If you’ve been thinking of working in the design industry but have no idea where to begin, this one’s for you. But first, who are you? Do you have innate creative inclinations? Are you open minded, especially when solving problems? Do you frequently get approached by your friends so that you can advise them on black and white in color palettes and like things?
If your answer is yes to most of these questions, you have the perfect ingredients to launch into a design career that utilizes your creativity and imagination to the fullest. When you have a penchant for it, careers in design can be the most fulfilling choice, since that’s equivalent to getting paid for something you likely do as a hobby already, and what’s better than that?
Dissecting the Design Industry
Fortunately, you can do virtually anything when it comes to design – it’s that wide. From fashion and interior design, which are a different ball game altogether, to graphic and web design, the options open to you are limitless. For starters, you have to understand what the distinction is before settling for just one so that you don’t have any regrets a few years later.
Graphic and web design are for those minds that are trying to combine their love for technology with their innate designing abilities. Before you set out in either path, gain comprehensive knowledge about each field, then you’re better aligned to make your choice and succeed in the long run.
A graphic designer’s job is to create visual elements made specifically to meet a given set of commercial, promotional or branding requirements given by a client e.g. displays, logos or packaging.
In order to succeed at a career in graphic design, you need to have more than average knowledge in the following areas to begin with:
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Marketing materials
- Concept development
- Art direction
In the industry today, approximately 70% of graphic designers started off with a Bachelor’s degree, which is a good place to start. However 10% and 13% began their careers with just their high school diplomas and associate’s degrees, respectively.
If you don’t have the resources to pay for a college degree, you can start with short certificate and diploma courses and back them up with lots of practice and studying. At the end of the day, it’s not the paper with the university/college degree you’re selling; it’s your skill and creativity.
A web designer on the other hand is responsible for creating and modifying all aspects of a website to make it look good. This includes the graphics and other elements, content, capacity as well as performance.
The following foundational skills are necessary:
- User interface design
- Web application development
You can start your career at any level, just like graphic design. 75% begin with their Bachelor’s degrees and 15% have moved further to get graduate degrees. Only 6% and 4% have made career using Associate degrees and high school diplomas.
There’s not much to be said about the expected salaries; the ranges are more or less similar, with a web designer’s earnings being slightly higher than a graphic designer’s. However, you should consider your passions and inclinations even more important than the earnings, because if you’re where your heart is, you’ll love your job, excel at it and keep drawing the clients. Statistics have nothing on passion, so go where you heart is!