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Should I switch classes?

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  • Should I switch classes?

    Right now, I'm enrolled in a class called Basic Animation - Flash. It's basically a class about how to use flash for animations/ web banners etc. Would it be more worth my time to take digital imaging instead? Digital imaging deals with editing and creating rastor graphics with rastor imaging software like Photoshop. I know a little photoshop and flash (enough to get by) but I haven't taken digital imaging or a flash animation class in college yet.

    Both of these classes are a required part of the curriculum for the graphic design associates at the community college. I do not need to take either because I am not going to finish the graphic design associates at my community college. I will finish AA general ed requirements this semester and next semester I will transfer to a 4 year college to work on a bachelors in graphic design instead of an associates.

    Before I transfer, I am taking one more graphic design class as an elective. Yesterday was the first day of classes and it is possible for me to switch before the end of the week. Since Flash is not used in graphic design as often as rastor imaging and flash could also be replaced by html5 and css3, do you think it would be more worth my time to switch from Flash animation to Digital Imaging instead?

  • #2
    What do you want to do with your education dorito?
    That's the question.

    Are you planning on being a graphic designer or web developer?
    I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ~ Kurt Cobain


    • #3
      I would like to learn both if possible. My focus is more on web design than print design and if I can, I would like to learn a bit of code so I have some capabilities as a developer. I know most people don't need to learn both and there are separate departments in most companies for both specialties, but I still want to learn as much about both as possible.

      Currently, I am working as an graphic design intern and getting experience as a designer. I also would like to do an entry level web development internship and get some experience as a developer. Whichever end I like to do more will effect my chosen career. My plan is to either work as a graphic designer full time and do web development on the side or work as a web developer full time and do graphic design on the side. After I finish my degree in graphic design, I may consider going back to college to get another degree in computer science if I really enjoy the development side.

      I will teach myself more about Flash on my own if I do not take the Flash class and I will teach myself as much about Rastor imaging software as I can if I do not take Digital Imaging, but I think the classes would help and be a good motivator to do the work.

      This year I am also taking the time to learn the basics of front end web development like html, css, html5, css3, javascript, and jQuery. After that, I will start teaching myself PHP and SQL a bit while I work on my graphic design degree.
      Last edited by dorito; 01-18-2012, 01:44 PM.


      • #4
        BTW, I know I can't expect to become an expert in all aspects of both web development and graphic design, but I want to know enough of the basics of both to get by. I will focus on specializing more on front end web development and web design with some knowledge of SEO.


        • #5
          something I learned very quickly... know a little bit about a lot is not useful. As they are not marketable skills. Companies need people who can come in and be an expert on what they do.
          Just knowing enough flash to make a ball bounce is not even close to enough to get an animated game live.
          The same that knowing the difference between CMYK and RGB is not even close enough to the same as understanding off-set press and Pantones.
          I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ~ Kurt Cobain


          • #6
            ok well maybe since I was interested in web design I should do that? Do you think I could do web design AND front end web development? or would that be too much to realistically expect to be able to do professionally?

            If I don't do print design and don't do back-end web development, would that narrow it enough to be able to master the front-end side of websites both graphically and a few of the most useful languages for building the layout of a website that resembles the original design?

            According to some programmers at work, apparently it can be hard to find a developer who can make a website look like the original design or layout for a site. If I was good at that and knew both of those pretty well, would that be do-able? Also, I figured that if I'm doing front-end web development, I should probably know as much as possible about SEO because that's important. Would that be too broad of a focus to be good at all of those? Would that combination be in strong enough demand?
            Last edited by dorito; 01-18-2012, 07:08 PM.


            • #7
              SEO, flash animation and photoshop graphic are not as important than you are led to believe.
              It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh


              • #8
                What would be the most useful skills to learn then? Also, what skills are in most demand?


                • #9
                  The future of Flash lies in broadcast and film animation, not web. So if that isn't your thing, your time is definitely better spend learning and practicing other skills, like code, or what about drawing? I find learning software quite easy, making the art itself is the hard part.


