So I’m minding my own business, and all of a sudden I get an e-mail with this title “Graphic Design for Non-Designers” and I notice that it is from Businessweek. At first I am appalled. Who is Businessweek to think that they can turn someone into a Graphic Designer in two weeks? I’ve spent years toiling in this craft with a formal education to boot. Then it hit me. This isn’t about teaching design as much as it is embracing an inevitable reality. Today, everyone has the ability to be an editor, designer, artist, director or producer. Just plug in i-Life and play if you will.
Businessweek (and HP) understands this and by offering up a free class, they see the opportunity in building loyalty with the emerging creative class as they desire to learn more about these skills. Here’s a description of what the class offers:
"Understand the basic history of the graphic arts to aid in the thought process behind creating a successful design
Use concept development as a tool for a design that will set you apart from others
Incorporate different kinds of images into your designs
Understand typographic design and the impact it can have
Use color effectively
Compose an eye-catching design
Work with a variety of design media from tracing paper to the computer"
Here is my take on this. I think it’s a good move for Businessweek. If you look around the Social Media Network and any other media—it’s filled with example upon example of bad design from people who have figured out how to use modern applications but don't know jack about basic design principals. Zefrank touched upon this with his “ugly myspace contest” (he also provides a nice design history lesson here).
So will Businessweek (and HP) succeed in training the everyday Joe to know beauty from ugly? I have no idea. But I think it’s a sign of things to come. Target says “Design for All”. Maybe this is all just a sign that good design will become mainstream one day. I doubt that two weeks spent with Businessweek will do the trick—but it’s an interesting move nevertheless.