Contemporary Communication Design

Lesson 8 of 9

Learning How to Learn

 

Contemporary Communication Design

Lesson 8 of 9

Learning How to Learn

 

Lesson Info

Learning How to Learn

Next we're gonna talk about learning how to learn. And, of all the skills that a contemporary communication design needs, this is perhaps the most important. So, I'm gonna talk about three ways you can learn more effectively. First, is learning from the past, and this comes in primarily two different ways. One way you can learn from the past is through historical precedent. See all the work. Just throw yourself into seeing great work. What's been made before you? How was what was made a response to something that was made even before that? But to just engage yourself with the visual world. And the more work you see, the more you'll elevate your eye. You can also learn from the past by looking at your previous work. That's seeing everything you've made in the past and asking yourself what could've been better? What was working? Identifying specifically what those things are, and then continuing to improve on them day by day. Next, you can learn from the present, and learning from the pr...

esent primarily means learning from others. And when I say learning from others, I talk about critiques, and critiques are at the foundation of communication design education. This is where you make work and you share your work with other people and they give you feedback. And that feedback is golden because communication design is all about how effectively we communicate. And we can't tell ourselves how effectively we communicate, cause we already know the content. It's only by showing it to other people, in the here and now, can we get an honest understanding of how well it's reaching the audience, and if it's actually communicating what we want it to communicate. Next is learning from experience, and that's by making and re-making your work. This is really so true for the iteration stage of design. It's very rare that you're gonna be in step three prototyping and immediately come out with the right solution, but what you can do is learn from the experience of making your own work. Ask yourself: is it communicating clearly? If not, make it and then make it again, and make it again, and make it again, until it's where you need it to be. And I promise you, if you approach making as a way to learn, rather than just a means to an end, design can be a framework, in which you can see the world and your place in it. So, like I said, approach learning from experience not as a means to an end. Making and re-making is not just to get to the finish line. The best thing that it does is it teaches you how to learn. You wanna approach the critique with the attitude of "tell me more." Peter Drucker said "we accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn." Remember I showed you my old Apple computer and the floppy disk? Remember Oregon Trail where the oxen can only move from left to right? Technology changes. It is changing everyday. And I remember when I was, even in grad school studying communication design, I thought Flash, which many of you might not even know anymore, it's a programming language that's barely used now, I thought that was my ticket to the stars. If I just learn Flash, I was set. Fame and fortune and jobs awaited me. But little did I know in that just a few years, that language would primarily be replaced by HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Things change and we have to keep changing along with technology. Like I said, learning is not just about software. So many students ask me, like, "How can I get better at Photoshop?" Or "How can I get better at InDesign?" And I say you can, you can, by taking classes, we're gonna teach you. But the most important thing is about seeing yourself and the world with wide eyes and asking yourself, can I communicate better? How can I communicate better? Or as Michelangelo said on his 87th birthday, "Ancora Imparo. I'm still learning." He is my inspiration because Michelangelo, a certified genius, said on his 87th birthday, there's still things I need to learn. Certainly, I can have the attitude that I am still learning because without that attitude, you will never grow. You will never grow.

Class Description

There is a tendency in design education to discuss mediums as career paths. Web designer. Print designer. Type Designer. And while there is enormous value in specialized skills, technology has radically reconfigured the landscape of the industry. Print designers are asked to design—and create—content published in monthly print magazines, weekly blogs, and daily social media posts. Social media marketing is redefining advertising. Branding includes more customer experience, both on and offline.

The field is rapidly redrawing its own boundaries and its relationship to other industries. What does it mean to be a communication designer in today's market? And how can we build success for tomorrow? 

In this class, YuJune Park, Associate Director of the Communication Design program at Parsons School of Design, will share with you the fundamental skills that graphic designers, or rather, communication designers need to succeed in an industry that expects its practitioners to move fluidly from printed matter to digital screens and beyond.

Reviews

Loi Laing
 

Very thorough introduction to contemporary design that explains the skills, mindset, and processes necessary to be successful in this field.

Camila