When you graduate college and receive your degree magically you know everything needed to know to be a designer. Right? …No? The world of design is constantly changing and evolving with technologies and things like social media. Even for experienced designers, you either keep learning or get left behind. But, where does one go to continue learning and developing their skills? I mean it is not like we are all looking to get another degree, we just want to keep expanding our skill set.
The best way to continue learning is via a mentor. It is always a good idea to surround yourself with people that have more experience or are more knowledgeable. Nothing beats hands on learning especially from a friend or colleague. If you are with out a mentor in a particular area, perhaps you do what I do, turn to books or the internet. There is another way.
When I was in Portland last I met with Janene Larson the founder of Ramp, a Learning Resource Center for brands where curriculum can advance professionals working in the Product Creation Process. Ramp addresses the educational needs of professionals in the Product Creation Process through offering Professional Development Training specific to the sportswear industry. Ramp classes provide students a holistic perspective of the product process from product brief to consumer. The “Ramp Way” is anchored by the need for DESIGN, MATERIALS AND MARKETING to work together in the creation of successful product lines.
“I founded ramp in 2011 as a learning resource for my peers and those entering the complex active brand industry to master the BUSINESS SIDE OF DESIGN. I have worked globally with multiple categories in footwear, apparel and accessories at both Nike and Adidas. Whether working in Adidas Basketball, managing key accounts for Nike and adidas or as a Global Merchandiser for Nike, I was always looking for the “Playbook” onhow to do my job.
How do you write a line plan? Where did that trend come from? What does our consumer think? What am I supposed to do with that information? Forecast? Based on what? Why do people get so amped up about sneakers anyway? Why are Design and Marketing always fighting?
Well there really is a method to the madness. I founded ramp as an avenue to share what I have learned over the last 19 years of launching products into the marketplace with a few mistakes and a lot of successes. The key is to keep learning ALWAYS and as soon as you think you got it, it is time to dig deeper and share what you know with others.” - Janene Larson/Ramp Founder
Ramp has partnered with the most experienced and respected industry experts in the Sportswear Brand Field (from Nike, Adidas, Jordan, Auto Brands to name a few) to teach the line planning process, color and trend theory, consumer culture, material process and more. Classes are taught at the epicenter of Active Brands in Portland, Oregon at the PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy.
What You Learn
Upon completing a Ramp training course, a student will understand the needs and objectives of DESIGN, MATERIALS AND MARKETING in the product process and each department’s role in creating a deep connection with their consumer.
- Align your goals with the rest of your organization
- Understand the process and your consumer’s expectations
- Master the role of Color & Trend in the success of products
- Anticipate the needs of Design for inspiration and accurate problem solving
- Appreciate the role of Product Briefs as the agreement between Design, Development and Marketing
DʼWayne Edwards – Pensole Design Director
Suzette Henri – Material Technology Goddess
E. Scott Morris – Designer/Inspiration Cultivator
John Knight – Consumer Research Guru
Michelle Battista – Trend & Merchandising Expert
Dee Wells – Sneaker Culture Historian
More to Come…
“This is what I promise you. You will learn from the best in the industry skills you need to be better at your job, gain an understanding of the perspectives of your Design, Development and Marketing teams and learn how to use information to influence your product success in the marketplace.” – Janene Larson
Check out some of Ramp’s upcoming classes
- COLOR APPLICATION & MERCHANDISING – Michelle Battista – 4/19
- CONSUMER RESEARCH THAT MATTERS – John Knight – 4/20
- PRESENTING AND DEFENDING YOUR PRODUCT LINES & DESIGNS – E. Scott Morris – 4/30
- REALITY VS. MYTH – THE STORIES PRODUCTS TELL – DʼWayne Edwards/Dee Wells – 5/3
- MATERIAL EDUCATION – Suzette Henri – 5/4
Register @: www.ramppdx.com/classes
Visit http://ramppdx.com/ to learn more.