Saturday, June 26, 2010

I love older designers

Particularly the professors that are at least 40 years old or so, because they still talk to us about how they learned design back in their day—how they used T-squares, rulers and French curves to meticulously copy and design letterforms for typography, the way they learned the true ins and outs of the printing process, the way everything was so much more hands-on and manual than it is today.

While I'm grateful for the technology that enables current designers to spend more time conceptualizing rather than producing, I'm still a big process junkie and I love getting my hands into things. There's something so unromantic about just saying, "Yeah, I did this on Illustrator for about a week and sent it off to a printer." I want to be able to say that I handpicked these pages, I bound this book myself. That's one reason why I love school, we get to be the producers.

I think that learning the production process is inspiring to me, when it comes to designing. I'm not sure what it is—maybe just keeping the project in mind and being able to visualize how it'll be made—that makes me so seduced by it. I want to draw my type (ha!) and make a poster on a letterpress machine, I want to bind my own sketchbooks!

At school, the graphic design classes are largely taught whilst seated in front of a computer. This summer I'm going to take the initiative however I can to go back in time a little and get my hands on some hands-on graphic designing.

1 comment:

Brent said...

...and that's why you're an artist and we're not. ;)

Seriously, I love when you write about what drives you, your private creative ambitions. The idea that something could be done without a computer is already becoming an artifact for the new generations. Although I wish I could share your sentiment, there's not much real hands-on work when it comes to studying incorporeal language. Well, if you count getting out there in the field and collecting data in Africa or Polynesia... or maybe "getting dirty" by talking with new people in an unfamiliar language... maybe that's my "hands-on"!

I want to see what you've done, what you're doing, and what you'll do!