Rules for School (and to live and work by)


Dear Design Student” is an advice blog for designers by designers. A recent post written by Mike Monteiro entitled “A Designer’s Code of Ethics” hits hard at the core of design practice and what all students and educators, as well as designers, should be thinking about school is about to go back in session.

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Teach our Girls to Code!

Poster design by Mariah Salter

Poster design by Graphic Design student Mariah Salter

Historically, women are woefully under-represented in computing and technology fields.

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This ad appeared recently on my local Craigs List job board under the category for graphic design. It drives home the point that working as a graphic designer is as much about proving your value, as it is about creating valuable work.

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Contests—who wins?

Artwork by Sérgio Neves

Contest entry by Sérgio Neves

One young designer that I’ve met through this blog asked me to write an article about contests and the practice of “voting” for winners. He says, as many would agree, “that ultimately it becomes nothing more than a popularity contest between the candidates; it’s really degrading for us.”

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The Cost of Unpaid Internships

Photo via Flickr by Simon MacEntee

Although most would agree that paid internships are better than unpaid, many argue that the experience a student gains during an unpaid internship makes it worth it. In fact a recent article in my local paper stated, “Unfortunately, we cannot pay our interns, but we can offer a great life-enhancing experience, in addition, an internship is a tremendous asset on your resume.” (1) Design students are lured in with such promises along with the added bonus of creating professional work for their portfolio.

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Encouraging Bullshit

When I was growing up my mother would often yell “bullshit” during dinner time discussions. In fact she used it so often it’s become a bit of a legacy for her. Now in her 80s, those who were present for those lively discussions—typically involving politics, the Viet Nam war, women’s rights, or other hot topics  during the sixties and seventies—fondly recall hearing her use her “favorite” word. As I remember it what prompted my mother to say bullshit was when anyone tried to use sensationalism, emotional appeal, fear mongering, or other tactics besides hardcore facts to win their argument.

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