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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    They were looking at some of the line drawings I had in there and they asked how I did them. I said freehand. There used to be a drawing program called Freehand (Aldus, I thinK). They asked how I got the line weight differentiation in Freehand. I said, no, not the program I drew it freehand with a rapidograph. They were stunned! Two of them looked at me and said "You can draw?" I looked at them and said "You can't?" It never occurred to me that a graphics/art major would not be able to draw. I have a BFA, I painted, drew, sculpted, etc. I had color theory from professors who studied with Joseph Albers.
    Thanks for sharing your story Cruisin


    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    LOL, it's actually an ongoing joke at Art Center that graphic designers don't know how to draw. It's the illustration majors that do.
    It's kinda true though, isn't it?

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    I have an amusing "by hand" story. 15 years ago (or so), when I got my first computer (a Mac tower!). I decided I needed to take some computer graphic classes, just to learn how to use a computer. So, I did. The teacher had no real experience in art direction (I was an AD for a big NYC Ad agency), but she knew the computer. This was a computer graphics class. One day I was bringing a logo design I had done for our skating club, to the printer. I put it in my book and brought it in with me, because it was hot out and I didn't want to leave a mechanical in the car. Back then we did mechanicals with rubber cement, which softens in the heat. A few of the students were asking if they could see what was in the book. so, I said okay. They were looking at some of the line drawings I had in there and they asked how I did them. I said freehand. There used to be a drawing program called Freehand (Aldus, I thinK). They asked how I got the line weight differentiation in Freehand. I said, no, not the program I drew it freehand with a rapidograph. They were stunned! Two of them looked at me and said "You can draw?" I looked at them and said "You can't?" It never occurred to me that a graphics/art major would not be able to draw.
    The graphic design program at my college (Kent State) was set up so that students didn't touch a computer until they were juniors, at least when I was there in 98-02. They had a separate major for illustration. I was a minor student in graphic design — called visual communication design — and majored in journalism information design, so I only took about a third of their classes. I wish I'd done their 5-year BFA/MFA program, but instead I was journalism track and got a BS.

    We had to do many projects by hand. In my typography class, we drew the letters a O H in five different fonts. They gave us pre-printed type and we had to cut it out and assemble it on a page with studio tac, use t-squares and blue line markers to align everything, then photocopy it to assemble a final book. It was hard. I don't think I would've gone into design if it wasn't computer-based. Typography almost made me quit the minor (didn't help that it was a 7:45 class) but I learned the most from it by far.

    Actually, I wish I would've stuck with coding ... I remember liking BASIC and taught myself HTML in high school (1994-98) and I would've been much more employable in that field. But the field was too new to have a web design program in schools, and the one computer science class I took was so confusing to me that I withdrew from it. I took one class for my minor that was a both design and programming, but it matched designers with CS majors to program the pretty sites they taught a bit of ASP and Perl and ... wasn't meant to be, unfortunately for my career track!
    Last edited by vesperholly; 03-21-2013 at 03:26 AM.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    We had to do many projects by hand. In my typography class, we drew the letters a O H in five different fonts. They gave us pre-printed type and we had to cut it out and assemble it on a page with studio tac, use t-squares and blue line markers to align everything, then photocopy it to assemble a final book. It was hard. I don't think I would've gone into design if it wasn't computer-based. Typography almost made me quit the minor (didn't help that it was a 7:45 class) but I learned the most from it by far.
    That was the stuff I loved! Loved the color and design projects - creating a Bezold triangle and other optical illusions, with Color Aid paper. All mechanicals were done with blue lines, back in the day. They were all black & white with photostats (to size) of the art (illustration/photo) in position. There would be a tracing paper overlay with color specs written on it. If areas needed specific PMS colors and were outlined, you cut ruby or amber liths (trapped in the line). The printer assembled all of the elements in a negative. Then you were sent color proofs. These were a set of clear overlays of process colors printed individually - a magenta/cyan/yellow/black overlay. You could then have them adjust the color by intensifying or lessening a specific color. those were the days - sigh!

