Getting into Graphic Design?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by idesign245, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. idesign245 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I'm an interior design graduate having a really hard time finding a job, a year out of school. I'm currently working a part time kitchen design/retail job but its not what I imagined myself doing after graduation.

    I'm thinking of going back to school for Graphic Design, its something I love, but I admit I'm no photoshop/illustrator genius (although I've never seriously used the programs, just to size photos basically).

    What I'm wondering is, for those in the profession already, how does the job market look for recent grads? I live near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) but any info would be appreciated. I just don't want to end up like I am now, with 2 diplomas and no job.

    Also, do you love your job? What are the advantages/disadvantages?

    I'm sure I'll think of more questions, I'll post them when I do.
     
  2. JesLam07 macrumors regular

    JesLam07

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    #2

    I'm not already in Graphic Design, but I am going to school for it. I can't really answer any of your questions so I'll save that for someone else. I do want to say that Graphic Design is something that you need to have passion for. It's not just a job, it's your life.

    At Orientation, One of the Graphic Design heads said this : "Graphic Designers don't retire, we die"

    It's so true.

    Being a Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign genius doesn't make you the best. I don't care what anybody says. Knowing how to draw well is a very useful tool. Thinking Differently and being able to put your thoughts into thumbnails makes you an awesome graphic designer.

    Ok, that's all I've got to say. Like I said I'm a Graphic Design student, so someone with a little more experience is going to have to answer your other questions.

    Have a nice day. :)
     
  3. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #3
    I know how to draw, rendering and drawing were my favourite things, and best aspects of my projects during school.

    I'll attach a few slides from my portfolio...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for your input, I appreciate it!
     
  4. JesLam07 macrumors regular

    JesLam07

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    #4
    Yeah, looks like you're set on drawing. Make sure your drawing skills are well rounded. I realize that you do Interior Design and that's what you drew for that portfolio, but make sure you can draw a wide range of things.

    Passion is probably the hugest thing that I can stress. Be Passionate.

    Two of my roommates are actually Interior Design Majors so I've been around that a bit.

    What schools were you looking at for Graphic Design?
     
  5. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #5
    I'm not sure how familiar you are with Ontario schools, but Durham College is really close to me... Ryerson, and George Brown are other options.
     
  6. JesLam07 macrumors regular

    JesLam07

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Location:
    Johnstown, PA
    #6
    I've heard of Durham College but i've never heard of the other two.

    I go to The Art Institute of York - Pennsylvania, actually, I'm here right now.

    I live at this school anymore. Graphic Design is my life, but hey, it happens.
     
  7. 17th Hole macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Location:
    State of Oblivion
    #7
    I've been a graphic designer/art director/creative director for some 17 years. The qualities I look for in hiring a graphic designer are not necessarily creativity or ability to think outside the box, because usually the creative director and art director take care of the "creative" stuff. When I give a project to a graphic designer, I expect them to be able to turn my vision into a document or layout. In that sense, you need to have strong knowledge of the programs (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop...probably in that order), excellent typography skills (being able to pick the right fonts, typesize, etc.), excellent layout abilities and the ability to work fast. For me, there's nothing more frustrating than a slow designer. If you have to think about it that long, you're overthinking it. The design/layout process should flow naturally and quickly. This ability comes with experience, of course, but to some degree you either have an eye for it or you don't. Would I recommend going back to school? Not necesarily. I'm self taught and successful. I would suggest starting with InDesign and learning that program the best you can. Find examples of graphic design you like (brochures, magazines, ads, catalogs, and even financial documents like annual reports) and recreate them exactly. This will give you the technical learning. Don't worry about being creative or reinventing the wheel. Hone your skills and fine tune them. Practice getting faster and faster. Next move on to Illustrator. Focus on recreating logos, simple artwork and making graphs. Believe it not, there are alot of graphic designers at financial companies, and financial companies love graphs. Again, focus on speed and accuracy and then get creative. Lastly, get to know Photoshop. As a starting graphic designer, chances are you'll use Photoshop the least. Usually, there will be a Photoshop specialist on staff or any photo editing will be done before it comes to you. Once you get a solid grip on the software, you'll need to build a portfolio. Think about what type of graphic design you'd want to do, and build a portfolio geared towards that. Depending on the job market near you, you may not have much of a choice. In that case, you'll want a broad variety. Again, don't discard simple financial documents or even company newsletters. These are perfect jobs for beginning designers. If you do them well you can land a job at just about any company and don't have to only apply at advertising/marketing firms. It opens up more possibilities early on in your career until you can build a bigger portfolio. Eventually, you'll develop your own style and may decide to start your own business. Over the next few years, expand your abilities. Learn photography, web design, video editing, copywriting, and even print production. One of the best things I did when I was first learning graphic design was to talk to the prepress guys at the print vendors we used. Learn what works and doesn't work when designing a job that ultimately prints. I found that far too many graphic designers design for the computer screen and forget that what's on screen has to translate correctly onto paper. If a prepress department has to mess with your files to get them to print correctly, then you're doing something wrong. Find out what they're doing to fix your files and fix it before they get the files. Learn how that part of the process works. It'll help you be a more rounded designer. (Is this getting too long-winded yet?)

