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Do you have a graphics Degree?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Blake Wright, Aug 10, 2006.

What is your educational background in the sign business?

Poll closed Sep 9, 2006.
  1. College degree in graphic design or a related field?

  2. Worked as an apprentice?

  3. Self taught?

  1. Blake Wright

    Blake Wright Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    How many of you have a collage degree in graphic design or related field?

    How many have worked as a apprentice?

    Self taught?
  2. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Major Contributor

    Dec 5, 2003
    I went to a one year intensive design trade school....

    just before the MAC revolution.
    Everything, including laying out type and rendering photos with a marker,
    was hand-done.
    That was 1988.
  3. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    1) Associates in Commercial Art.
    2) Never
    3) Yes.
  4. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    i have 2 yrs at PENN STATE as an art major, and was also the assitant to the art prof. he was mainly a potter and that was also one of the best things i did. but i had been drawing since age 4-5. drafting was required in high school 8-9 grade, but i took it 10, 11, 12, and then 2 yrs more after high school. worked as a draftsman for 4 yrs designing and building BUTLER metal building in maine.
    SIGN PAINTING, was taught to me by an old "shaky jake"
    when i was 12-13, and the rest i learned on my own. have been full time in this since 1986.
  5. jayhawksigns

    jayhawksigns Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2005
    I started the graphic design program at Pittsburg State University the year after high school. Unfortunately all of the intro classes where going over everything that I already knew and quit. I probably should of continued the program, because I am still learning new tricks that I can do with Photoshop that I might of learned there, but it was basically a waste of time for the classes that I did take.

    I think that a business degree will do me more good now anyway.
  6. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    I also did all three.
    Sign School..Butera Scholl of Art, but didn't go back for the second year, went to work instead.
    Apprenticed. kinda, to several guys, but not true apprenticeship since I got paid.
    Self Taught, the real education that sticks.
  7. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for six months, then got married at 19.
    Never apprenticed.
    100% self-taught (painting and even my stupid sign program and Corel)
    But I owe almost everything I know about signs to the Letterheads.
    Been at it for 21 years.
  8. Joe Madden

    Joe Madden Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    I'm a self taught pinstriper, started at nine years old, i'm now sixty-two. I love paint :)
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Want to know who can throw their weight around or not ?? :Big Laugh

    Associates degree in Fine arts from an Art School and two years in Art Education. Decided I didn’t want to teach little snot noses, so I quit and went into sign making, since I had a little background in it from earlier years. Graphic Designers wasn’t even heard of, let alone an option back then. Aced all art courses I took, including pottery, OP. 3.7 cum.

    Started at a sign shop as an apprentice and the guy died three weeks later. Made a choice to stay and learned by watching, because the other guy was always in a bad mood and grouchy.

    Went from apprentice to journeyman, but never considered myself a master tradesman, because I’m still learning.

    Self taught on many things, because that shop wasn’t full-service.

    Completely self-taught in computers and software. Don’t know squat about what makes a computer tick, but I know my software programs inside/out.

    Biggest help has been keeping open minded about everything around me, including the young guys in the shop. They are the future and tend to know the latest trends from color schemes to graphic designs.

    :beer :beer these help a great deal, too !!
  10. derrickcurry

    derrickcurry Member

    Jun 28, 2006
    Associate Degree in Multimedia Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. (I'm an application/web developer by trade, doing vinyl signs and stuff as a hobby) Been working with many different forms of commercial art as a hobby since I was a young kid.
  11. Sign One

    Sign One Member

    Apr 17, 2006
    Self Taught

    Except for acing art classes in High School my partner and I are self taught. He did go to school to be a neon tube bender, he is the natural artist, I am decent with software and layout.
  12. Derf

    Derf Very Active Member


    School!!!! What the hell is that... LOL I don't remember school!

    I went into biz when I was 21 and learned quick! I took a short break to work for a huge company and as west coast Art Director I worked with Art Directors from Teleflora to Dole and learned a lot however they learned as much from me!

    It don't matter where you learn as long as you learn and never stop.
  13. Sites&Signs

    Sites&Signs Member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Self Taught All The Way
  14. bcpop

    bcpop Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Degree & Self Taught

    I lettered my first race car back in the early 70's when I was about 10 years old. I actually hand cut some vinyl back then too. I used the old shelf contact paper. Lettered signs, pinstriped at car shows, did a lot of drawing all through high school. Recieved a Scholarship from Louisiana Tech University to enter into their Graphic Design program. Due to other interest (I raced karts, sprint cars, late models, modifieds), I did not actually go into the sign business untill 1995, but it was always a side-line for extra money the whole time.
  15. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

    Jun 8, 2005
    Sunny Florida
    Was taught graphic design and layout (with a T-square and triangle) as well as how to spec type at 17 by a perfectionist wench. Everything had to be perfect for her. Hated her guts.... but I would bow down and kiss her feet for the good solid education she gave me. (Thanks June Elisabeth!!!!!!).
    Now 26 years later I still rely on the good basics she taught me. So no, I didn't have a formal school education or a sign apprenticeship, but working under her for 2 years was pretty darn close!!!
  16. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    Associates degree in Illustration. Attended three different art schools. Began sign work in 1971 in a silkscreen shop while attending college. Basically did everything I could get my hands on that related to commercial art since high school. Learned the hand lettering trade from a hard core union trained journeyman Signwriter. When I became a journeyman and first lived and worked in Seattle in 1980 I was certified to teach apprenticeships through the sign union shops in the craft of Sho-card writing, gold leaf techniques, truck and window lettering, and gold leaf techniques.

    I also minored in Fine Art and now in the process of fulfilling my lifelong passion of becoming a full time professional artist. I paint in acrylics and oils primarily. I also am a professional photo-realistic graphite artist getting commission work on a regular basis. My first show is in one month at the local regional/county Art Center and gallery.
  17. Whit

    Whit Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Self taught,,, still learning,,, barely scratched the surface !!!
    Started when vinyl was considered upholstery material !!!
    Computers of today,,, then,,, took up a house size room
    and worked on punch cards and had tubes that warmed up !!!
    Still open a can of paint every now n then,,, take a whiff,,,
    just to remember the good ol days (hahahahaha)
  18. High Octane

    High Octane Active Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    Fenton, Michigan
    Degree and worked in a sign shop for 8 1/2 years.
  19. LaKe

    LaKe Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    I'll be getting my degree in roughly 10mos in Information Technology/Visual Communication (basically web design with a quick study in the techie stuff) after about 12 years of a variety of colleges. Pretty much self taught with OTJT picking up the rest. Have always been drawing, painting sculpting since I can remember.

    Hey SitesandSigns I'm teaching you everything you know..muhahahah..just kidding. Gonna miss the shop.
  20. Great Scott

    Great Scott New Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    I have a BFA in Illustration from Columbus College of Art & Design. Since then I've worked as a sign designer at three different shops, ad designer at a small newspaper, and a short stint as a picture framer at Michaels.

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