Abstract

The Barbados Community College’s BFA Programme in Graphic Design has been in existence for over 20 years. The year 2009 marked a shift in design application, with pockets of students using graphic design as a catalyst to develop products that are potentially marketable. The current economic climate has made it harder for students to be employed in agencies and studios. One would anticipate that they would follow through in creating new spaces for themselves as designers, i.e. developing products as viable sources of income in a struggling economy, but sadly most do not. Through an exploration of case studies ranging from plush anthropomorphic toy letters, and interactive Caribbean storytelling, there must be some revelation on how best to harness this talent. How should the bridge be built for further training so that the product enters the commercial market? Are there socio-economic and psychological factors, which create this gap in idea to enterprise? The aim of the paper is to investigate why graduates are not pursuing self-initiated projects as profitable business ventures, and to offer viable solutions for how this can be achieved.

Keywords:

product development, graphic design, Caribbean culture, education

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Challenges in Barbadian Design Education – When Graphic Design & Product Development Collide

The Barbados Community College’s BFA Programme in Graphic Design has been in existence for over 20 years. The year 2009 marked a shift in design application, with pockets of students using graphic design as a catalyst to develop products that are potentially marketable. The current economic climate has made it harder for students to be employed in agencies and studios. One would anticipate that they would follow through in creating new spaces for themselves as designers, i.e. developing products as viable sources of income in a struggling economy, but sadly most do not. Through an exploration of case studies ranging from plush anthropomorphic toy letters, and interactive Caribbean storytelling, there must be some revelation on how best to harness this talent. How should the bridge be built for further training so that the product enters the commercial market? Are there socio-economic and psychological factors, which create this gap in idea to enterprise? The aim of the paper is to investigate why graduates are not pursuing self-initiated projects as profitable business ventures, and to offer viable solutions for how this can be achieved.

 

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