    Any questions? I'll try to follow this thread and answer best I can.
     
  8. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #8
    No, not at all... thank you for the information, I really appreciate it.

    I'll try and get my hands in InDesign and start learning it in my free time. It's good to know that you're self taught, but do firms really hire someone if they haven't gone to school for it?

    I'd love to get into stationary, calendars, gift wrap, textiles, wallpaper, wall graphics, books, magazines... that kind of thing. Somehow relate it to the interior design side of things.
     
  9. palmerized macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    #9
    Hey - I've been in the design industry for over 12 years now. I'm also based in Toronto. I went to the International Academy of Design ages ago for graphic design and computer animation. Basically, that school only taught you the programs and nothing about design really. I had a fine art background before hand so I think that helped.

    One person mentioned you live it. And this is what it's all about. I truly feel this is not a job... I love it. Sure, there are bad clients, and you have bad days, but all in all this is an awesome industry. Hours can be brutal - as this is a deadline-driven business.

    In looking at your work it certainly seems you have the artistic background to get in to it. You just need to learn the tools. Schools like OCAD, George Brown, Humber and Sheridan are tops. There are SO many jobs right now out there. So, I think you're in a good field.

    The big thing is passion... u need it to succeed, otherwise you will burn out.

    Anyway, those schools are gold and I'm sure you'd do well there.

    Good luck and lemme know if you have any other questions.
     
  10. idesign245 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    Haha... yeah I went to the academy for interior design... hense the no finding job issue :p
     
  11. 17th Hole macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Location:
    State of Oblivion
    #11
    Believe it or not, the college you graduated from and the degrees you have don't guarantee you anything. In fact, when going through resumes, I don't really pay any attention to them. You have a college degree and that's all that even matters. If I were hiring you, I'd want to see something in your portfolio that relates to the position I'm hiring you for. If I see that in your portfolio, you would have a good chance of getting an interview. From there, you'll have to know your stuff. If you're hired, I'll know in the first two weeks if you can do the job or not. That's why I think taking a project and rebuilding it exactly from scratch can teach you so much. Of course, find something good to recreate and not something crappy.

    As far as the things you want to get into, I say go for it. Those are great things and they relate back to Interior Design, so you will stay emotionally invested in what you're doing.

    BTW, my degree is in Advertising Management with minors in English and Philosophy. I learned more in my first six months out of college than the entire 4 years in college.
     
  12. srt42b macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    #12
    Although I am still in school, I am also employed/interning at a local architecture firm with an in-house graphic design department. Jobs here are getting more and more scarce. The only choices that seem to exist are either move to the bay area (CA) or work freelance (which don’t have the client base for).
     
  13. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a

    Dynamyk

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #13
    As a Ryerson student, I can say our GCM (Graphics Communication Management) is top knotch, but it has some business to it as well. OCAD or Sheridan are good choices for you. I wouldn't necessarily suggest Durham College. I know tons of Graphics Designers that get by on their portfolio alone rather than the degree or diploma they have.
     

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