Graphic design is a field that requires formal education, marketing savvy, and technological skills. A person who chooses to go into graphic designing will either work for a design company, start their own graphic design business or become a freelancer. Informative ideas which have been illustrated and found in marketing collaterals and advertising materials such as brochures are done by a graphic designer.
To obtain a degree in graphic design, the student first has to choose which type of undergraduate program he/she wants to major in. A bachelor’s degree in graphic design will generally include courses such as design basics, computing, and art history. To make it easier to learn these courses, the student will be taught how to use both software and hardware used by professional designers.
The degree involves a lot of illustration, but, thanks to high-tech tools, lack of drawing skills will not hinder your desire to continue with the program. If you have the knack for drawing, however, you may choose a program leading to a degree in illustration to hone your artistic skills even as you are also taking several courses both in computing and graphic design.
What Jobs are Open for Graphic Designers?
Web design is an in-depth program on design principles as applied with the use of the internet and computers such as managing website content, optimizing design space, and creating web pages and their layouts. You will still need to know the basics of graphic designs, though, and, like illustration, it is not a requirement that you can draw. You just need to have an understanding of color, pattern, and style in general.
Another specialized program for a degree in graphic design is packaging which is more than just designing or illustrating graphics. It encompasses nearly all aspects of the product or goods being marketed, from the kind of materials utilized to manufacturing and delivery. That tub of yogurt and bottle of salad dressing in your kitchen have both been created by a graphic designer who specializes in packaging design.
Some graphic design graduates specialize exclusively in multimedia forms like book designs, logos, typography, and advertising. You should never confuse a graphic designer with an artist, though both work extensively with images, because while the latter’s works are open to interpretation, the graphic designer’s primary purpose is to convey a particular message to the audience.
Where to Study Graphic Design
There are approximately 300 institutions in the U.S. that offer programs in graphic design which are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Arts and Design. Some of the bigger state universities, prestigious art institutions, and private colleges also offer a degree in graphic design. The courses will typically cover principles of design, advertising, studio art, commercial graphics, computer-aided designs (CAD), marketing, business management fundamentals, and communication.
The last three are essential for the graphic design graduate to master in order to submit proposals, bid on contracts, and manage the financial aspect of earning a living through graphic designing. The School of Visual Arts in New York City is perhaps the best school that offers graphic design as a bachelor’s degree; it also offers a master’s degree program for further studies in graphic design as related to photographic arts.
Other notable schools that have excellent graphic design programs include Ferris State University, a public institution in Big Rapids, Michigan with a rural setting, Liberty University, founded by Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. in Lynchburg, Virginia, the largest Evangelical Christian university in the world, and Philadelphia’s Drexel University which has nationally-ranked programs and a renowned faculty.