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    That was the stuff I loved! Loved the color and design projects - creating a Bezold triangle and other optical illusions, with Color Aid paper. All mechanicals were done with blue lines, back in the day. They were all black & white with photostats (to size) of the art (illustration/photo) in position. There would be a tracing paper overlay with color specs written on it. If areas needed specific PMS colors and were outlined, you cut ruby or amber liths (trapped in the line). The printer assembled all of the elements in a negative. Then you were sent color proofs. These were a set of clear overlays of process colors printed individually - a magenta/cyan/yellow/black overlay. You could then have them adjust the color by intensifying or lessening a specific color. those were the days - sigh!
    I've never done ANY of that, although it sounds fun! At least I have drawn fonts by hand. Still not terrific at them, need more practice.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    I've never done ANY of that, although it sounds fun! At least I have drawn fonts by hand. Still not terrific at them, need more practice.
    It was more "hands on". I really wanted to be an architect, but back then - women just didn't do that . Then life got in the way.

    I love t-squares, circle and oval templates. I still have lots of them. All of my templates have tiny bits of masking tape on the underside. So that the template edge doesn't sit on the paper. When using a Rapidograph (non-clogging India ink), the surface tension created by the contact would smear the ink. Masking tape lifts the edges up. The challenge of doing a box with rounded edges - doing the lines and connecting them with 1/4 circles and not seeing any distortion. Very steady hands!

    When we did outline type with a color inside, we had to cut amber lithes, by tracing the type with an x-acto knife, and peeling away the film that was outside the type. I don't think I ever used a scissor, when I was working. Used an x-acto for everything.

  6. #86
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    Cruisin, you're going to LOVE this video! John Mayer seeks out a traditional sign-writer and glass gilder in the UK, David Adrian Smith, for his new album cover! He works by hand and the pencil sketches are so jaw-droppingly gorgeous!

    It brought tears to my eyes. The world ain't so bad if there are guys out there like him working so diligently (and BY HAND) to make such beautiful things.

    http://youtu.be/XdfreJmK9R4
    Last edited by Anita18; 03-23-2013 at 03:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    Was there really ever a time when getting a degree in philosophy was encouraged? "Honey, why go to dental school when you can get your degree in history!" While the percentages are down, are the actual whole numbers down? More students go to university these days--the students who go these days "because that's what you're supposed to do" probably wouldn't have been Socrates ubers back in the good ol days.
    I think it was encouraged by the supportive families and friends of students who loved philosophy and history. Philosophy in particular is very esoteric and someone who has a passion for it and an understanding of the language it entails will very likely get a doctorate degree and seek out teaching positions or the few others jobs that philosophers can do. It's not that different from a love of any purely academic subject. My brother was a mathematician and mathematics professor. Nothing that he studied had any real application prior to the computer age, but he knew by the age of 19 that math would be his life. His field was topology (sets and sub-sets) and he has a picture on his wall of a line with two dots. It represents years of study for him, although no one understands why, and he feels his life was well-lived and his work satisfying. I'm sure it was easier for him studying in the 60s and 70s, when education costs were so much lower and scholarships easier to get. But scholarships are still out there and those with an academic passion can find a way to pursue it.

    It's a different thing to just get an undergraduate degree in history or some other social science because one doesn't know what else to do with oneself. Undergraduate degrees in almost anything aren't worth much these days, post-graduate work is often required to compete effectively in the marketplace.

    And would-be teachers often study the social sciences. A friend's daughter majored in history and somehow got through despite being a terrible writer. She's gone on to get an education degree and just got her first teaching job at an international school.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    Cruisin, you're going to LOVE this video! John Mayer seeks out a traditional sign-writer and glass gilder in the UK, David Adrian Smith, for his new album cover! He works by hand and the pencil sketches are so jaw-droppingly gorgeous!

    It brought tears to my eyes. The world ain't so bad if there are guys out there like him working so diligently (and BY HAND) to make such beautiful things.

    http://youtu.be/XdfreJmK9R4
    Amazing! Incredible to see an artist, of that calibre, at work! I used to do a lot of silk screening and etching - loved it! Been a long time since I did that. I did etching on metal plates, so it was a different technique.

  9. #89
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    In the really old days, the fascinating stuff cruisin and vesperholly and anita describe above would never have been taught in a college. Even BFAs/MFAs are relatively new. A college education meant the classics, literature, history, philosophy, maybe a modern foreign language. No social sciences, until economics made the Oxford curriculum in the late 19th century. Possibly botany and human physiology, two of the earlier sciences taught in that context.

    Everything else was a trade. Even now I think majoring in graphic design or communications is -- pardon me -- too narrow for the kind of grounding one should have in the broader culture. Even though those majors are actually employable, and I was not.

