"I decided to study this course because I wanted to gain first-class skills in graphic design"
At first, I thought this meant how to use Adobe software better. And this has been a huge part of my learning so far. But of course, studying online means I don’t have a lecturer to physically show me in class how to use this software. Instead, I have learnt how to use this software with online tutorials via Lynda.com. My set-up is to connect my laptop to a second screen; on one screen the Lynda tutorial plays while I have Illustrator/Photoshop/Indesign on the second screen to follow along. I can’t recommend these tutorials enough; I don’t know how many I’ve watched! I really feel 1000% better at this software than I did at the start of my studies.
What has surprised me most doing this course is learning that Graphic Design is not all about software or choosing fonts. A significant amount of my study has been about the theory of graphic design: hierarchy of type to direct movement, including white space to let designs ‘breathe’, attention to detail, adding meaning and cultural context to your designs to better connect with the viewer. I have been fortunate to have some amazing lecturers so far to give me feedback and ideas for improving these aspects of my designs via collaborate sessions or the discussion boards. One example was with my Design Context subject last semester.
The assignment was to develop a Tableau Vivant – a living picture, so a scene that tells a story. I chose a story of a female scientist from England in the 1950’s, Rosalind Franklin. Rosalind was a brilliant scientist and played a fundamental role in the discovery of the structure of DNA. However, she was not credited with this discovery which was instead credited to two male scientists. The story therefore had elements of betrayal, the patriarchy of the time, and tragedy – as sadly Rosalind Franklin died very soon after this discovery and so was not considered for the Nobel Prize (which was awarded to the two male scientists instead). Over the course of the semester, with thanks to my lecturer and other classmates during the collaborate sessions, I developed this design into something I am really proud of and that I think strongly conveys my desired themes. So even though I study online, feedback from my peers and lecturers has been a really important aspect of my learning process.
Interested in studying online like Katrina? The following courses are offered online:
Read Katrina's blog post '10 ways to study when you’re time poor by Online Student Katrina Binger'