There are no short cuts to a career in graphic design

While for the most part I agree with Alan Herron’s comments (Letters, DW 6 December), I don’t care for his closing remarks – ‘On second thoughts, that’s about as much real teaching that a student on a full-time three-year course gets anyway’.

Fine, Alan, have a pop at education. I don’t know where you studied graphics, but there are a number of good people out there, delivering their best and truly committed to doing so. Granted, every college can have a ‘naff’ Lecturer who isn’t committed, but it has been my experience that the former is more prevalent, and students do get most of what they need.

Regarding Shillington College, though, I have mixed feeling about its aims. On the one hand, giving a taste is fine (three months), but only if it leads on to another course. Even one year is not enough. My experience of Shillington in Australia is through students who trained there. They really lacked a ‘proper grounding’. What shows is that really you cannot teach graphics, like you order fast food, which seems to be the way these days, with ‘everything on demand’.

All the creative disciplines are the same – knowledge gained over a period of time, through well executed ‘methodology’, not merely this month’s ‘special download from the Internet’. I have taught short courses, but these are only designed to act as tasters for more intensive courses like an HND or degree. Not as a means to go out and find a job instantly.

Training has to be at least two years, minimum.

Peter Godkin, Graphic design consultant/lecturer, by email

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