What kind of classes should you take in design school?

Going to college to become a designer is a little different than say…an accounting major. The most important note to keep in the back of your mind is:

Which classes will give me the best portfolio pieces and experience?

That should be your mantra all throughout school when you’re registering for classes. What classes specifically should you learn?

Take as much typography classes as you can.
Typography is part of the foundation to any designer’s work. Without building this foundation, most of your designs will rely on style rather than function.

Take digital/web classes and actually pay attention.
Learn HTML, CSS, After Effects – and these are just the basics. Digital is how the trend is going and every employer nowadays require graphic designers to at least know the basics.

This is one of those classes that really forces you to get better at your craftsmanship and time management. I for one have learned my lessons after showing up for critique with glue smears and exacto at hand. Packaging projects is also one of the flashier points to any portfolio, as there is no ends to what people will come up with.

At my school there was a class dedicated specifically for finding and working at an internship. Like in my previous post, it is a necessity to come out of college with experience if you want to make it in the real world.

Do not leave school without a physical portfolio that you have labored over. I will emphasize this again, make a portfolio. I took a 1 year course specifically for this and it is worth everyday of labor. Your portfolio is everything to a designer that is just starting out and has no prior reputation. I will go further into detail about portfolio in a later post.