Good Stuff (for Design Grads) | 03
It's that time of year! New designers are flooding out of design school, blinking their eyes at the onslaught of sun (having been staring at a screen for 4 years),wondering what to do next and/or looking for that first job...
In celebration, here's a list of good things that both helped me (advice), and that I was badly jonesing for (posters, books & stuff) at the end of my school year. Go check them out yourself and/or forward them to your parents:
- Good Fucking Design Advice is one of my favorite places to go when I need a straight-to-the-point design pep talk. I agree with mostly everything (except 'stay up all night', which never does anyone any good) and it always gives me oomph. Get advice, take the pledge and tack it up by your desk, or splurge on one of the fancy letterpress Classic Advice Prints - I think the the family-friendly version is hilarious! It's on my get-it-when-I-have-extra-money-when-I'm-a-fancy-designer list.
- "How to be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul" by Adrian Shaughnessy was recommended to me about a month before grad when I was trying to put my portfolio together and it was a great help (and so gorgeously designed)! I would love to read it again soon! Also, "Design School Wisdom", "I Used to Be a Design Student" and "Burn Your Portfolio" come in a close seconds, for me. Did I mention I miss my school's library like crazy?
- Soak up Jessica Hische's thoughts, a collection of her incredibly poised and insightful answers to real-world designer questions. She is a wealth of awesomeness and inspiration. If you're into lettering, check out "In Progress", a book that delves into her lettering process in a deep, thoughtful way. Take a look at Should I Work for Free?, inevitably (sadly) a thing every new designer has to fend off. Gift-wise, her Certificate of Awesomeness is, well, awesome, too.
- Every new grad should listen to Neil Gaiman's commencement address, which has since been made into a book called "Make Good Art". So inspiring (with a cool cover by the prolific Chip Kidd).
- I think it's so important, as a creative, to be reminded of all the awesome things you could put your talents toward doing. In school being entrepreneurial is prized and sometimes gets lost once you're in the workforce and have limited time to pursue your own ideas. Keep it going! For inspiration, look at designers' passion projects that became real: Jessica Hische's Penguin Drop Caps & Drop Cap Postcards (original project, here), Mary Kate McDevitt's Big Ideas Notepad (based on her mini goals chalkboards), Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman's 40 Days of Dating (now a book), and Lauren Hom's Daily Dishonesty (originally here). See? Designers make great things: keep being inspired and making, and your ideas can be real things, too!
BONUS: Lauren Hom's awesome post about her journey so far, "When I Grow Up I Want to Be A* Artist"