Michael Buelens
Adobe Certified Instructor

Creativity versus Software knowledge

I enjoyed an art education. During those years I only got a basic understanding of Adobe applications, the focus was always more on the creative aspect. Once I had finished school and started working as a graphic designer I soon found out that a great amount of technical knowledge about the printing process and how to output documents that can be successfully printed is required as wel.

Should art schools invest more time in software training or is this something that should be reserved for another field of study. Decades ago it made sense because there was a divide between art and production but nowadays creatives have professional tools on their computer to go from creation to finished product and most of the time graphic designers have to provide the printers with certified PDF documents themselves. Belgium today still has two schools in Ghent where this divide is clear. One is an art school while the other is a prepress school, but both of them produce people that search for work in the same industry.

The company I work for has trouble finding people who now a lot about the software which is a requirement to be quick and efficiënt. Most students that come from art schools have no experience on a technical level.

So my question is: Should art schools invest more time in technical software training or is this something that should be reserved for another field of study. Or does anyone here think this knowledge can only come through experience.

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Lorin Wilson

Posted on 7/13/15 6:01:10 PM Permalink

It seems in the modern field of imagery and graphic design a strong understanding of both is necessary. Although we live in a video, web-embedded world and economy, too many times, designers don't have a full-understanding of the tools, the output, or even the design elements that are vastly different in the various modalities--especially print, whether it be pure art, an ad or a billboard. I think it may be possible to have a major in one and a minor in the other?