    Obviously I am a relic and an impractical one at that, but I would probably go back to insisting that American students, and anyone else whose native language is English, study Greek and/or Latin for two years to qualify for a BA.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    Obviously I am a relic and an impractical one at that, but I would probably go back to insisting that American students, and anyone else whose native language is English, study Greek and/or Latin for two years to qualify for a BA.
    My BS did not require a foreign language at all; but I have 6 years of Latin from Middle School and High School. I bet my SAT score got a boost from it (but maybe not, because I used to be a voracious reader.) As much fun as it was to translate the Aeneid, I really wish I had taken Spanish.

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    In the really old days, the fascinating stuff cruisin and vesperholly and anita describe above would never have been taught in a college. Even BFAs/MFAs are relatively new. A college education meant the classics, literature, history, philosophy, maybe a modern foreign language. No social sciences, until economics made the Oxford curriculum in the late 19th century. Possibly botany and human physiology, two of the earlier sciences taught in that context.

    Everything else was a trade. Even now I think majoring in graphic design or communications is -- pardon me -- too narrow for the kind of grounding one should have in the broader culture. Even though those majors are actually employable, and I was not.

    Obviously I am a relic and an impractical one at that, but I would probably go back to insisting that American students, and anyone else whose native language is English, study Greek and/or Latin for two years to qualify for a BA.
    Why Greek or Latin? I had 6 years of Spanish. Enough in middle school and high school, that my college requirement was waived. Spanish was/is far more practical, living in the US. I, also, don't know that an art major (bear in mind that mine was 38 years ago), had to take required English, Lit, Sciences, History, Math (statistics pre-calculators!). I think it was pretty broad. But, it may have changed. And I was a fine arts major, not a graphic design major. That didn't exist, as a major, when I was in school. What was difficult for and art major, was that we had to take all of the required basics that everyone else had to take. but, we had to squeeze in 2 studio art classes (which met for 3 hours twice a week) and art history for art majors (2 hour lectures twice a week and a 2 hour lab once a week). It was a time nightmare!

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  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    Even now I think majoring in graphic design or communications is -- pardon me -- too narrow for the kind of grounding one should have in the broader culture.
    I did not attend a vocational school, so I'm not sure why you think my college education was solely composed of graphic design classes. My major program required at least 124 hours to complete, only 23 of which were major-related (here's the 2013 course catalog of my degree at my school, similar to mine in 1998).

    The rest of the hours required were for what we called LERs - Liberal Education Requirements - and there were requirements within that you had to take a wide variety of classes. I had to take classes in history, science, English, foreign language, philosophy. I actually took an entire year of collegiate-level Latin, does that count for you I suffered through biology and microeconomics and sociology for my BS, though thankfully they had removed the math requirement the year before I started. Felt very broad to me ...

    Edit for clarity: PRLady, I know you weren't speaking to my degree specifically, but someone majoring in graphic design — which I did, so I thought I'd expand on my experience with college education
    Last edited by vesperholly; 04-06-2013 at 01:49 AM.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    I did not attend a vocational school, so I'm not sure why you think my college education was solely composed of graphic design classes. My major program required at least 124 hours to complete, only 23 of which were major-related (here's the 2013 course catalog of my degree at my school, similar to mine in 1998).

    The rest of the hours required were for what we called LERs - Liberal Education Requirements - and there were requirements within that you had to take a wide variety of classes. I had to take classes in history, science, English, foreign language, philosophy. I actually took an entire year of collegiate-level Latin, does that count for you I suffered through biology and microeconomics and sociology for my BS, though thankfully they had removed the math requirement the year before I started. Felt very broad to me ...
    Ooh, you're lucky. I had to take statistics, pre calculators! But, seriously, I agree with you. I had a 4 year university education. My major was art, that was not all I took. Though, I just reread my last post and it does not say much for my writing skills . I meant to say that I do not think an art major is a narrow field of education. It is very well rounded.

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    Interestingly, some engineering and natural science undergraduate programs have been modified recently to increase their humanities component requirement in order to graduate (now anywhere from 25-40% of all elective courses).

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    I can see that, theoretically, humanities classes could teach creative thinking. And maybe at premier private institutions, they do. But at run of the mill schools, I haven't seen much to be impressed by from students with humanities degrees. (I know, a rather rude thing to say but those kids are usually not as creative as they think they are.) I think rigor is lacking from some of those degrees that would truly get the mind working.

