Graphic designers are responsible for the visual presentation and design of products. They use a variety of tools to achieve this goal such as computer and typography, or the visual imagery of words. With the growing demand for online marketing and web design, it’s no surprise that more students are interested in this dynamic field of study. But before you delve into the world of design, you should get the facts on the myths and realities of the industry.
Myth: Graphic design is based solely on creativity.
Reality: The business market is a major component of graphic design.
A large part of design classes is creativity, but many people are under the misconception that a creative edge is all you need to flourish in the business. However, there are many others fields that are essential to the field of design and these include finance and production, business management and marketing. In addition to these sectors, you’ll also need to have an understanding of computer software programs such as Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
Myth: All graphic design classes offer the same learning opportunities.
Reality: Graphic design programs are different across universities, with some being more respected than others.
With the growing demand for design programs, more schools are offering them. It’s important to evaluate the program in full however, as not all schools offer the same caliber programs. For starters, stick to colleges that are accredited, as this will make it easier to transfer credits if you choose to further pursue your career in design.
Also look for programs that utilize the latest technology in design such as digital imagery and 3D graphics. Programs should also offer a well-balanced curriculum that includes computer work and beyond. For example, CBT College has its design students working on state-of-the-art Mac computers, as well as Bamboo Fun Pen and Touch Tablets.
Myth: Many full-time graphic design jobs are available.
Reality: Graphic design positions are often part-time and freelanced.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over half of all design students are self-employed. Although many full-time positions exist for design students, many hold part-time positions or do freelance work on the side. Many students enjoy the flexibility that the career can offer, as freelance and part-time work can be just as lucrative as full-time positions. However, not having a full-time position means you’ll have to be more assertive in finding work and confident working independently.
Myth: A degree in design is necessary for a graphic design job.
Reality: There are several ways to achieve the necessary experience for design.
Although you will need a four year degree to be considered for a design job, there are many ways to go about your career path. You don’t have to attend a university, but instead can start your design career at a community college and have your credits transferred. You can also major in other fields such as art or art history, while still having the necessary credentials for design jobs. The most important factor to remember is that it’s never too late to seek this career path. A different direction in your college coursework may be all you need to get started.
As you can see, there are many misconceptions about the field of graphic design. By taking the time to understand what graphic design classes have to offer, you can make informed decisions in regards to your academic future.