How To Learn Everything About Design Without Going To College

In less time than it takes to finish a semester in college, a new school says it can teach all you need to know about digital design.

Students at The Designation pay $3,000 to attend three-hour classes twice a week for nine weeks to learn the philosophy and fundamentals of Web and graphic design, including HTML and CSS, wireframing and design theory. Kevin Yun teaches development, veteran GrubHub designer Zeke Franco covers user experience design, and Reppio creative director JJ Lee handles branding and Adobe training.

The Designation’s first — and so far only — session, now underway, was a profitable one, says founder Yun. Thirteen students’ tuition covers rent at Loop digital agency Manifest Digital, where classes are held, as well as instructor compensation, setup and marketing costs.

Yun is a self-taught designer and senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he’s somewhat reluctantly studying finance. For Yun, running The Designation is more than a summer job. He describes his commitment as “full time at night” as he juggles designing for two other startups, including Fitsby, an exercise app.

Yun sees The Designation’s curriculum as superior training for career-changers or recent graduates. “There’s nobody else really teaching digital design classes in Chicago at the moment,” he says.

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