Category: Welcome to Design

Welcome to Design School (part 2 of 5)

So you are on your way to design school and about to find out just how different post secondary education is. So I have a few words of advice for you . . . as a former teacher of design students.


  1. Professors like it when you ask questions. This doesn’t mean that lectures are the perfect time to have a private conversation with your prof. More often than not your prof will appreciate your questions as it lets them know what is being understood or not understood. It also sets you apart from the class. It is never bad if a professor knows your name. General question rules – one question per lecture if, provided that the prof provides an option for it. Don’t just interrupt. In a seminar, lab or tutorial I suggest that you up the number to 3 or 4. If everyone in the room starts to role their eyes when you raise your hand, take a little question break.
  2. Don’t ever tell any of your profs that you couldn’t finish a project because you had other more important assignments due, for classes that you actually like. All teachers know that there are circumstances that will stop you from getting a project in on time. Be proactive – tell one of your profs that you have X amount of projects due and can you have a day extension. This will work better than “I just didn’t get to it”. Chances are that one prof will have some sympathy for you and give you an extra day or two.
  3. Some are going to be easy markers (new) and some are going to be tough (have heard all the stories before). No matter which one you get, understand that the grade you receive was given for a reason. You should understand why and if you don’t than you need to book an appointment to talk to you TA or Prof about the grade. Don’t be confrontational. Just go it with an open mind, and listen and apply on the next project. If you are really sure that they were not fair you talk to the prof or the dean. There is a procedure for this, make sure you know what that is. Just in general know what your rights are, you are paying good money for the education.

Profs are no mystery, they are human just like everyone else. Be nice and polite and try to do your readings at least 75% of the time. Ohh – and spellcheck and for the love of all that is holy please read your papers through for grammar.

Next Week: Welcome to Design School (part 3 of 5) Creative Block

Categories: Welcome to Design

Welcome to Design School (part 1 of 5)

So you are on your way to design school and about to find out just how different post secondary education is. So I have a few words of advice for you . . . as a former teacher of design students.


  1. Mac. Get one. I don’t say this because I love the heck out of my mac, but rather because they are the industry standard. Nothing is worse then a pc walking into a room full of macs. Either way you are going to have to learn how to use one eventually, so you might as well bite the bullet now. You will learn to love it. Trust me. (also do what you have to do to make sure that it is fully loaded with the programs you will need)
  2. Digital Camera. There will come a time when you will need a digital camera, either to document your work, or to do your school projects. Your camera phone will not do, and having your own camera will save you lab rental fees for equipment. Even if it is not the fanciest of all the cameras you will at some point be very glad that you have one. (also get a tripod with it. and perhaps a bag for the tripod)
  3. Travel mug. You are going to need coffee. I know you may not like the idea, but you are going to have late nights and days without sleep. Caffine will help you. But, you should try to be kind to the environment. This and if you are working in labs a lot they won’t let you bring the coffee close to the computers. So if it is in a travel mug and left at the front while you are working there is a great chance it will be warm when you come back to it.
  4. Cool Clothes. I know, I know . . . you already have cool clothes, but it is now time to step up your game. Now I can’t really suggest particular items, but I have always found that sweat pants with words across the butt popular (especially with matching hoodie and funky slippers). Boys – well I would avoid the above, but there are plenty of other options.
  5. Endless supply of pencils, and a sketch book. It is often important to start out by storyboarding ideas, and the aforementioned is needed for this. Get as many as you can. In different sizes and with different tips. If you don’t think that you can get a wide variety of pencils, take a trip to your local arts store and you will be amazed.

Next Week: Welcome to Design School (part 2 of 5) Professors

Categories: Welcome to Design