                  • #10
                    There is very little impact a web developer or designer has on SEO. Pretty much it amounts to semantic HTML and leaving a small foot print. However, those are very minute details when compared to content. So unless your the one responsible for writing content SEO is a very minute portion of what programmers and designers do.

                    Flash will probably become less and less viable as time goes on. This is especially true with the mass popularity of mobile phones and their technical limitations. Phasing flash out has less to do with HTML5 and CSS3 than it does mobile hardware limitations. That said, learning Actionscript could prove to be a good stepping stone to other compiled or interpreted programming languages. However, I don't think a design class would focus on programming fundamentals.

                    As a web developer all you need to know about manipulating design tools is how to extract out the pieces needed to build the site. Unless your the one responsible for design mock-ups than that is really it. Though it would probably be worth more to take a class in manipulation of Photoshop than Flash design.

                    Having said all this front-end development requires a solid understanding of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In addition, *most front-end developers understand enough programming to manipulate templates that HTML and <insert programming/scripting language here> intertwined. While some jobs may not list it as a requirement you can be pretty certain that if a company requires a front-end developer that they are working with some type of dynamically driven software. As a front-end developer it would the responsibility to manipulate templates to achieve end design goals. Though the primary responsibility lies in making every page of a website consistent with the designers mock-up look and feel. When working with a designer generally you get a home page and perhaps another page. Everything else is pretty much the front-end developers duty following the look and feel set forth by the design mock-ups.

                    As a back-end developer the focus switches. You need to have a solid understanding of programming fundamentals beyond simple manipulations. Once you have those skills you should than be able to pick-up just about anything when it comes to programming but most programmers are experts in one or two. In addition, to do anything useful on the web in regards to websites/applications will require a database. While you don't need to necessarily be a db admin you will need to have at least an intermediate understanding of SQL and a specific vendor such as; MySQL. After all that than comes the HTML, CSS and JavaScript which are less expert and more just figure it out. Most of the time any company large enough to have back-end developers will have front-end developer to bridge that gap anyway. I should probably throw in some basic lower level skills such managing hardware which some back-end developers have skills in. Though it is more an extra bonus than a requirement in my experience.

                    As a designer you would be responsible for look and feel of sites. When I work with designers generally all I'm looking for is a design mock-up. A basic direction with color schemes any graphics that breath life into an other wise dull boring site. That is really the job of the design. To be the aesthetic expert knowing enough about the technology to understand the limitations of the software so they don't propose something that is not adequate. Though that is where the front-end developer generally comes in proposes possible alternatives, etc. That said, some designers do venture out into HTML and CSS. Though ALL designers I have worked with will good designers they are terrible at the technical stuff and know enough to be dangerous. In the same way most programmers know enough to be dangerous when it comes to design.

                    There is quit a large difference between design for print and web in the following manor. The limitations and useability patterns that have emerged people know very well. Once you begin to get creative useability suffers. So much of web design is more about decoration than it is problem solving or "clever" ways of doing things. Web design is much more decorative oriented than print due to the technology. I mean… think of most websites out there. All practical examples follow a standard patterns based on some type of main content area and sidebars. There really isn't much deviation from that. The only way to make it fresh is decoration. Most if not all sites that designers think are well done is merely decoration at work. That is a little different to how the print world works where there is room for unique and clever ideas. Maybe not always but if you really think about all the practical useful websites when all the decor is stripped your left with a standard structural pattern.
                    Last edited by tZ; 01-18-2012, 08:15 PM.


                    • #11

                      Yea I agree functionality and content is usually more important to consumers than decoration. Design is also functional (at least as far as art goes) because the purpose of commercial design is usually to serve as an effective way to display information for advertisement and content that is appealing to customers and/or at least easy to understand clearly.

                      I know development and design are different disciplines that usually are not very related. I figured back end web development would be more in demand than front end, but I was trying to find a way to combine both somehow since I was interested in learning both and I thought maybe they would fit together better that way.


