“Let me draw you a picture.” must be a graphic designer’s best line when illustrating a point. This person understands that a picture is worth a thousand words and has perfected the art of creating visually compelling art pieces. The first step to mastering this art is getting a diploma from an accredited institution, then you could open up your own studio or work in a creative design firm.
Some of the most coveted graphic design jobs include:
Advertising Art Director: You will be responsible for the overall visual aspects of an advertising campaign. Your main task will be to create innovative ideas for advertisements that will be featured on TV, radio, billboards and on the internet.
You will also design event branding and corporate communication pieces. Business acumen is required for this job because you will use your graphic design skills for revenue generation and other business objectives.
Illustrator: As an illustrator, drawing will be your job. You could create work for a fashion magazine, in the editorial department of a major newspaper, or an ad agency where you will be required to create storyboards for ad campaigns.
You could also work in the education sector, providing illustrations for textbooks and story books. You can also create original images for computer games and animations. As you build a portfolio, it can be a good idea to start a blog so you can show and illustrate your ideas. Alternatively, you can put up samples of your work on the popular portfolio site, carbonmade.
UX designer: A user experience(UX) designer improves the usability and accessibility of a product so that the user is satisfied when they interact with it. Have you ever stumbled on a website that made you leave almost immediately because you could not find what you were looking for or you got tired of navigating the site?
That site probably was not designed by a good UX designer. In this digital age, there is great demand for qualified UX designers. Great examples of websites that have been designed with user experience in mind are Because Recollection and Virgin America. Both websites won the Best User Experience Award in the 2016 Webby Awards.
Production designer: A production designer is responsible for the visual concept of a film, TV or theatre production. Skills in colour theory, draughtsmanship, technical drawing and lighting are required for this role. This designer can create any kind of set, from the interior of an alien ship to the set of a cosy 1960’s home, and make the set seem real to the viewer. They read the script and decide which visual qualities will best create the atmosphere that is required for the production.
In addition to your Diploma, you need to build experience, make contacts and improve your portfolio and an internship is the best way to do this. The world of graphic design is small and employers will recommend interns who create good work. You need to gain the following skills for a smooth graphic design career:
- Design skills and methods: Improve your sketching, typography, and digital media skills. Open yourself up to new inspirations and techniques. Computer packages such as Adobe Illustrator and web design will also come in handy.
- Teamwork: Graphic designers work with multiple disciplines. It’s important for you to learn creative problem solving and conflict resolution, which play a big part of team dynamics.
- Creativity: You need to produce fresh ideas consistently. Devour content on graphic design and stay up on trends and developments in the graphic design world. Find habits that fuel your creativity and turn to them when your need a creative boost.
Find a school that allows you to work on projects with industry leaders. Africa Digital Media Institute allows you to work with the best in the industry and equips you with the digital and soft-skills you need to successfully launch a graphic design career.