I might have failed.

2006-08-17 20:02:04

Questions from an impromptu test conducted during a graphic design class.

Comment on two designers covered in lecture 7:
TOMATO: His works are brilliant and he has the special food name “tomato” that can attract the public’s attention.
PIET ZWART: Piet Zwart did a good job redefining David Carson.

From wikipedia, Piet Zwart died at the age of 92 in 1977. David Carson started designing in 1991.

What have I done wrong as a lecturer?

Saturday will be my last day in The One Academy. I quit.

Many reasons helped me come to that decision.

For the past three years, I have had my share of satisfaction and disappointment with lecturing. It is rewarding to see FF Meta, Bello, Dolly, Monotype Grotesk, Akzidenz Grotesk and Avenir making their way into students’ magazine and corporate identity works, replacing the standard mix of Myriad, Helvetica and Garamond. It excites me whenever students show me complex and unusual grid systems. It thrills me (secretly) when students start rebelling against thoughtless briefs and work outside the norms. All these made teaching meaningful.

I shall not vent my frustrations — that would be taking aimless shots at the whole education and cultural systems that shaped the psyche of so-called creative students. I may have to start cursing all the spoons that fed the souls.

What matters most to me: I’m glad I have got to know many students well enough to consider them personal friends. Gaining new friendship — this alone — made the whole experience memorable. As much as they are learning from my obsessions about grids, kernings and Bodoni, I am learning to see things from their life, and in the process, enables me to rethink and reshape who I am.

I am not sure whether I will ever return to teaching.

Maybe someday.

Meanwhile if Piet Zwart has redefined Carson, I am led to think that I might have failed.

Unless I can see dead people.