Noble Desktop was founded in 1990 by Scott Carson as a desktop publishing studio, using QuarkXPress, Illustrator, and Photoshop to produce books, magazines, catalogs, and other print material.
In 1991 Scott began to teach at Parsons School of Design. Word got out that a good class in QuarkXPress was being taught, but demand was far more than Parsons could handle. So Scott started teaching at Noble in the evenings.
Eventually, students asked for other classes, so Noble slowly added programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. By 1994 we had a staff of five instructors and spent a lot of money advertising in local papers. When competition heated up and the advertising became unpleasant, Noble stopped advertising altogether.
But a funny thing happened. The students kept enrolling, mainly through word of mouth. Noble had built up such a base of previous students that referrals kept classes full. In those days, class size was limited to 5 students. We hovered around one computer monitor and handed out practice worksheets to students. Today we have hi-res projectors (beaming onto ten foot screens) in classrooms that can handle up to 17 students. We provide each student with a complete step-by-step workbook that’s nicely printed and bound.
In August 1999 we typeset our last 1,000-page book and decided to focus exclusively on training. Now we have a staff that works expressly on improving classes and workbooks. We get to practice what we teach by working on our own books and websites. It all makes for a very rewarding mix of doing and teaching. Hope to see you in class soon!