TypeTalk: Teach Your Children Well
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Q. Do you know of any design programs that begin in high school?
A. Michelle Urquhart, a high-school art teacher in Ontario, Canada, has done just that. She has created an amazing three-year Digital Media program as part of the Visual Arts department at Port Credit Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario.
Beginning in Grade 10, students learn to use professional design software while studying the principles of graphic and communication design. They can continue through to Grade 12.
Designed by Jennifer Nguyen.
"My own passion for design and my background in advertising has been the impetus for the development of this program," says Urquhart, who taught traditional visual arts off and on between 1990 and 1998. The program began in 2000 as a non-digital course offered only at the Grade 10 level, under the title "Media Arts". Over the past ten years it has evolved into a fully digital, comprehensive program.
Designed by Vee Sirizzotti.
In Grade 10, students learn Photoshop through a series of projects and exercises designed to gradually increase their skills while developing their design thinking and awareness. Students work on simple product illustrations in Photoshop and learn book cover design, movie poster design, and CD cover design along with a grounding in the fundamental elements of layout and typography.
Designed by Jennifer Nguyen.
In Grade 11, students take on Illustrator and learn a variety of approaches to digital illustration. In addition, they begin to investigate typography and continue their studies in the fundamentals of graphic communications in combination with the history of art and design.
Designed by Katia Zuccarelli.
In Grade 12, most of the students are proceeding toward a post-secondary program in one of the many areas of design, and so the focus is on providing projects that will make suitable portfolio pieces for the February placement interviews. Typography is a major part of this course, both in its use and its history, and classes also look at branding and promotional materials, graphic communications, and advertising design, while working in both digital and mixed media.
Designed by Emily Bauman.
Throughout the three levels of the program, students are encouraged and expected to apply professional standards to their own work. "Good, for high school" is not praise in this program. When provided with high expectations and the resource of professional knowledge, students are entirely capable of creating work that is sophisticated beyond their years. Students graduating from this program have close to 100% acceptance rate into the post-secondary design program of their choice.
Designed by Evan Ciniello.
Pretty impressive, I’d say--wouldn’t you?
Designed by Sarah Stoyanovich.
For more information on this program, contact Michelle Urquhart at email@example.com.
Love type? Want to know more? Ilene Strizver conducts her acclaimed Gourmet Typography workshops internationally. For more information on attending one or bringing it to your company, organization, or school, go to her site, call The Type Studio at 203-227-5929, or email Ilene at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for her e-newsletter at www.thetypestudio.com.