In the academics, students are taught that copying even a sentence written by someone else without acknowledging the original author is a serious academic misconduct. For art- and graphic design students found cheating, the consequences are even direr, and any design student or graphic designer found plagiarizing ideas will be stigmatized. The stigmatizatipon of cheating designers also was very visible in Sweden 2012 when the Swedish press noticed that prince Carl Filip, who is a graphic designer, had stolen the idea behind his fire screen (Eldskärm CPB 2101, 2017) from the Italian designer Matteo Mocchi. The press called it an atrocity, and the creative community turned its back against Carl Filip (Ahlborg, 2017; Leva och bo, 2017; Oldenburg, 2017). This incident well illustrate how shameful it is regarded in the creative industry to steal ideas, and that even a prince doing so will lose all his credibility as an artist.
With the academic community in unison condemning plagiarization of ideas and work, many educational institutions of design still encourage students to use ready-made web templates in their creative work; rationalized by an academic leadership who often graduated long before the dawn of the Internet and who never have worked outside the academics; that design students can’t be expected to learn how to code, and therefore it is acceptable for students to use web templates made by others presenting it as their own work.
Such a statement from any institution teaching design is remarkable for a few reasons. First. All but very few marketing campaigns of today do not include the production of digital assets such as websites, banners or social media content. And secondly. The number of graphic designers which in their careers will work exclusively with print is infinitesimal. Still, many prominent academic institutions of graphic design do not teach students even the basics of web design, which put their graduating students in a weak position when entering the job market.
Looking at the principal role digital assets have in today’s media landscape; suggesting that graduating design students do not need to have the skills in designing for the web is highly problematic and make about as much sense as claiming that graphic design students can’t be expected to know how to design magazines, books or package design as not all designers will work within these disciplines.
Preparing graphic design students for entering today’s job market, it is imperative that universities include web-design and writing code in their design curriculum. Teaching students how to code- and design for the web is no different from ensuring that graduating students are proficient in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Arguably; it is actually more important for design students to learn how to design for the web than learning how to design books and magazines—both of which unfortunately are a dying art—compared to digital design which dominates today’s marketing campaigns.
Educational institutions of design need to stop treating web design as a secondary specialist discipline. The web, obvously, is here to stay, and academic institutions of the creative arts who do not adapt their curriculum to reflect today’s reality—not only neglect to take their responsibility in making sure students are well prepared when entering the job market—but also will have a very hard time to survive in the increasingly competitive market of design education.
- Ahlborg, K. (2017). Har prinsen snott sin design?. [online] Aftonbladet. Available at: http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article14278585.ab [Accessed 6 Sep. 2017].
- Eldskärm CPB 2101. (2017). Eldskärm CPB 2101. [online] Available at: https://www.svenskttenn.se/sv/sortiment/dekorationer/eldskarm-cpb-2101/105973/ [Accessed 6 Sep. 2017].
- Leva och bo. (2017). Prins Carl Philip blir anklagad för plagiat. [online] Available at: http://www.expressen.se/leva-och-bo/prins-carl-philip-blir-anklagad-for-plagiat/ [Accessed 6 Sep. 2017].
- Oldenburg, L. (2017). Prins Carl Philip anklagas för plagiat – igen. [online] Metro. Available at: https://www.metro.se/artikel/prins-carl-philip-anklagas-för-plagiat-igen-xr [Accessed 6 Sep. 2017].