In Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 I taught the intro and advanced magazine design classes. The intro class was a lecture-based class with about 55 students. The Advanced design class had 15 students.

I was asked to teach after a faculty member became sick. It was not the ideal situation for anyone involved. But I learned more in teaching than I did in most of my classes. In order to teach an hour of material I prepared for 10 or 12 hours. I had to relearn the material, find and scan examples of design, and construct a lecture. And because the majority of my intro design students were required to take the class, I tried to make the class entertaining and engaging. I frequently failed.

But by the end, I was able to prepare lectures and speak in front of large groups. The best part was the ability to work one-on-one with students, working on a design or explaining a piece of software.

I put some of my intro to magazine design lectures online:
Principles of design
Typographic Family Feud

The advanced magazine design class is intended for students who want to pursue careers in publication design. It is typically taken during the final semester of the student's senior year.

The class has a substantial workload, requiring the students to design weekly department pages for Vox Magazine as well as 3 features and a cover during the course of the semester. In addition to this, students have weekly design assignments ranging from the historical analysis of a magazine's design to the production of both Web-based and print portfolios.

My favorite assignment requires individual students to produce 15 distinctive designs for a given story package. They have one weekend to complete the project. Each student is given a different story and set of photographs and offered complete freedom on how to use the material. They are encouraged to use all of the photos or not, create an illustration, and/or breakout information from the story.

The goal of the assignment is to learn to work faster and break outside of design routines.

by Dan Tylkowski
15-Designs project