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Video: Becoming a teacher

Becoming a teacher provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Doyald Young as part of the Creative Inspirations: Doyald Young, Logotype Designer
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Watch the Online Video Course Creative Inspirations: Doyald Young, Logotype Designer
Video Duration: 4m 16s1h 41m Appropriate for all Oct 29, 2010 Updated Sep 29, 2011

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From humble beginnings in a small Texas town eight decades ago comes legendary typographer, logotype designer, author, and teacher Doyald Young. As elegant as his script fonts and as wise as his set of Oxford English dictionaries, Young set the standard for his craft. Friend and designer Stefan Bucher describes Young as "someone who could easily have done what he does in the Renaissance, and could easily do it 300 years from now." In this installment of Creative Inspirations, we enjoy a window into the life of this accomplished artisan as he works with joyous focus in his favorite spot, his drawing table. We follow Young to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he shares his talents with tomorrow's designers. He recalls the hundreds of iterations he went through in creating the logo for Prudential, and he puts pencil to tissue creating the pages for his book about script lettering, Learning Curves. Young's story is compelling, captivating, and most of all, inspiring. is honored to host this tribute to his work.

Join us in Bonus Features at a tribute event held at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where Doyald's friends and colleagues speak about their relationship with the gifted designer and Lynda introduces a scholarship fund set up specifically in his memory.

Doyald Young

Becoming a teacher

(Music playing) Tink Adams, the president of Art Center, said, "We want teachers who are professionals in the field to come in and teach what they know." I don't even have a high school education. I didn?t finish the 10th grade.

That?s unimportant. As long as I can teach what I do, that?s all that Tink was concerned about. (To a student) And then there?s a bump right here. And let?s add more weight to the N. The rest is good. FEMALE STUDENT: How about the space? DOYALD: That?s fine. It can go higher but what you have I think is okay.

I took 4 semesters of lettering from Mort Leach at Art Center. 1953, I think it was. And that Mort had a big class. It was far too many to teach in a three-hour period. And Mort noticed that students were coming to me when he wasn?t around for help. And so finally after the 4th semester, he said "Would you like to teach here. Would you like to be my assistant?" And so of course I was flattered.

(To a student) I'm more concerned really about your shape. I prefer to go one-on-one. This time it's summer session and it?s always light. I have just 5 students this time. I have them work small. First of all, because if you?re designing a complex shape, you make it the faster you can go, you can test out your ideas. If it?s 12 - inches wide, it takes you forever to make this drawing. So we can make a series of little roughs to solve the basic problems Once we have those solved, then we can then make a tighter version and finally we make a very precise pencil tissue.

Once I have okayed that, it?s then translated into a digital form so that it becomes of a piece of art that can be reproduced at any size. I've always enjoyed helping people learn how to draw. It is better to give and receive, you know. And so I think that teaching is rewarding. It helps you to decide what you believe in, and what the real principals are that satisfies your aesthetics.

I tell my students this: I don?t care what the rules are. And they are lots of rules. The ultimate rule is how does it look? Does that ?O? look bigger than the ?N?? Does it look taller? Does it drop too far below the line? And you have to get them to keep on drawing letters until they see the difference. You have to learn how to see it.

(To a student) The ?T? is a little bit low. I think this is ideal and I think that is ideal. You've repeated that of the top of the N, which is good. There is one slight problem but at this scale, I accept what you?ve done. I think the top of the E gets a little dark. You see your hairline here? Is heavy? So the top of the E is just a little dark, a little chunky. Um.

I'm particularly pleased with what you've done.

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