Baby Bindery
Letter to RISD graduating class of 2016, published in the RISD yearbook, altered slightly and updated. This has 280 words and is filed under: demo.

Dear Class of 2017

Posted by John Caserta on

Dear graduating class,

Congratulations, class of 2017. After three or four years studying Graphic Design, is it clearer what it is, and how it can be put to use? Just because you’re getting a degree in Graphic Design doesn’t mean you’re required to be a graphic designer - or that you have to do it for the rest of your life. There may be a time when you stop payment on your Creative Cloud subscription, and put away your laptop altogether. What I love about a graphic design education is that you can put your degree to work anywhere you like. What better way to apply your degree than to broaden our understanding of what it’s good for.

Michael Rock, known for an essay titled “Designer as Author”, uses the phrase to argue that the design is part of the message. How it looks, how it’s seen, how it’s made, etc all contribute to the ‘content’. This message of empowerment is often misunderstood (as Rock himself wrote) to mean that designers are most valuable when they generate their own content. But the misreading led to another two decades of other “designer as…” idioms, many by luminaries in the field. If you are questioning whether a career in graphic design is for you, the below list of hypothetical uses for your Graphic Design degree is for you - it may come in handy as you consider how to bridge your design education to the possible futures. It may also help remind you all the ways that a design education prepares students to take action beyond the obvious.

  • Designer as producer
  • Designer as editor
  • Designer as printer
  • Designer as forgerer

Index of all posts