Career series part IV – Graphic Design

Graphic Design

Graphic design – familiar word – but unfamiliar field. Is it a different name for animation? Is it just art by a different name? Where do Graphic designers work? What do they do? So many questions… Our student contributor Shakti Iyer,Grade 6, from Canada gets her queries answered by Shuaib Ahmed.

Shuaib Ahmed wears many hats with ease – electronics engineer , solar technologist, energy enthusiast, entrepreneur…But to the question Who are you – he answers – I am an artist… Currently he runs his  design studio Coppercoin. Here, he gives a comprehensive picture of Graphic design as a career.

What exactly is Graphic Design?
Design, unlike art has purpose. A graphic designer’s job is to communicate a message in a way that resonates with the audience and makes sense doing so. From thought provoking art pieces to insightful infographics, a graphic designer’s work blurs the lines between art and design. However, if the message isn’t conveyed, his job isn’t complete.
To be a graphic designer what subjects can I opt for in high school that would be helpful?
Languages, sciences, history and geography – if there is a message that needs to be conveyed, graphic design can help. One needn’t opt any particular subject in high school. What one can do, on the other hand, is to take otherwise boring and verbose content from a subject and find a way to make it entertaining. The utility of graphic design would be evident immediately.
What would be the level of mathematics required, advanced or basic?
A basic understanding of mathematics would do get started. However, graphic design is a joy to do when one has appreciation for mathematics. Graphic designs, like mathematics, starts with simple elements that come together to make up complex forms.
Understanding of statistics is especially helpful when a graphic designer specializes in data visualization.
What kinds of industries require graphic designers?
Every industry that has message to convey can use a graphic designer. Industries that require dedicated graphic designers include marketing agencies, production studios, publications and app development studios. Education industry is being transformed by companies that creatively use graphic designers for creating engaging content.
How much freedom will I get to create my own art or designs?
Freedom for a graphic designer in a workplace is subjective. A graphic designer often works under the supervision of a creative director who envisions the theme. If a graphic designer understands the true purpose of his work, he or she could do a great job. A graphic designer can always work on their personal projects on the side where their creative freedom is only limited by their imagination.
Is visual art the major for being a graphic designer?
Majoring in Visual Arts helps. However, in an increasingly competitive world, your body of work is what your prospective employer would be most interested in. A student in school can do side projects and build his portfolio well before he even starts college.
What are some tools or apps that GD’s use?
Softwares
Adobe Photoshop – Photo manipulation, digital artwork, webdesign
Adobe Illustrator – Logo design, graphic element design
Adobe inDesign – Layout design
Sketch (for Mac) – UI design
Autodesk Sketchbook – Digital artwork
Hardware
Pencil & paper – for preliminary sketching
Digital tablet (eg- Wacom) – for digital drawing
A computer with minimum specifications to run the above apps
Is there any animation involved?
Generally speaking GDs don’t do animation. However, a lot of us do animation because it is an extension of what we do. UI and UX developers understand animation and make use of it in their work.
Does designing greeting cards involve GD?
A greeting card would need an artist/GD to do the artwork, a creative writer for the content and a GD for the layout. So yes, it involves a GD.
What is the salary range of an entry level GD?
An entry level GD in India makes about (2.5 lakh INR per year). This can go up based on their experience and the kind of value they bring to the organization.

**UI – User Interface

**UX – User experience

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