The value in continuing education…

design, web design

Recently I encountered a web team who had little to no familiarity with WordPress, Gutenberg, visual design rules, or recent tools used by the website community within their industry. This was both shocking and frustrating. It was uncomfortable to have to train “experts in their field” on the latest tools, styles, and security measures used by the webmasters of their industry. This made me wonder why they were behind in their industry and frustrated to learn that they were behind because they expected any additional training needed to be handed to them on a silver platter. I explained that I do independent continuing education (CE) because technology and trends move so fast that in order to keep up, I do independent research, take online tutorials, etc. This concept seemed foreign to them – taking their own personal time to refine and update the skills they are paid to be trained professionals at!? The audacity of my suggestion!

I am a huge advocate for education… Well, let’s face it, I’m a BIG NERD. But while some people see CE on their own time as company theft of their personal time and space, I see it as an investment in yourself. Much like going to college – it is a price we pay to learn tools and trades that help us stand out in a competitive market. Frankly, it’s even better than college because you can do it from home and many online tutorials are free! Plus there is the added bonus of learning to use tools that help make your work faster and more efficient – and that alone repays you for the time spent learning with CE.

Remember friends, as the old saying goes, work smart not hard!

The design double-standard…

design, graphic design

Recently I saw a post of people celebrating a magazine cover of a Kardashian sister. I will be honest in sharing that I did not read said article or know which Kardashian it was, but that is not the point. My point is, people were congratulating her on how she looked on the magazine and it made me wonder – where is the kudos for the designer of the cover? Okay, so, not literally. But also… A little literally. It seems that there is this design double-standard that we do not pretend exists when it comes to celebrities images and the designers who fix them. It is not rare for an audience, or even the celebrity themselves, to publicly shame a magazine for the designer’s heavy handed editing. People stand up on their soapbox about unfair beauty standards (which for the record, I agree which is why I do not work in that particular industry contributing to the false imagery). But what about when the design is gorgeous and the person looks flawless? Is that somehow magical genetics? No. It is simply someone who to use the terms of popular culture, “knew the assignment.” This means, they were able to edit a design to a level that is both flawless, but socially acceptable – which believe it or not, is not always easy. Nonetheless, where is the love for the designers? It is a difficult and delicate balance between heavy handed editing that leads to complaints, or heavy handed editing that leads to celebrity or model praise; but one thing I can promise you is, it was heavy handed.