Hi everyone! My name is Irina. I work as designer and educator in Russia. I'm exploring features of graphic designer and digital designer professions and difficulties in competent definition by learners and leaders of educational centers in my country of the scope of activities each of these professions. Right now I learn Design for Print and Screen short online course with Adobe Education professionals and share my reflections here.
I started to work with this course a few days before the course will close already having experience of educator with InDesign. Therefore:
1) I realized my exercises as quickly as possible with a view to have an opportunity to submit assignments on time, and graphic level of my works in this journal is not reveals the full extent of my potential as a graphic designer.
2) I explore a short introductory course not as a designer but as an educator and set a goal to understand how I can teach students who have no skills with design and InDesign during 10 hours of e-training or traditional course.
Previously I worked only with large educational institutions that provided a regular amount of work and I provided them courses at their requests ( during a long time I trained students and adult learners with the same programs). But in recent time I meet independently with clients and develop courses at requests of small companies, also I get requests from training centers to develop new programs. As a result of my negotiations with customers and representatives of these training centers I have identified the following problems:
1) My customers have difficulties to distinguish professions of graphic designer and designer who create publishing products.
2) Customers are confused about the differences between web and digital.
3) Managers of educational centers consider programs for publishing (such as InDesign) as outdated. They don't understand potential of such programs for creating e-publications.
These difficulties go beyond the scope of the design profession and demonstrate the need for understanding these differences by colleagues of related professions. And 10 hours course is a good opportunity to understand the basics for them.
I like that this course starts with definitions of what is graphic design, digital design and publishing. It's really great! Only 10 hours of e-learning, and you have clear understanding of the profession nuances. Here no a large number of details that designer needs. But an amount of information is enough to start your journey as a designer and to get an idea about the profession for representatives of related professions.
Practical assignment of week 1 is spread with a recipe. This assignment is variable by level of difficulty. Those learners who have no previous experience with InDesign or who do not feel confidence in exploring learning materials can use for organizing information master template provided by tutors. Learners who wish to dive in the learning process more deeply have an opportunity to create their layout from the ground. I didn't use master template and created my recipe from the ground. My page with a vinaigrette recipe:
Second creative assignment of this course is poster for music event.
If the first class was an introduction to design and working with ready master template, the second week – an opportunity to work as professional designer with learning of basic composition and design principles. A challenge of this week is independent work with a layout from the ground even for those participants who have no experience. The topic of this week is music poster. My poster you can see below. I created this poster for fictional event, but the band named Orange Vinyl really exists. In my poster I used a real photo of this group and before placing photo in InDesign I modified colors of this photo with Photoshop (the original color of clothes was red) to visually demonstrate relation to the name of this group. The fonts I used in the poster are Panton and Mod Guitars.
The course has well-constructed educational script of submissions from simple to complex with synchronous exploring by learners as theoretical materials about composition and graphic design, and practical skills with InDesign. Themes of creative tasks are well-selected. My teaching experience confirms the popularity of music and cooking themes for practical assignments among participants of different age groups, both young and adult learners. As a result of this course, participants receive not only the primary skills with InDesign, but also the ability to use these skills in the process of creating a design layout. The course does not require much effort - it is short and easy to follow.
But despite the high quality content of this course practical assignments of the course are concentrated on the creation products for publishing. However, we remember about declining popularity of InDesign with developing of the Internet and an increased number of e-publications simultaneously with a reduction in publishing activity by reason of InDesign consolidation in the minds of users as solely publishing program. Also we know about forced reorientation of a large number of graphic designers from publishing to digital and about problems with search of work among those graphic designers who haven't been able to adapt to digital environment, but have an excellent experience of working with such programs as InDesign. So I would like from this course greater attention to the possibility of using the course outcomes (acquired knowledge and skills) to digital environment.
One of questions that my audience, designers and managers of training centers, ask me is why our learners need InDesign if the majority of jobs in a field of design focused on the Internet? Therefore, understanding how to use the program in the digital environment, increase a motivation of students to explore InDesign.
Upon completion of the course I sincerely express my gratitude to all our instructors and peers for a great collaborative learning experience!