Ben Holliday

What makes a design education?

There’s a lot of design education out there. I get asked sometimes what people should ‘study’?

If you want to be a good designer, my advice is to study broadly and follow your interests. A design degree is great but it’s how you spend the rest of your life learning and being open to new ideas that matters most.

Study design when you’re starting out but never lose that mindset. Never stop learning. Design is curiosity, learning, and challenging your way of seeing the world.

Get a formal education in design. But just as importantly make sure you read books, visit museums and go to galleries. Follow your interests.

Things to be interested in if you want to be a better designer*

Typography, colour theory, and layout.

Mark making.


Art history.


Places and travel.

Research and anthropology.



Whatever makes you smile and surprises you.

Most of all, avoid intensive training courses that tell you they can teach you design in 6 weeks. Don’t pay someone to teach you how to make design artefacts or how to use software. The internet can do that.

*These are mostly all my interests and what keeps me learning.

This blog post is also published on Medium.

This is my blog where I’ve been writing for 18 years. You can follow all of my posts by subscribing to this RSS feed. You can also find me on Bluesky, less frequently now on X (formally Twitter), and on LinkedIn.