November 29, 2010
How to learn good design
I had a painting teacher who once said that if you could describe it with words, you wouldn't need to paint it. I agree. Design, like music, or dance, is a language of its own. Words don't exist to really describe it. And before you start thinking that I am getting all mystical on you, try this - describe the color red. Or the color blue. Or yellow. Sure, you can create some sort of description like "which color starts with the letter B?" or something, but would it really, really teach someone what blue is?
I taught Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Phoenix for many years using both the academic technique and also the technique whereby I learned design myself. The academic technique was to label things, such as "asymmetrical balance", and then do a written test on it. But to really, really, learn design, you have to experience it. Sure, you can attach a label to the color blue, but that isn't really all it is. You know what the color blue is. You recognize it. Design is the same way.
Good design is everywhere. And you can learn it. Approach it as if you were learning a completely foreign language. You can do this!
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Posted by Brad Hall