“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood”, said Calvin famously.
Creativity, it is true, is not a switch, and most artists and designers will attest to this. But, what’s also true is that creativity enables the communicating of ideas that inspire and engage people in such a way that it drives a shift in perspective. And, as organizations are increasingly realising the importance of good design its impact, Graphic Design is fast gaining popularity.
What’s Graphic Design
The study of graphic design is the integration of art with technology and how these ideas and innovations can be communicated. A degree in Graphic Designing hones your imagination, your greatest tool as a creator. It gives you the platform to communicate your ideas and engage with people as well as the opportunity to bring alive your innovations. The versatile course also provides a pathway to several creative and fulfilling careers. Many of these career options come with the freedom and the flexibility to work independently as freelancers.
There is a story behind every graphic that has ever been designed. Every poster, illustration, logo, or still graphics there is has been designed by a graphic designer as a form of visual content to communicate a message or an idea with a particular audience in mind. Graphic Designers cover a range of duties with the nature of work differing from one industry to another. They play a huge role in building brand image and identity that sets apart one company from the other.
Creativity often comes from novelty. As such, many great artists and creators are always on the lookout for new inspiration and motivation by travelling and living life to the fullest. The great thing about being a graphic designer is that you don’t can work from anywhere. Many graphic designers are freelancers who work with their own schedule but still maintain a good stream of income.
As more organizations look to increase their online video presence, designers with skills in animation and motion graphics are in demand. Multimedia Designers are mostly engaged in combining graphic designing with animation to create complex videos, sketches, or animated images using computerised animation programs.
These designers are employed generally by the Film and TV industry where they are responsible for developing the characters, background scenes, props, and all other related graphics for animation films. Apart from these industries, Software companies and Advertising agencies also employ multimedia designers who are responsible for the graphics and animations found in web pages, television ads, and video games.
Ever wanted to be the person that calls the shot on what goes into a fashion magazine, any printed publication, or an ad, or even a film? A career as an Art/Creative Director will take you down this road. An Art/Creative Director is an executive job that entails the responsibility of overseeing the creative vision of a project. The directors lead a team of creators in creating tangible products, eg. Magazine, video games, movies, etc. while at the same time managing the team and overlooking the designs in such a way that the aesthetics of the project remains consistent throughout.
While most of the creative works are done by the team of creators (animators, graphic designers, artists, etc), art/creative directors also work on some artwork or design themselves.
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple famously said “Design is not just how it looks like and how it feels. Design is how it works.” Product developers/designers are the catalysts in making sure the design looks great, feels great, and works great. Product Developers lead the ideation and the development of new consumer products or the improvement of an existing product design. They are responsible for why a pen is shaped the way it is and how smooth the pen writes. These designers work with the production and marketing teams and give insight to the product in terms of its interface, features, and how new features can be integrated into an existing product/platform to make it better. Their task often involves research, brainstorming, and coming up with unique solutions to problems that are tailored to each product.
Many Product Design work hand in hand with Graphic Design and many people have made the jump from graphic design to product design and vice versa.
The layout, design, font, and colour of this web page have all been meticulously thought out by a Web Designer before it was launched and made public. No web page we see on the World Wide Web is by chance. Web designers play a key role in creating the overall design of websites and web pages along with all the structure of the webpage (navigation bars, dropdown menus, etc).
Today, as companies big and small go online, and online sales and advertising are at an all-time high, employers worldwide are demanding for highly skilled web designers. The versatility of this profession is also a big up as web designers can connect with clients from all around the world and earn directly as a freelancer.
User Experience is the interaction between the user and a product or service. The role of an UX designer is to create an optimal experience for users interacting with either a physical or a digital product or even a service.
The work of a UX designer entails a lot of user behaviour research and user personas creations to develop solutions/designs that enables the user to achieve their desired tasks with minimal effort. Their work touches the entire end-to-end journey of a user’s interaction with a product, and includes identifying new opportunities for the product and business. UX designers mostly work in web design and other technological based products including software, gaming, or the automobile industry.
User Interface is the point of interaction between the user and a digital device or product—like the touch screenon your smartphone. As such, UI designers are primarily concerned with how a user navigates through a digital product. UI designers work closely with UX designers to make sure the finished product conforms to the overall
vision created by the UX designers. UI design works are purely digital and include all the visual, interactive elements of a product interface. It is the duty of UI designers to make sure the UX designs are feasible and well-executed.
While there are specific courses for Graphic Design in many colleges and universities, some Graphic Designing courses are integrated under the umbrella of BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) or MFA (Master of Fine Arts). Here are five of the top Universities in the world offering excellent UG and PG courses in Fine arts that can lead to careers in graphic designing, as listed in the QS World Ranking.
||Reason to Study
|Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
||The Royal College of Arts is not only one of the world’s oldest, but also one of the best art and design colleges in the world. The college is wholly postgraduate and offers courses in animation, global innovation design, innovative design engineering, and much more.
|University of Arts, London
||With over 19,000 students from more than 130 countries, the University of Arts, London, is one of Europe’s largest art and design universities. There are six different colleges under this University with a plethora of graphic designing and art courses to choose from.
|Rhode Island School of Design
||Established in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design has a deeply rooted history in the arts and to this day it is still one of the most prestigious art colleges in the US and the world. RISD offers 19 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses in fine arts, design, architecture, and art education majors.
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology
||The MIT in the USA is known to be home to brilliant engineering minds and is generally accepted as one of the best universities in the world. However, a lesser-known fact is that the UG course on Architecture and Design at MIT is also regarded as one of the best art and design courses worldwide.
|The Glasgow School of Art
||The Glasgow School of Art is one of the oldest and the few remaining independent art schools in the UK. The range of visual creative programs that endorse studio-based learning has made Glasgow one of the most vibrant creative communities in the UK.
A study in Graphic Design can create many career avenues. In an increasingly digital world, a career in design offers great growth opportunities.
If you are creatively inclined, this is a field you should definitely explore.