Computer Skills for Designers

Technology and Technique

Technology is removing the separation between creative disciplines, and this allows you to create more work that is relevant, exciting, adaptive, and provocative. Where technology is knocking down the arbitrary and traditional divisions in creative work, you will have more disciplines accessible to you.

But first, a starting point. Practicing design principles is a crucial aspect of your professional development because software changes rapidly and knowledge of the tools can never replace the application of practiced technique.

A tool that “allows you to                  ” doesn’t equate to that ability — having paints and brushes doesn’t make you a painter. And so, continuing to apply and develop your knowledge of design principals will make you a prolific creative resource, no matter how much the software changes.


You must be able to use a search engine in order to be successful in this class. Inevitably, you will come across a software error or bug and will need to know how to use a search engine to troubleshoot your specific problem. The more obscure, the harder this becomes.

You will also need this for learning new software and tools. If there is a certain technique that you want to learn, you will need to find tutorials that are relevant, at the quality/sophistication you are after, and using the same software/version that you have. All of this will take knowing how to use keywords to narrow or broaden your search results.

I will be able to help you, but only if you have taken basic steps to troubleshoot or find information first.

Information Literacy

By this point in your college career, you should be familiar with evaluating information. In this class, you will want to evaluate resources you find to determine if the advice they provide is appropriate for a designer. Many professions use the Adobe Creative Suite, and they will have different needs and concerns than your own.

If you need help evaluating information, start by referencing A Short Guide to Research (for Designers).