Where did you learn the most?

Did you learn the most about graphic design (or your artistic profession) from school or other sources?

Learned the basics and the theory in school.
Then learned more about the real world in the first 6 weeks on the job than you ever see in school.
25 years now in the print industry and still learning more.

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I spent 6 years studying graphic design (Undergrad and grad school). Depending on how one looks at it, I’ve spent around 40 years working in the field. I think it’s more than fair to say that I’ve learned more in the 40 years of working than I did in my six years of university design studies.

That said, the school work formed the foundation for everything else. Those 40 years in the business would not have been possible with the school years.


If the real question you are asking is “Do I need to go to school for this?” the answer is yes.

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There are many ways to learn. Sometimes you get a job in company as fresh for internship for 3 to 6 month and you work under experienced person so you learn by knowledge and practically more over there are many institute for short courses you can have a course from there.

I learned on the job, simply because when I started there was no Adobe Suite, no Quark Xpress, no PageMaker and the original Apple Macintosh not launched until later. I did hot metal / photo-typesetting on the machines you see in museums now.
In the beginning, the software was very simple and easy to learn (the installer for the first edition of Quark Xpress came on a single floppy disk). With each upgrade I learned a bit more as new features and capabilities were added. A nice, gentle slope to the learning curve. Now if I was to start from scratch, faced with the mountainous scale of the learning involved, I would certainly need a 3-4 year course to get good at using the software - and (this can’t be overstated) that is the tool, not the skill required for a good designer.

Design was part of the university course I did, and the most I got from that is how to look, see and learn from what you find around you. Learn from the great designers of the past, but learn how to do your own thing. Skills develop over time, but you need a base of learning to build on.

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Thanks for the feedback. What I’m hearing is that university gave you the knowledge to go into the industry, but working in the industry thought you more.

That sums it up nicely. A tutor once told me that knowledge can be taught but skill has to be learned.

On the job.
Learned very little in 4 years at college compared to how much you learn on the job.

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