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Books or design school, which is better? I know this is a topic a lot of beginners dwell on. It often seems like one method is much better than the other. Following on from my previous post on Creative Confidence, I wanted to highlight the advantages each method has. I hope this will help upcoming designers choose which method is best for them.

Design school

This is a great option. However, not everyone can afford to spend time or money on completing a lengthy course. Both methods will significantly improve your skills in design. With that said, there are advantages a design school has over book learning.

The people you meet: This is one such advantage a design institution can provide you with which no book can give you. You interact with people passionate about design just like you. This expands your design mindset, and you think about design in different ways. Forming such connections helps you in the long run too. You now have people you can start a design studio with if that’s something you’re willing to do. No book can provide you with such an opportunity.

Industry Mentoring and Connections:
Most institutions will invite industry professionals to conduct workshops and lectures for the students. This allows you to learn from the best in your field face to face. However, it is important to not only be a part of the audience. You need to get attention, and you need to get in front of the speaker or professional so they remember you. This could mean that you have just made a professional connection. For all you know they might even provide you with an opportunity the masses would never get.

Books on Design

Read 1-2 books about design each week. Now in a year, you have learnt way more in theory than going to a design school. Reading books should be done in massive quantities. If you read so much on one particular topic, your mindset will change entirely. You will think in terms of that topic at all times. So if you aspire to become the greatest designer, then committing to read massive quantities of design books is a must. This will shape your mind into thinking about design in ways you never could before.

Your own pace: you can read books at any pace and place. So you can learn design wherever you are. It is however just as necessary to implement what you learn regularly into your design projects.

What will matter most is your design portfolio. People will use this to judge your design skills. A well-presented portfolio is vital, and there are various platforms to create a portfolio.

Some platforms:

  • Your own WordPress site (Siteground is my personal choice since they make it so extremely easy to set up in minutes) Click here to get their best offer.
  • Behance
  • Dribble
  • Adobe Portfolio
  • The Loop