Two things have changed the face of Commercial Art: 1.Computers have revolutionized the realms of visual communication or what is traditionally known as commercial art.
The canvas has been fit into the monitor, the brush is your mouse and the drawing tools your color palette. The only sacrosanct element to complete the skill circle is one’s creativity.
All this translates into a booming career option called graphic designing. Let’s take a roundabout trip of this career option.
What does a graphic designer do ? ( Graphic design job description )
The dictionary defines a graphic designer to be “ A person in the graphic arts who puts together art, text, and other visuals to produce professional printed results.”
To broadly outline it, the Graphic designer’s jobs is to set the layout, do illustrations and typography and unless the job needs to be ‘hand-made’, produce the required design on the computer for a commercial purpose.
Listen to the boom: spanning the scope in India
Art has merged with science and this fantastic relationship has produced tremendous scope in graphic designing as a form of applied art. Pictures are the most effective means of communication, thus with the onset of ICE Age (Infotainment, Communication and Entertainment), the need of designing for commercial and communication purposes has multiplied like the 100’s Table. A quick look into the variety of graphic designing applications:
Graphic Animation industry & India
The latest FICCI report of the recently concluded FRAMES 2005 boasts of the animation industry taking a huge leap.
Events (stages, sets, exhibitions)
The promotion and entertainment industry is already a mammoth entity. With a plethora of events ranging from live stage shows to consumer promotions, exhibitions to weddings, graphic designers are in huge demand for set and stage designs, decors, backdrops, direct mailers etc.
Posters, pitch-winning print ads, outdoor designs….the onus of translating the creative guy’s concept to reality will be on you. He might just thank you in his acceptance speech at the Abby’s maybe!
Books and publishing
The bestseller might not have the best looking cover page, but we don’t judge a book by its cover, right? Wrong. With the print and publishing industry growing steadily, cover designs are important for good brand perception.
TV channels (promos)
A huge surge in the number of TV channels has automatically increased demand for skilled designers for in-built promos.
Besides these key areas, graphic designers have immense scope in stationery printing, interior designing / architecture, product package designing, films etc. The list keeps increasing.
Do you have it in you?
Graphic designer job Qualifications
Graduate in Commercial Art / Diploma in Graphic design/ Multimedia
Computer know how in programs like Flash for animation-intensive careers, Photoshop and Coreldraw, 3D MAX, Pagemaker etc. Knowledge of HTML and other web programming languages such as XML, Visual Basic etc. would help especially if your focus is website designing. Photography is an excellent value-add.
One must learn to use a MAC or an IBM because all companies don’t use Windows for designers.
Patience (to bear a hundred changes and your client)
Ability to burn the midnight oil (or your office nightbulb)
So now we know that you are ‘well designed’ for the profession. But lets do a critical analysis whether this career’s for you!
First the Pros
Graphic designing can give immensely satisfy your hunger for creativity. If you are a hardcore creative person, you will experience the bliss of admiring your ‘opus creatif’, a product of your hours of hardwork. Your designs could be adorning someone’s dream home, or help sell a product and better still, a million viewers across the world might be watching your stage during a Film Awards!
Creativity is as uncommon as common sense. Being a skilled creative professional, you will always be looked upon as a prized possession and the only way your career can go is upwards. From a junior visualize you can climb the corporate ladder to be a Creative director in a few years! Seeing the increasing trend of the field of entertainment, video gaming, TV etc, Graphic Designers are the next genre of IT people to mint a fab career.
Now for Cons
Late nights are inevitable due to the very nature of work. This can lead to stress but most careers today are stressful. Do the right things though – eat right, indulge in yoga and take power naps whenever you can.
Whoever invented this word said it. If you don’t meet these, your are as good as ‘dead’. Working around the clock might be required if the printing has to be done on time because a successful rollout of the activity ( be it a launch or an event or an ad) depends a lot on how quickly or timely you can deliver .
Money Matters- graphic designer salary – how much you can ‘draw’
It’s ok if you start slow. The industry standards in India starts from Rs.5000 per month. But again, depending upon which field and company you land a job, the starting base may vary. I.e. event and ad agencies are not great paymasters. But once you have proven yourself, you can go on to Rs. 10000 – 15000 in 2 years and in senior position it ranges from 30,000 – 50,000 p.m.
Other great money-making options
Freelancing in graphic designing is an in thing for the extra pocket money in case you have 2 dates on one day! Besides your regular job, you can get into freelancing for assignments. (Depending upon your work load and time. But your first priority must always be your regular job)
After a few years of experience, you can venture on your on your own and become a ‘full-time freelancer’. Create a great portfolio of your past work and hypothetical work, approach various relevant companies and get enough assignments to keep you busy.
Where to get started….
Get a degree / diploma in Commercial Art
e.g. JJ School of Art , Raheja’s School of Art etc in Mumbai
And / Or
A diploma in multimedia / graphics
National Insitute of Design (Ahmedabad) offers a PG in design with specialisation in Graphics
Your institute may or may not offer guaranteed jobs, so prepare a great portfolio and get yourself a nice job
How to scout for opportunities:
Approach an HR counselor ( their services are FOC for candidates)
If you are called in for the interview, your portfolio will speak for itself
You might have to undertake a test to prove your skills.
And there! You have just begun your career journey in Graphic Designing. Bon Voyage!