How to stand out as a Graphics Designer?

Soniya is a Graphic Designer with a specialization in Typography. She has attended Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.

1) Give us a brief insight into the field of Graphic Designing / Visual Communication and your journey in the same.

The world of design is too enormous to fit into a brief insight as such. However, once you figure out which direction you want to go in, it becomes a bit more concise in terms of your focus area. After completing my graduation, I explored the idea of copywriting which didn’t exactly give me the satisfaction I craved for. Post that I worked in a digital agency for a bit, where I realized I definitely love Graphic Design but miss the smell of freshly printed art. And thus, I crossed out all the digital agencies from my places to work at. As of now, I am pursuing my Masters in Visual Communication and freelancing as a designer and illustrator. As I said before, this field is too vast for a fixed destination. You can only find out what you really like by exploring different horizons.

2) What are the growth options as a Graphic Designer / Illustrator?

Well, as they say, knowledge is never enough. As a Graphic Designer or an Illustrator, you are constantly exposed to new ideas, concepts, styles, etc. and you have to keep up with the quality of your work if you have to stand out in this very competitive and cluttered creative environment. You need to analyze the most mundane thing, find inspiration, come up with an original idea and make it your home. And there is always room for growth at home.

3) How are the placements and range of pay scale for a fresher?

To be honest, they are terrible. Not to discourage any aspiring artists, but seriously, you’ll be paid peanuts as a fresher. But you learn the most at your first job, so you kind of have to take into consideration that you don’t know a lot about the real world being a fresher as well. If you intern at a couple of places in the holidays, get a know-how of the way things work there is a chance your first salary will be less cringe worthy.

4) Does a foreign degree in Graphic Designing / Visual Communication have better prospect than an Indian degree?

A foreign degree definitely looks fancier on a resume, although it doesn’t matter in terms of your prospects as a designer. You are judged on the basis of your portfolio. As long as your portfolio is sorted and you have a variety of great work, nobody cares where you got your degree from.

5) What are the additional courses that one should pursue along with the Bachelors/Masters Degree which will add value?

That depends on the focus area one decides to opt for. Say for example, if you are aiming to be a graphic designer, knowing a bit about coding would definitely help. Any courses that add something substantial to your design practice are definitely a good idea. Even internships for that matter.

6) What are the skills required to excel in the field of Graphic Designing?

Apart from a few software that you need to know which is the technical aspect, the main thing you need to have is the ability to think and question. You also need good observational skills and the enthusiasm to keep coming up with new ideas even on a rainy day. Maintaining a journal or sketchbook is also a very significant part of a Graphic Designer’s life.

7) Provide any other valuable specific information for the students who want to pursue a career in the above field.

Research is one thing you need to be constantly at, which firm churns out what kind of work, what font is making everyone mad, which campaign won the Cannes, etc. Even if you are not in advertising, it helps to know what’s happening there. Like I mentioned before, a journal or a sketchbook that contains all your concepts, the ones that worked, the ones that didn’t, random things you saw at a bus stop maybe…is very essential. It helps you see the process, kind of like the behind-the-scenes action and helps you articulate how far you have come from where you started. Reading and writing always help since they stimulate one’s thinking, and so does being curious.

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