The Academic Reality of Graphic Design

The work of the universities that award bachelor degrees is similar to colleges that grant two year diplomas, because both produce students with a certificate in Course graphic design. But in reality where creativity and technical skills are concerned we find differences. The differences are in the course curricula, and include understanding the production process, product identity, knowledge of software and design innovation.

There is confusion between graphic design and graphic art. These differences affect the student, particularly when he enters employment. He is judged by both his creativity and innovation in producing new ideas and his ability to use technology which now involves the computer, the main graphic design tool.

The reason for these differences becomes clear when we look at the number of workers in the market and where they graduated from. During the time that the largest number of graduates were being produced, the highest quality graduates were produced by well-known institutions and these were recruited by the most successful companies.

A distinction has developed between technicians and designers. This is because some academic institutions concentrate on technology and the practical aspects of design software, whilst others developing the ability to use knowledge and know how to connect ideas to the psychological and social context and include qualitative studies of theories and design curricula.

The reasons for this are:

  • The absence of specialized academic experts in graphic design and the poor quality of some of the teachers.
  • The absence of appropriate study plans for creating graphic designers
  • The absence of a system defining the role of universities and colleges in teaching graphic design
  • The absence of entry examinations to graphic design courses, unlike courses in the art specializations
  • The absence links to the outside world, other than through books.
  • Some universities and colleges do not understand the concept of graphic design in an industrial context.
  • The absence of official government support for finding a way to establish a core curriculum for university courses.

I have taught in the art departments of a number of universities and have assessed many graduation projects. These gave me the opportunity to find out about Graphic design course Bradford, the standards of students, and showed the need for appropriate study plans. There is a lack of competitiveness which would improve educational standards and there is an arbitrary use of teaching methods. Objectives can be clear, but often mistake in not using the appropriate teaching methodology leads to them not being achieved.

In order to develop and improve, the graphic design sector needs skilled and competent workers. The workers will not be able to respond to the changes in technology unless they have a formal academic training. In order to achieve this advancement it is essential that graduate students are used as graphic design specialists.

The size of the market and people working in graphic design

There are now more than five hundred establishments working in graphic design. There are many who would not classify themselves as an agency, center or office, as they have found their own market niche. Therefore these classifications cannot be meaningfully applied in Jordan.

The sector is large compared to the market. The establishment of new graphic design organizations peaked in 1999. Since then, some have declined while others have expanded. Some have stagnated or changed management, while others have merged.

University educated graphic design graduates fulfil an important role because:

  • Universities produce Graphic Designers with a different outlook to those mentioned above.
  • Organizations run by people who understand graphic design will be better able to develop designers skills and adapt to the future

I am concerned for students who study graphic design at university but do not try to improve his rate of innovation and creativity in order to improve. This will affect whether he is employable.

Academically and scientifically talented students will have few problems because good employers need students who are able to form ideas quickly, use appropriate design programs for his ideas and able to produce those. Other organizations are not useful for the academic designer. These are the push-pull level of the graphic design sector which reflects the levels of awareness of the concepts and functions of graphic design.

The market is capable of absorbing all graduates. This is dependent on the development of visual communication methods through graphic design. Such development requires the presence of skilled workers capable of meeting the needs of the market. This places incentives for educational organizations that deal with design to plan to suit the graphic design market.

Conclusion

There is a requirement in the Jordanian arena for the academic and professional sectors to review their experiences and identify their strengths and weaknesses. This is used by them to set a strategy capable of giving graphic design the respected position it deserves.

There is a requirement for government intervention to provide arena where specialists in graphic design may discuss many of the concepts that help them make company owners and managers aware of how to make the best use of graphic designers.

As well as teaching graphic design, universities and community colleges must support the markets needs for designers and artisans within the new specializations which need to be introduced in order to reduce unemployment. There is a need for a professional body in graphic design to give support to designers, co-ordinate educational and technical preparation and for making contacts with the outside world. It is important to hold workshops and symposiums that enhance the competence of teaching staff, designers and students; these should be held with assistance from international institutions which are respected in this field.

It is also important to hold national and international competitions to encourage creativity and innovation. This will create a competitive atmosphere in which graphic design can flourish.