Graphic Design Studio 1: Image And Text
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Dean's Honours Master of Architecture and Construction Management from the University of Melbourne,...
Chose this subject as a first year elective as a person from another major in the Bachelor of Design. GDES10001 has been the most vague and unfulfilling experience I've had in my academic life. Having already been acquainted with most of the adobe suite (the tools they never teach you how to use) in VCE Vis Comm, I found the marking criteria to be absurdly harsh and unhelpful for my work. The rubric is entirely subjective. My instructor complimented my work for the first assignment and proceeded to give me an H3. They do not provide feedback in grading and the attendance requirement of 80% for their 12 three hour studios is so painful. The tutors of this subject have created an oasis for themselves by developing a course where nothing is taught and only feelings are expressed. 3 hour studios feels like the faculty is milking the university for additional pay, all the while providing no value to the student who mandatorily must attend. If you are not majoring in Graphic Design, avoid this subject at all costs. I disregarded prior warnings by fellow reviews because of my relative experience with the software, but the lack of helpful criticism, coupled with the hours wasted attending insufferable studios where useless past studio clips of the subject would play in the background alongside the moans of the tutors who favourably speak of your work despite marking it harshly, have made me sorely regret my decision to enrol in this subject. If you are indeed majoring Graphic Design, please consider alternative courses at different universities where reviews are better. If you are interested in doing the subject as a breadth, I admire your courage and I wish you luck; you will desperately need it.
Anonymous, Semester 2, 2023
I did this subject as an elective and enjoyed it. The subject is a lot less structured and more "artsy" than I thought, though. There were 4 assignments, 1 portfolio and no exam. You get loads of time to complete the assignments as you work in class on them as well over 5 or so weeks, but DON'T leave until the last minute because you won't get it done well. While the subject was fun and gave you lots of room to do your own thing, it was VERY vague. I was constantly asking how to get good marks and all that they could say were things like "how good your composition is" because the subject is so subjective (so I found it hard to get above 80%). Adobe is used a bit in this subject and they don't teach you how to use it so you have to figure it out yourself. Tutors are very nice and clearly enjoy the content. The classes are once a week and go for 3 hours which is too long - the tutors filled the time by watching the lectures during class (which was supposed to be done before class) and doing random quizzes. These lectors and quizzes, while relevant to the content, weren't relevant to the assignments and were very boring. Even though you have to go to class for attendance, they were often a waste of time (watch a 60 min lecture, do a class quiz, then break out to do your own work, which could be done at home).
Anonymous, Semester 1, 2022
Certainly a strangely planned subject. We spent the first few weeks focussing on creating a typeface and practicing mark making, then the rest of the time making an album cover. The lectures are a bit strange as they are just the lecturer flipping through a powerpoint with different artists they like in it and discussing the works briefly. The lectures are also recordings from 2017 which was quite disappointing. The subject is VERY concept based and has a lot of focus on art/design history, we spent a lot of time talking about the concepts and history behind type, mark making and album covers but we received very little instruction on how to actually create our projects, if you want to learn how to use the adobe suite or any kind of digital methods of creating your projects, you’re on your own. We only got instruction for learning hand drawn techniques, which felt a bit strange considering graphic design is generally a digitally based practice. The studios are largely a waste of time. This was my biggest problem with the subject, the studios are 3 hours long and a good chunk of that time is watching the lecture with the class, the tutors will just share their screens and play the lecture even though we’ve been asked to watch the videos beforehand. The rest of the studio is usually spent listening to other students get feedback, which is interesting but gets a bit tedious in an online class. However I did receive some great feedback from my tutors during studio which was very helpful, just wish the studios were a bit more efficient. Thankfully I have experience with the adobe suite so I didn’t have much trouble creating my projects, however I can see that other students would struggle if you didn’t have this experience because you don’t receive guidance for digital methods. The best part of the subject was the feedback I got from my tutors, but I definitely wish the lectures spent more time focussing on how to produce work and on more contemporary examples of graphic design. This subject feels quite stuck in the past. If you want to study graphic design to learn how to use the adobe suite to create functional projects like advertisements, logos, or anything along those lines I would not recommend studying graphic design at unimelb. It is very fine art based.
Anonymous, Semester 2, 2020
I felt the lectures added little to my understanding of the subject or anything in general, just lots of images and names quickly rushed through, without going into a lot of detail into the topics, why they were important or their connection to each other or the subject. I didn't understand why I had to do an assignment creating a typeface within the first 5 weeks of the semester but then didn't have the lecture on the basics of typography until Week 8. I also really didn't like that no basic instruction about software was given, never mentioned in lectures and in class only referred to a few basic extremely specific tutorials on Canvas or linked to figuring out how to use it through other websites free trial period, if I wanted to learn this way I wouldn't have come to Uni and had just taught myself at home and saved my money. Luckily I had a little experience with the software but I can't imagine how much more difficult going through this subject not having any would be. Expectations for what was wanted for assignments and what they were being marked/judged was extremely unclear, with only a little vague information that further questioning of tutors did not help. When more information was eventually given to us (which even then still left me uncertain about what I should be aiming to achieve) it was often a week before the assessment was already due instead of at the start when it would have been the most useful. Feedback from my tutor was really frustratingly vague each studio, it became even worse when we transitioned to not having individual zoom meeting times (which were only 15 minutes anyway) but to group sessions. In this setting one student would present their assignment progress and receive 5-10 mins (Even 20 minutes at one time) of feedback, but then I would present my work next and the tutor would only spend 1-2 minutes of vague feedback that left me only feeling even more unclear of what was expected from me and what I should do, the large discrepancies between how much attention different students got was incredibly frustrating. And I know it wasn't because they thought my work didn't need much feedback because they would say this to some students (and they would still then even get more feedback than I did?), I would have been happy if they had even just heavily critiqued my progress and ideas so I would have something to work on but I didn't receive that. This introduction to the Graphic Design Major honestly would have made me seriously consider changing universities, unfortunately, I only changed to this major half way through my degree so I have to stick it out for now. Perhaps my experience was made worse by it being online but even then I still feel there are a lot of core issues with the subject.