I’m working on a graphic design research project (for my Master of Graphic Design) and I need many more responses to my super short survey.
I would be super grateful if everyone filled it out and shared it with all the designers they know!
It’s been years (um, almost 30), but my Master’s thesis was on revamping the printed news media to meet the challenges of the upcoming digital world. It ended up catching the attention of one of the big daily papers in town, which led to me redesigning their whole newspaper from the ground up.
I never could convince the newspaper that the Internet would nearly kill off their print product within 15 years. As hard as it is to believe today, they saw the Internet as a temporary fad. After finishing the redesign of their newspaper (a year-long project), as sort of an afterthought, they let me design and code them a website (1993), which is now far bigger than their print newspaper that is, well, slowly dying.
I have lots of less-than-good things to say about graduate school. I didn’t get out of it what I expected, but honestly, it made a huge difference in teaching me to think through problems and did a great deal to whittle away at my respect for supposed authorities. And this led to lots of other things (mostly good).
So good luck to both a_muse and Glitchin. I hope it works out.
Interesting story. I remember the first time I used the Internet, it was at high school, around 1995 ish. None of the musicians/bands I searched produced any results, so I went away quite annoyed and thinking it would never catch on lol
My maths teacher, wise man that he was, assured me that it would one day take over from printed media and be huge. Nowadays the newspapers are publishing their stories online of course, but I’ve noticed that a lot of them ask people to donate money via their site, and while newspapers are obviously still widely available, I do wonder for how much longer that will be the case. Crazy how much things have changed in such a relatively short space of time.
I’m doing a masters by research and my subject is Data Visualisation. Specifically, I am interested in how different graphic elements can impact an audiences perception of a data set. It will be largely practical, and will involve me designing lots of data visualisations and testing them on live audiences.
For me the masters is as much about personal growth as it is career advancement. I definitely think differently now, than I did before I went to uni and got my degree, and it’s made me eager to take it to the next level and complete a masters.
You pretty much summed up my reasoning too, and despite my complaints about it, it’s one of the best things I ever did.
Starting with my first year of undergraduate work, I had zero experience and was at a total loss. By the time I graduated with a BFA, I still had reservations about how much I knew or how good I was, but I managed to get a design/technical illustration job and went from there.
A few short years and a job or two later, I really wanted to head back to school to pick up where I left off, and that’s where I think I was disappointed. What I found is that during those intervening years I had grown and developed to the point where I was mostly on equal footing with my graduate committee professors who were mired down in outdated and academic thinking that caused me to get into more than a few heated arguments with them.
So in a round-about way, I did learn a lot — just not what I intended. Instead, I learned to think deeply about design problems, learned something about myself, got a different look at people I once looked up to and improved my own self-confidence. Interestingly enough, that same university is now one of my most regular freelance clients.
On a totally practical note, I’ve noticed over the past few years that Master’s degrees in design and other closely related fields have become something that employers seek out for higher-paying management-level positions. It’s a degree that certainly isn’t needed to get a job as a designer, but ten years down the road when applying for a creative or communication director position, it really does count.
Your research into data visualization is one of those hot fields with solid business applications and, even better, it doesn’t seem to have reached its potential yet. A couple of houses down the street from me, there’s a graduate student renting the basement apartment who is studying data visualization at the nearby university, but she’s doing so as part of a computer science degree.
My project is on ephemera - printed, digital, artistic - and the archiving of it.
It’ll discuss how printed items are becoming less and less common, and whether digital born and archived ephemera will survive long term as a historical document, even with proper archiving. It’s pretty such all research, I have another project that has a lot more practical elements to it that I’m excited to get started on as well.
The survey is just a small bit of it about process work (a form of artistic ephemera) and how if something is produced entirely by digital means that the process work will typically not survive at all.
I’m taking this program for a few different reasons as well.
Personal growth of course, I feel like there is SO MUCH to learn in this field, and every day it grows. But the main reason is that I don’t have a full degree - and employers really like to see a degree. I have a partial degree in fine art, and a partial bachelor of graphic design degree (and various other courses along the way) but nothing complete. This program accepted me on my portfolio (with process work and artist statements for my work), an essay, and a couple referral letters from a former prof and a client. I was pretty surprised when they let me in, but I’m glad, I’ll be finished it this summer!