Add Water and Talent

 

You may have seen the recent bubbly ad campaign in magazines with
the alluring headline “Learn Graphic Design Fast.” At first glance I
wondered whether it was the equivalent of the traffic sign, “Slow
Children Crossing.” Maybe there should be a comma somewhere.

The ad for Shillington College in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, London, Manchester and now New York, has been causing some consternation in the blogosphere: Here are a few responses from a blog in the UK:

“This really pisses me off. This sort of thing damages
our industry. This gives the impression that Graphic Design is nothing
more than a set of rules, or a program to master, devoid of all meaning
beyond eye candy. What this course won’t teach you, is how to think!”

“This sort of thing adds weight to the argument heard all the time
from clients who just don’t see the value or artistry in design, very
often we’re seen purely as people who know how to use a Mac…”

“For me the heading just says it all. “learn graphic design FAST”,
this will probably lead to “design me a logo FAST”, “build me a website
FAST”, “do me a poster FAST”…”

But here’s what Shillington has to say:

“World class education needn’t take forever. It should
be well planned, continually adapted to the times and presented by
passionate professionals. That’s what happens at Shillington College
and we have the records to prove it.”

And here is word from an alumna:

“I have now finished the course in London, UK. You can
take the course here or in Manchester, and they have just finished
setting up a school in New York. Of course you can opt to study in
Australia where Shillington has a great reputation, but the course
content is the same and its the portfolio you end up with that will get
you a job.”

Look  here for student work and be the judge:

“The success of Shillington College is the student’s
ability to complete briefs that are relevant to current industry
standards.”

The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Will this instant education ultimately value or devalue graphic design? Is this Just Add Water method a good way of cooking up new graphic designers? Or is adding talent the secret ingredient?

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Daily Heller, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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