Design Principles always seemed so abstract to this former design student. After 19 years of instruction, I wondered if there was a way to make the traditional 2D Design class far less intimidating or at least seem more accessible. I mean think about it folks…does 2D Design really have to be complicated and entangled?

Research conducted by this author over a series of twelve design workshops, conducted at a variety of colleges and universities, revealed that a second dose of 2D Design administered a bit down the line (at least two terms out) revealed an improved degree of absorption not apparent within the earlier timeframe. 

One looming issue in education involves the variation of transfer platforms represented by transferring students. If the long-term goal of educational scaffolding (which is basically the updated baseline of learned ideas, one layer built upon the previous layer) is reliant on reinforcement, what happens if one’s student’s reinforcement is merely another student’s introduction? What happens when scaffolds do not match up? Design principles are a required learning immersion. However, the wide variety of principles that are out there allow individual instructors to feature those principles which have shown the most successful yield for their pedagogic approach. That makes sense and it works. Unless you didn’t get it the first time.

Some first year students in 2D Foundation design are dealing with new ideas involving design principles as abstract concepts. A comb is a comb. A passive area is a what? It’s one thing to cognitively acknowledge negative space, but it may be another to get engaged with it.

A second exposure or a reintroduction at a time of design principles when a student’s had a bit more life experience/creative experience frequently produces remarkably engaging results. 

This second immersion – either led through an educator’s request or whether self-taught, can provide game-changing reinforcement at a time when it’s most effectively addressed.

Despite meeting rigorous accreditation standards, not all two-dimensional design courses are the same. Some educators emphasize a broad and highly detailed immersion into design principles while some take an approach emphasizing narrative development or design elements. And then there are numerous formulations in-between. One problem has always been the constriction on the term of the course, which is typically a semester (15 weeks). Most every educator has on at least one occasion hit the following wall: How to fit 18 weeks into 15? One option to consider through this site is supplementation – similar to reading assignments, but with a binge-watching video component. 

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