Instructional Design

Preparing for the ‘Big Catch’ in Design

Mike Sudal, Illustrator of Field & Stream shows off a Bronx River carp.

Photo by Rob Ceccarini, Fishing Manager, Orvis New York

Carp – A slimy unattractive fish to some, the ‘big catch’  to others. Carp  are remarkably fickle. Anglers who approach carp fishing thinking that it will be  easy to catch them because they are big and bottom feeders can be quickly humbled. It takes skill, patience, the right equipment, and practice to catch a carp. The end result as you can see in Mike Sudal’s face still gratifying.


CARP- An instructional design acronym which helps designers achieve visual perfection thru the use of  contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity. Achieving CARP best practices is the ‘Big Catch’ for  the instructional designer. Everything must be right and come together at the right time for CARP to be achieved.

Like fly fishing  CARP design  is not for the faint of heat. CARP takes time, practice, and the right equipment. You will not achieve CARP over night. You will not master it by reading a book or watching a video.It has be perfected over time, constantly  tweaked , and practiced over and over again.

The most important thing to remember about CARP is if you want to swim with the ‘Big Fish’ in graphical design you must practice, perfect, and not get discouraged. You will fail from time to time, but you must continue to fish for perfection.

So what’s my advice… get out there test the waters… continue to try… have patience with yourself… give yourself a break.. take a deep breath and celebrate what you have learned to date. You will never catch the ‘BIG FISH’ until you learn to love the journey and perfect your craft.

Happy Fishing! Remember we are still learning.




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