way to the big bucks all the time.  This is what should challenge you to become better, as a designer.

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