For a long time, it was thought that engaging in creative pursuits was fine as a hobby, but not as a career choice. This scenario is changing rapidly now and for good. Many young people opt for such offbeat career choices. They may embrace it out of sheer passion, and parents are increasingly supportive of these offbeat career choices as a profession. Visual design is one such option. As a career, it has great potential to achieve fame as well as fortune, while enjoying the feeling of being satisfied with what you are doing.
The creative routine of a young visual designer includes receiving a design brief, doing initial preparatory work, understanding the aspirations of the target audience and the expectations of business stakeholders, coming up with multiple ideas for the same brief, their evaluation of the pros and cons, the development of the best ideas, creating initial design mockups and final artworks or prototypes using digital design tools and sometimes with physical materials, the review and test them with experts and the target audience, further refine them, and finally prepare them for production.
As a senior member of the creative team, one may juggle various responsibilities such as managing the team, contributing to new business development proposals, reviewing designs from fellow designers, and sometimes working on new ideas from scratch to unleash creativity. Individuals move up the organizational ladder one step at a time, gaining more exposure, experience, and expertise along the way.
There is a popular misconception that creativity is innate. But this is only true to a certain extent. Creative aptitude can be nurtured through regular practice of drawing and sketching, acquiring design-related knowledge through various sources, individual reflection towards innovative solutions for various challenges around you. What you need is the right aptitude to join such academic programs. Design schools work with budding designers to give them additional knowledge and skills that they can apply in the design profession. It is achieved through various activities beginning with internships, industry-sponsored projects, and ultimately professional engagements.
There are many opportunities for visual designers in various industry sectors. The list of opportunities may include branding, advertising, publishing, multimedia, web, animation, games, special effects, e-learning, corporate communications, graphics environmental, visual merchandising, packaging, social media, digital marketing, immersive media and of course IT products. And services. The demand for such talent exceeds the supply from academia. And this trend will also continue in the future as the industry has started to realize the value of design.
Instead of looking for a job in big organizations, one can venture into different creative paths like being with design studios or design entrepreneurs or even practicing as a freelance designer or creative consultant which offers more flexibility and freedom to creative souls.
where to learn
There are several design institutes across India, which offer a range of specializations including visual design, graphic design or communication design. It includes a handful of government institutes such as IITs, NIDs, and NIFTs that offer programs related to visual communication design. Their contribution is quite small, compared to the increasing number of design aspirants, year by year. However, there are several private institutes across India that offer similar programs, and their collective intake is comparatively much higher. Also, many fine/visual arts colleges offer courses such as applied arts, which are similar in nature, which provide entry into the creative industries.
The author is Associate Dean – Academic Affairs, School of Design and Innovation, RV University, Bangalore