                      Drawing is pretty much the only thing anyone has told me I'm any good at and I've heard so many times that it's what I should do for a living. It's probably not unusual to hear this about art majors and I actually don't think I'm an artistic mastermind or anything like that, but since I was a small child, everyone praised me as an art prodigy because I was "so good at drawing". After drawing at least 20 hours a week (minimum) for years for the college level art classes I took every year in high school (I worked very hard and I was consistently told I was one of the most talented, blah, blah, blah, and received perfect scores on every portfolio exam and art history exam I've ever taken), but I got sick of it and realized I do not want to draw for a living and should not major in illustration. I got into design because the only thing I'm good at is drawing so I figured I could do it because it's artistic, but I like working on computers better and I would rather do that than draw for a living because I'm so sick of drawing all the time to get better at drawing. I'm a lot closer to finishing a graphic design degree than even starting the basic requirements for a computer science degree, so for the sake of time and money, it would make more sense to finish my design degree instead of start all over on another degree that has a low rate of students successfully graduating from the CS degree they started. Graphic design deals more with composition and colors than drawing, which I find more enjoyable and less tedious than drawing. Also, I like that it serves a functional purpose from a business perspective, which makes it useful for purposes beyond just entertainment.

                      I know the Lumberjack says I should focus on drawing, but I would rather not torture myself trying to be an illustrator. I'm sure drawing is a valuable skill for a designer, but from the experience I've had as a designer, it seems less important than a sense of color, typography, and composition. I do not have much experience programming, but I liked the little experience I've had programming better than drawing extremely detailed tedious works of art. Also, at least in graphic design, concept and direction are more important of an art than technical drawing ability it seems. I'm not saying I wouldn't applaud someone with great drawing ability and do not mean to say drawing is useless, but I would rather not do something that I dislike doing so much for a living. I get tired of drawing much more easily than I get tired of making layouts and compositions. I do draw for my designs to an extent, but I do less of it than I would have to if I were an illustrator.

                      Maybe I should do design for a living and just dabble in a little web programming on the side for a hobby? There are lots of subjects that sound interesting to me and I've just been wondering for a long time what else I could be good at besides art. I think my skills are probably best suited for graphic design (not necessarily anything wrong with that), but I've just been curious and interested in other subjects I suppose.
                      Last edited by dorito; 01-18-2012, 10:10 PM.


                      • #12
                        Sorry for bumping into ur thread this is actually quite informative for me in new to desigining and was wondering if u could tell me the diff between design, and programming both are self explanatory but would like a bit more info coz im G.Design these days with illustrator,photoshop and stuff so what would i become when i finish this??would this be any good or not from the business view or not?? after this i plan to learn web designing coz a friend of mine told me that i should learn g.d first that learn w.d but after that in the future i want to be a programmer!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GR91 View Post
                          Sorry for bumping into ur thread this is actually quite informative for me in new to desigining and was wondering if u could tell me the diff between design, and programming both are self explanatory but would like a bit more info coz im G.Design these days with illustrator,photoshop and stuff so what would i become when i finish this??would this be any good or not from the business view or not?? after this i plan to learn web designing coz a friend of mine told me that i should learn g.d first that learn w.d but after that in the future i want to be a programmer!
                          Design is the graphics side, development is the programming side. Graphic designers use adobe image editing and multimedia, etc software but do not usually need to know how to program much if at all. Any useful skill you can learn and any degree you get is good from a business view at least to an extent. You can check this website if you want to see how much demand there is for most occupations:

                          There are not many colleges that offer degrees in web development and most employers do not take degrees in web development seriously. Usually by the time you finish a degree in web development, whatever you have learned has become outdated because things change so fast in that field. If you want to get a degree that will help you be a programmer, you could consider computer science for a major. Computer science is more reputable and respected by employers than a degree in web development. It does not teach much web development specifically, but will help you understand the basics of programming and how computers work.

                          It is not always necessary to have a specific type of degree to get a job. If you can show that you at least finished some type of bachelors degree and you know how to do the job, usually that is sufficient to get a job as a web developer (so I hear from professionals in the industry).






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