Subscribers: The annual education issue Anchor Point, Learning Curve is here!

Published:  June 2, 2014
Bonnie Abbott

“I was an optimistic fool with no clear plans.” — Santtu Mustonen

Every year, the desktop education issue reiterates our belief in education that learning doesn’t start and end with formal education. If it is one’s perspective to see learning as a part of the continuum of life, then the time spent in focused study can be understood as the foundation for the rest of the career—something to be added and built upon. Frederic Samson put it beautifully when addressing his students at the Royal College of Art, many years ago: “The main difference between us is that your ignorance is superficial but mine is profound.”

Knowledge — to have it, use it or gain it — is not something that can be equally qualified or measured out for each person. The things you know (and the things you don’t) have been shaped by your experiences, but most importantly, how you consciously process these experiences into an idea — an understanding or a perspective. This knowledge is shaped by your time as a student, but made valuable through the quality of your life-long inquisitiveness and questioning.

June / July cover by Santtu Mustonen

In Anchor Point, Learning Curve we talked to students about what their biggest questions were, and received some surprises. There wasn’t just a question mark above employability and running a business, but how a designer can make an impact upon the world, why you would want to be one, and “Aren’t they supposed to be wankers?” This questioning was looking not only at the logistical and formal anxieties of a designer, but the identity of one. We put these challenging questions to industry representatives, including Andrew Ashton, Jason Little, Vince Frost, Anita Ryley, Luke Brown and John Calabro.

“Confessions of a Design Student’, features admissions of anxieties and fears of a student, made visual in collaboration with Moon Unit.

We took a closer look at these identity issues in our Exchange section, where we asked a group of students to share confessions that effected them — again, beliefs riddled with anxiety were expressed. These confessions were then visualised in collaboration with the designers at Moon Unit, turning them into typographic anti-mantras.

Excerpt from Colophon Foundry’s “Five Years” publication

Anthony Sheret and Edd Harrington share their honest story of starting up Colophon Foundry — a type Foundry in Brighton that has just turned 5 years old, which began in a freezing studio between a graduate and a student.

Among the regular articles, Tori Hinn of Women of Graphic Design brings the inequality of design history to our attention, Richard Hollis encourages us to observe history and context when we look at a piece of design, and Santuu Mustonen — this issue’s cover artist — comes clean about his university days, describing a student that was lazy, scared and confused, until the real world knocked him into shape.

Santtu Mustonen

While this anxiety could be based in the youthful compulsion to prove oneself quickly, believing in education as a life-long process may go someway to relieving it — if you recognise development and process in your work, then why not in yourself? With each new piece of knowledge, an anchor point is marked, and with each question, a learning curve is drawn, with the aim to have the most divergent path—rather than the neatest—at the end of your career.

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