    ETA: Also, I am not sure "working together" or "teamwork" is something I ascribe to humanities degrees either.

    If I had a kid, I would encourage her to take up something math or techie oriented where I think he would better learn critical and creative thinking. And then read about literature and history and art on her own time to round his knowledge out.
    I'm biased here, but as someone about to get a master's degree in English, I disagree. First, everyone has different aptitudes so you may say you would want to steer your hypothetical child toward some math or other related field, but you can't force aptitude and what if the child loved music, for example? I have an undergraduate degree in business because when I entered college at 18, I thought that it would be the best degree to have for practical reasons. But after being in the working world, I realize the mindset of the business world and I just aren't compatible. Besides, I have learned more about critical thinking by analyzing texts than I ever did studying management. Also, good writing stands out in the business world--not just correct writing but GOOD writing. Masterful use of words is more important than most people realize. I argue that the same applies to what some consider a useless degree--art history. But studying art history also results highly developed critical thinking skills. One more thing: I don't see teamwork as something that one develops in courses. That's why there are team sports (and if I get one more sports term applied to the business world, like "let's huddle" instead of "let's all get together and talk," I think I'm gonna scream). Besides, if one has critical thinking skills, one can understand one's place in one's work operation and behave accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    My BS did not require a foreign language at all; but I have 6 years of Latin from Middle School and High School. I bet my SAT score got a boost from it (but maybe not, because I used to be a voracious reader.) As much fun as it was to translate the Aeneid, I really wish I had taken Spanish.
    To my mother's credit, she recommended I take Spanish, which I did for 8 years. I have to say that it has come in handy, even if I am far from fluent.

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    My two cents about humanities in general: the more impersonal, mechanized, and quantified that the world becomes, the more we need the humanities. Anybody recall that old Bob Seger song "Feel Like a Number"? The humanities are the antidote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Ro View Post
    I'm biased here, but as someone about to get a master's degree in English, I disagree. First, everyone has different aptitudes so you may say you would want to steer your hypothetical child toward some math or other related field, but you can't force aptitude and what if the child loved music, for example? I have an undergraduate degree in business because when I entered college at 18, I thought that it would be the best degree to have for practical reasons. But after being in the working world, I realize the mindset of the business world and I just aren't compatible. Besides, I have learned more about critical thinking by analyzing texts than I ever did studying management. Also, good writing stands out in the business world--not just correct writing but GOOD writing. Masterful use of words is more important than most people realize. I argue that the same applies to what some consider a useless degree--art history. But studying art history also results highly developed critical thinking skills. One more thing: I don't see teamwork as something that one develops in courses. That's why there are team sports (and if I get one more sports term applied to the business world, like "let's huddle" instead of "let's all get together and talk," I think I'm gonna scream). Besides, if one has critical thinking skills, one can understand one's place in one's work operation and behave accordingly.
    If it's at all possible, I'd steer my future kids toward a double major (or a major and minor) in different fields. Especially if they show interest and aptitude in multiple fields. The more abilities you have, the more valuable you will be in an increasingly automated world. Computers do specialized things much better than we can, but we are still much better at computers at combining ideas. Computers only know what we program them to know, while people can combine any of their interests to make something interesting, new, and/or useful.

    My mother was not wrong for steering me towards biology. It has taught me a lot and puts a roof over my head. It isn't my absolutely passion, but I liked it enough to major in it, and it wasn't something I could learn on my own anyway. I've cobbled together an arts education for myself (in addition to my studio art minor in undergrad) in preparation for a career change, but I don't regret the time spent in biology.

    Although, in these difficult economic times, what's more important than your major is your own go-getter attitude and the connections you make. I have a friend moving from Atlanta to San Francisco to take an entry-level research position at large biotech company, which will pay a pretty penny. She had a friend at the company and he saved an opening for her. Undoubtedly, there are many recent science grads in the Bay Area who could have done the job too, but her friend could vouch for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    And so it is with history. The what hasn't changed, but our understanding of the why has. History may not be creative, but for critical thinking, problem solving, and innovation, history is as good a field of study as any and better than many.
    I agree with that. Understanding of history is ever evolving; and creativity and critical thinking come in play while evaluating and reassessing history though many possible perspectives. History is impossible to truly know; it is highly varied based on a point of view; and there are constant discoveries happening there as in any other field.
    improving my ballad- like lines

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