9 Things They Don't Teach You in Design School

9 Things They Don’t Teach You in Design SchoolDesign school may educate you about the ins and outs of beautiful design, but what really happens outside of the classroom? Here are some pointers about what to look out for post-graduation. 

Portfolios vs. Prestige  

Prestigious university names may benefit students applying for jobs in law or finance, but very rarely will they have your back when applying for a design position. In the design world, your portfolio carries all your credibility. So, rather than getting stuck on a university name, stick yourself in a program that will challenge you and help build your portfolio for the future.

Filing Your Files 

Needless to say, the inconvenience of unorganized files is stressful. Do yourself a favor and embrace your inner OCD. This will only help you (and your co-workers) in the long run. 

For the Love of Logos

No matter how much you want to fight it, logos really do have to be bigger in the real world. Enjoy using small logos while you can.

Big vs. Small Budgets

Keep in mind that not all amazing work comes from high-budget projects. Working with small clients might seem limiting, but view it as a challenge. Award-winning work can come from any budget if you have a great eye for design. 

Printer Preparation

Getting files ready to go to press is sticky business. Trim marks, bleeds and color settings must all be accurate. Make sure to double-check your work and provide high-resolution files to the printer or client.  

Underdog Experience 

While working as an intern can be discouraging, it can also be very rewarding. Internships prepare you for the real world. Deadlines come quick and co-workers expect you to perform miracles. But never fear; you will come out of any internship with experience, knowledge and connections. 

Roles that Keep the Ball Rolling

The number of roles in an agency often depends on the agency size. If you find yourself working for a small agency, you will most likely wear multiple hats and work with a variety of clients. In a large agency, you might be on a team, working with one large client.

Hold On

Internships often come before salary-based jobs. View it as a trial period, so the agency can ensure you’re not a crazy person. Often, if you do your job well, you’ll be rewarded with a full-time position.

Thick Skin for a Tough Crowd

Your design work will not only go through numerous internal revisions, but countless client revisions. At first, it might seem like the end of the world. You might even question the intelligence of humanity. At the end of the day, all you can do is step back, breathe and keep designing. If your skills are as good as you think, there may not be any client revisions at all. 


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