Graphic Designer or Communication Designer?

Speak Up › Untitled

I have a friend—a designer—who often says that his clients ask him not to call himself a “graphic designer,” because it makes them think he draws things. He feels that the term “graphic design” actually does him a disservice in the eyes of his clients. This of course is part of an ongoing debate in the world of design as organizations and schools scrap the word “graphic” in favour of “communication” or something else. But as those former graphic designers struggle to elbow their way into the corporate zeitgeist, I begin to wonder what they are leaving behind and why.


you are what you pretend to be

The gentle art of selling yourself

You are your own finest creation, says our design critic, Stephen Bayley. Here are his tips for making the best possible impression.


Adaptive Path on Design School

Design Schools: Please Start Teaching Design Again
This isn’t to say that we’re looking for glossy stylists either: we want designers who create thoughtful, meaningful designs: designs that pay attention to details, and have emotion and craft in them, as well as reason and cleverness. The world desperately needs those designers. Start making them again.


Great Web Development Inspiration

south by southwest festivals conferences

We are pleased to reveal the 10th Annual Web Awards Winners below. Don't forget to explore all the amazing finalists from the 2007 competition.


Stop double spacing after sentences!

Word Wise: Spaced Out

The practice of double spacing after a period is a holdover from the days when typewriters had “monofaced” type, meaning fonts in which every letter had exactly the same width (in other words, “m” used the same amount of space as “i”). Because of the monoface font, two spaces after a period made it easier to see where one sentence ended and another began.


I Am Not A Graphic Designer

We’re Not Wired Right – I Am Not A Graphic Designer

“The borders between graphic design and its associated creative disciplines have been blurring for some time. The discipline is currently in a state of flux. This is due in part to the computer revolution and the multimedia phenomenon, but mainly to a changing attitude towards design itself. Design is now referred to holistically. Multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary practise is growing.”

Thoughts on Portfolios

Be sure to read the comments on this post for an interesting discussion on what people choose to put in their portfolios and what people want to see in portfolios.

Speak Up › Thoughts on Portfolios from Someone Making One

I am finding out, in the advertising world at least, there are two divergent schools of thought on what should go in a book. “Creative firms,” like Wieden, don’t necessarily want to see a book of real/fake ads. They want to see more of who you are, what your point of view is. The overall question then, is “what do you dig?” Painting? Dirty poetry? Film reviews? Home movies? Whatever can get across that which makes you a special human, they are interested in seeing.

19 Things NOT To Do When Building a Website

Josiah Cole = 19 Things NOT To Do When Building a Website


Cool Photo to Painting Technique

creativepro.com - Photoshop How-To: Brushstroke Bonanza

The inspiration for my watercolor-conversion technique, which my company uses for standalone wall art and as storyboard introductory material in our event videos, comes from two intriguing personalities: Karl Lagerfled's hand-colored fashion sketches for the House of Chanel metamorphose on the screen into breathing models, glamorously enfolded in texture and shimmering fabric. Celebrity interior designer Candice Olson fades her precision architectural renderings into finished interiors with the new furniture, lighting, and accessories all magically in place.


Students & Portfolios

Be sure to read the comments to the post:

Student Economics

As a student, I was very lucky. I was charmed by circumstance and financial support: I could not work while in school, as there was no visa that would allow me to do both, and my parents were okay with that. Many, if not most, of my classmates were not as lucky, piling daily expenses on yearly loans. As a teacher, I am lucky again: I am surrounded by students that range in every aspect possible, giving me and the class a deliciously rich experience.

Forget the film, watch the titles

Forget the film, watch the titles

You know what they say about first impressions. That’s why both Hollywood and independent studios are spending valuable time and resources to create the most appropriate main title sequences for their films. At its very best, a title sequence is a self-contained hybrid that combines several moving image techniques – film, animation, cgi – to compress the essence of the film it introduces.

On SubmarineChannel, we love a good main title. That's why we've started an online collection of the most stunning and original ones. Some are engaging or wildly entertaining, funny, exhilarating or deadly beautiful. Some are oozing with visual treats while others hit you hard with their bold and audacious style.


A Very Cool Game

Ambrosia Software, Inc. -- games/SketchFighter 4000 alpha

SketchFighter 4000 Alpha redefines "retro" by bringing together the imaginative pen and paper sketches from your youth with a killer resolution independent OpenGL graphics engine. SketchFighter also boasts a unique synthesis of exploration and action game play, which has you alternately blasting cute little lady bugs into oblivion and then puzzling your way through the hand-drawn challenges presented to you.


Need dummy text for your project layout?

Lorem Ipsum - All the facts - Lipsum generator

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Design VS Software

A good article from the AIGA Education section:

Software Equals Interactive Design Education?

When it comes to learning software, students can be divided into two categories: self-reliant and instructor-dependent. The self-reliant student will dabble, toy, and experiment until they reach some level of mastery with the given tools; peers will rely on them for help either during or outside the class. Oftentimes the instructor even looks to these students for technical assistance, and moreover, the self-reliant student is the model teacher’s assistant. On the other hand, instructor-dependent students feel the teacher must direct them in times of need, and when instructors continue to help students with even the smallest problems, they will hinder the student’s growth because this prevents them from exploring and troubleshooting on their own. For designers, the willingness to discover and take risks is a valuable asset that mirrors the design process itself. Play yields inquiry, forcing one to ask questions about the matters at hand and then observe, act, and react in order to reach an objective.

New AIGA site design


AIGA, the professional association for design, is the place design professionals turn to first to exchange ideas and information, participate in critical analysis and research and advance education and ethical practice. AIGA sets the national agenda for the role of design in its economic, social, political, cultural and creative contexts. AIGA is the oldest and largest membership association for professionals engaged in the discipline, practice and culture of designing. Founded as the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1914 as a small, exclusive club, AIGA now represents more than 19,000 designers through national activities and local programs developed by more than 55 chapters and 200 student groups.

They have a great section on design education:

Design education: Education: AIGA

A collection of articles exploring burning questions, old prejudices, new ideas and truisms in design education. How do students learn? Are mandatory computer buys a good idea? Does writing have a role in a studio design class? How can programs attract and train strong adjunct faculty? Should a design education prepare students for a career in the field or teach a more general way of thinking? What kind of design research is tenurable? How should technology be integrated into the classroom? What should design students know?

More Blogs for Design Students

Notes on Design



At last! A book that actually gets inside the heads of the world’s top creatives and reveals some of the things that make them tick. Questions addressed include: What inspires them? What thought processes do they employ? How do they go about their work? How do they create a working environment in which ideas can be easily generated. Inspiration talks to 40 top European creatives from a wide range of design disciplines including art direction, fashion design, architecture and photography and looks at the atmospheres in which they operate. All are different, all use different approaches and all are highly successful. Inspiration is a process oriented source book that includes excerpts from scrapbooks and notebooks, and an interesting array of doodles.