Advice to Graphic Design Students

In this post Frank Chimero shares every little piece of advice he can think of he would give current Graphic Design Students.

Some of my favorite nuggets of Chimero-wisdom are:

Design does not equal client work.

Keep two books on your nightstand at all times: one fiction, one non-fiction.

Develop a point of view. Think about what experiences you have that many others do not. Then, think of what experiences you have that almost everyone else has. Then, mix those two things and try to make someone cry or laugh or feel understood.

Adobe software never stops being frustrating.

If you meet a person who cares about the same obscure things you do, hold on to them for dear life. Sympathy is medicine.

Start brave and brash: you can always make things more conservative, but it’s hard to make things more radical.

Everyone is just making it up as they go along.

I am wondering about this one:

If you see a ladder in a piece of design or illustration, it means the deadline was short.

Frank, Can you explain?

16 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Everyone IS just making it up as they go along. It’s the corollary to the ‘no grownups’ principle. :D

  2. I imagine the “ladder” line is suggesting that a ladder is an easy metaphor, too cliche to imply a decent amount fo time for thought and concept development!

    I loved this list, great find.

  3. I imagine the “ladder” line is suggesting that a ladder is an easy metaphor, too cliche to imply a decent amount for time for thought and concept development!

    I loved this list, great find.

  4. Wasn’t Andy Warhol’s fist illustration for Condé Nast a shoe on a ladder? It might refer to that or, if not, it can not be that bad since it got him a job ;)

  5. Mark’s correct. Ladders are an easy, predictable, but communicative metaphor. They can be good in skilled hands, but they’re usually bad. (I’ve had my fair share of both instances in my work.) Ladders are auto-tune for conceptual illustrators.

    Thanks for posting, Tina! I’m glad you enjoyed.

  6. There’s some great advice in there.

  7. Can’t wait to share with some of my colleagues and students.

    Thanks for sharing this post!

  8. @Frank;
    Ladders are auto-tune for conceptual illustrators.
    Made me laugh out loud – well said.

  9. Stunning poetics about design arts. Thank you.

  10. Great words. Valid for any designer. I hope you don’t mind that I shared in on my blog. I linked to you and Fank Chimero’s blog post. Thank’s for sharing!

  11. Great words. Valid for any designer. I hope you don’t mind that I shared in on my blog. I linked to you and Frank Chimero’s blog post. Thank’s for sharing!

  12. I always admire the eager student and appreciate those who listen and deliver what is asked of them, even if it is as simple as showing up on time!

  13. This is wonderful advice. These all hit home with me.

    Tina, you should check out my friend’s site. In the same vein, he asks a design professional for one piece of advice to give young designers. Inspiration follows. View them at humblepied.com

  14. Great Post – I admire Eager students – Keep Up The Good Work

  15. There are some great advices in the post for all our world students.

  16. Really different, yet still great advice. Thanks for the share.

Leave a Comment