I’ve been accepted to both of these schools. However, I cannot decide on which one to go to.

CCAD seems to have better equipped facilities in general, but I do not know much about their ID workshops. But judging from their galleries, it seems that many of their students go on to varied and fulfilling careers. The course outline seems to be more in depth than that of MIAD, but because of different wording between the two catalogs I can’t tell the difference. Also, their courses seem to have more variety.

MIAD is surrounded by factories, which may help in learning about the industry. I also heard they win some design contest every year. Yet, when I visited there, the student environment seemed nonconductive. I did not see the students at CCAD because of spring break. Also, the entire city of Milwaukee seems drab and dreary. This slightly has to be considered since I’ll be spending the next four years there.

IIT is close to home. But it focuses less on design techniques and more on the business and marketing aspect. This is based from what people tell me.

Art Center is very far from home, and would require me to rent an apartment right away. Maybe too much of an investment at this point in time since I’m just coming out of high school.

Any advice on getting scholarship opportunities?

Well, scratch IIT off your list–they don’t offer undergrad.

If you can get into Art Center, you should definitely go, its widely considered the most elite design school (although heavily focused on Automotive.)

Don’t know much about CCAD… But MIAD does tend to have the strongest yearly IDSA Midwest District Student Merit Award winners.

I do like what I see with CCADs curriculum though–it seems to offer more focused courses in Foundations & Sophmore years.

I’d strongly recommend attending the Shift Happens event coming up in Chicago on April 16th. It’s a bargain (esp for students) and it would be much more valuable than a College Fair for getting the scoop on Midwest ID programs (plus seeing the Student Merit Award presentations, which is always fun.)

Good luck, and have fun!

might consider U of Cincinnati and Cleveland Inst of Art. both good. in that region too. check corefolios for student examples. its one gauge. dont know anything about MIAD. not impressed with CCAD anymore.

Agree cincy and cia. you’ll run into lots of people with JOBS out here that went to those schools. Cincy in particular strong in product. CIA good all around trans, toy, product. Art Center is excellent, goes without saying really. Yeah, if you can get to the Shift Happens in chi town I’d do that. Ask people where they went and where they work. I went to CIA and the transition was really pretty seemless. I do toys now.


May I ask where’re you doing toys now?

Internship at Fisher Price, then Playskool for 6 years, lots of fellow CIA alum at both. Now I’m at American Girl doing doll toys and furniture. We’re part of Mattel. Been here 5 years.

rando, thank you for the reply,

I know that FP is also a part of Mattel…and if I am not mistaken Playskool is a Hasbro’s brand, right? Based on your experience, how different Playskool and FP are? They have always seemed pretty similar to me.

I’ve had an internship with Fisher-Price that really strengthened my passion for toy design…I’m interested in pursuing a career in toy design or related to toy design, do you have any recommendations of what skills are essential, what areas I should concentrate on the most? What toy design places are looking for?
I’m really good at sketching, rendering, illustration and technical drawing; I would say these are my strongest skills. I’m kind of getting quick with Alias and my model making stuff although is better than average is not quite excellent…and I sew and teach myself pattern making. A person from LeapFrog and somebody who knows someone :slight_smile: who freelances for Hasbro have told me that it’s a good skill to have …the pattern making. I would like to know what I’m missing, as far as skills…yep.

Also, perhaps it’s a dumb question, but is any design work for TOMY done in the USA? Or is it all in Japan?
I apologize for so many questions at once, but it is rather difficult to find a person who has some experience of working for a toy company other than FP in my area.

Yep, they are pretty much similar. Lots of the same people with the same backgrounds bouncing back and forth. Lots of people from CIA and Syracuse. Probably Cincinnatti and Art Center too.
Sketching is the most important. Being able to quickly generate ideas and communicate them to others. Then good control drawings are needed to generate models and give info to an engineer. I usually work up some thumnail ideas, sort out and expand the concept into a sketch. Review that and have it approved. Then go to a 3d package to work out the design. A rough foam core model will be made for sizing. After the drawings are done a more finished or proving model is done. That can be hand built or rapid proto. Then I pretty much know what I have and may turn it over with a revised drawing or notes. That’s pretty much the drill.
Soft goods design is ok to know too but don’t bite off more than you can chew. Somethings you will learn on the job.
Being able to problem solve in your thinking and designing is really the most important thing. Especially in toys there are lots of ways to participate if one area you have is lacking. But sketching is way up on the list.
Skill wise I think you’ve got it covered. We hire people that can sketch, have good color sense, problem solve, run Illustator, Photoshop, can do control drawings, model making. 3d software is a must at most places but if you can demonstrate understanding on one system you should be good. They can train you on what they use. Could be any number of packages. alright?

Thank you rando,

At least I’m working in the right direction…

I am from CCAD…if you have any particular questions about our labs/ student experiences…feel free to ask…although i must tell you I feel we have some really strong faculty here and good facilities…the rest also depends on you as a student! :unamused: :smiley:

Please tell me more about CCAD. Do you have an IM screen name? Does anybody know who I can contact for info regarding the IDSA conference?

u can email me at sgoel.1@ccad.edu, my yahoo screen name is charms82_79@yahoo.com
good luck!

If you are looking in the midwest and are open to going to a University rather than an art school to study you may want to check out the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Cincinatti and CIA are also great options for the midwest.