Who's a Graphic Designer?
Graphic designers create visual magic by combining art and technology! As a graphic designer, you get to create different types of illustrations, images and graphics by hand or using various computer software. Your creativity and art will be used for product illustrations, website designs, promotional material, branding and more.
Companies and people will use the incredible stuff you create to communicate visually appealing messages to their audience. Your work plays a vital role in conveying information and messages to the audience in an interesting format. In fact, the graphics you see on this website have been created by a graphic designer!
Everybody needs a graphic designer! If you want to make an advertising campaign, you need a graphic designer. If you want to design a product, you ask a graphic designer! If you need book covers, magazines, websites, who will you call? A graphic designer! It doesn’t matter if it’s the government, a private corporation or an NGO, everyone needs a graphic designer.
What will you do?
Meeting potential clients
You will have to meet your client and have a lengthy conversation with them to understand what they are looking for. You will also have to share some of your work to show what you’re capable of and discuss ideas with the client on what would work best for their needs.
Creating and sharing a portfolio
A portfolio is a collection of all your design work. It could showcase your ideas, college projects, previous work, etc. It gives the viewer an idea of your designing capabilities. Once a client has viewed your portfolio, they will feel confident about your work.
Discussing cost estimates and tentative timelines
Once the client has explained what they want from you, you must discuss timelines and costs with your client. If your client has a certain budget or timeline in mind, you might have to create a design accordingly. Say a client wants an ad designed within two days at a low cost. You will then create a simple appealing design as opposed to an elaborate, intricate one.
Working with designing softwares to create your design
Most of your design work will happen on a computer. This requires you to master some of the basic software like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Coreldraw, among others.
Being good at digital as well as physical art
Even though most of your work happens on a computer, you still might need to draw from time to time. For instance, you might use your calligraphy skills to present text in a beautiful font that might not be available online.
Designing a variety of elements
Your skills won’t be limited to making book covers and ads. Over the course of your career, you will work on a variety of designs, ranging from logos and stationery design to brochures, product designs, posters and more.
Checking the final artwork before it is published
Once your client approves the design, you will have to create a final, high-quality version for printing or uploading it online. You will have to perform a thorough check on the final artwork, ensuring that all the guidelines have been followed and everything is in place before it goes live.
Working with copywriters, creative directors or sales executives
If you’re working in an agency, you will have to work with different teams to create the final product. The marketing team would help you get the client’s brief, the copywriter will help you with ideas and provide the text for your work, and so on. If you’re a freelancer, you might have to team up with other freelancers for specific tasks as and when required.
Where will you work?
If you're working for an organisation, you will work out of their office and follow their work timings. Sometimes, you may even have to extend your working hours to meet a deadline.
Many graphic designers choose to freelance. They choose how many projects they want and what kind of work they want to do. As a freelance graphic designer, you could work from home or even a cafe.
How do you get there?
What skills would you need?
It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.build this skill
You will be constantly working with machines during the day, from testing instruments to ph balancing equipment, a thorough understanding of how these equipment work is essential.build this skill
The best - and worst - part about marketing is that there is never a dull moment. But this also means that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT. Be prepared to be working on several tasks at once. That means that there are times when you will have to put certain projects on the backburner. You will have to know how to prioritise so that you don’t lose out on any opportunities.
You will be working on a lot of cool projects and will be meeting a lot of potential clients and customers on the job. And so, a big part of your job will involve interacting with these people. You could be great at coming up with ideas, but that is only one part of your job. You will need to talk and meet people, build a rapport with them, to establish your credibility. Especially if you’re a freelancer, you will need to have certain social skills.build this skill
How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
You will have good scope in India as a Graphic Designer. Whether being part of an in-house Design and Marketing team or working at a startup that’s delivering projects for domestic and international clients – a skilled Graphic Designer will find a place. Many multinational Advertising firms have a strong base here. India being an outsourcing powerhouse has many firms working on assignments for domestic as well as International clients. National Institute of Design at Ahmedabad is a premier institute in the field of Graphic Design offering various design-related courses from Bachelors to PhD. Apart from NID, Symbiosis Institute of Design and Pearl Academy are other prominent institutes in India. Fees range from INR 1 Lakh to 12 Lakh, depending on the institute.
With a refined appreciation of the arts, Graphic Design courses are popular in Europe. Countries such as the UK, Italy, Germany and Finland, among others, have very good institutes offering Design courses. In colleges outside the UK the medium of instruction may not be English. Some of the top colleges for Design in the UK are University of the Arts London, Manchester School of Art and Wimbledon College of Arts among others. An important part of the application process is your digital portfolio or video showing a gallery of your creative work, and samples of your rough sketches. Course fees for international students are in the range of £17,000 to £23,000 per year.
How much would you get paid?
The exact number will depend on where you’re working, your education, skill-set and internship experience. But, here's can a general idea.
What are your career options?
Fields as varied as Films, TV, Print Media, Publishing, Product Packaging and Advertising need an Art Director. As an Art Director you would be responsible for ensuring that the aesthetics and visual style match with the objective of the assignments you would be working on. Being a leadership role, this requires the ability to inspire and guide a multi-functional team, to understand each individual’s skill and create a cohesive unit.
As a game designer you will visualize and bring a game to life by creating a storyline, designing the character, user interfaces, etc. While software development will be done by developers, knowledge of the technical aspects will be an advantage. There are also specialized courses in Game Designing that you can consider adding to your existing skills.
As an Industrial Designer you will bring together skills in engineering and art to produce objects that are aesthetic as well as functional in everyday use. Most of the objects that you see around – be it a detergent bottle, the shopping carts in supermarkets, and ergonomic chairs – they all are creations of Industrial Designers. Bachelor’s degree in industrial design is an appropriate course to get into this field.
A User Experience / User Interaction Designer’s core focus is to make products and technology usable, enjoyable, and accessible for the end users. UX designers tend to work as part of a wider product team, and will often find themselves bridging the gap between the user, the development team, and key business stakeholders. A full-stack designer has a range of skills including UX and UI design, coding, project management, UX writing and an understanding of the development process. Specialized courses can help you bridge any gaps.