Upgrading skills from web designer to graphic designer? Go back to school?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by dornoforpyros, May 15, 2009.

  1. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #1
    Hey Macrumors,

    So I've been a web designer for roughly 5 years now, and although I've got a solid portfolio of web work, I'm now starting to feel that I've hit a ceiling in my career.

    The last few jobs I've had I've ended up very pigeon holed into being a web designer only without any opportunity to expand into more general graphic design (logos, ad concepts, typography, etc). And truth be told I probably over estimated how transferable a web design diploma would be into general graphic/visual design.

    So I've been considering going back to school and taking a more traditional design course such as a bachelor of design.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has done this and how has it worked out?
     
  2. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #2
    It's a good idea if you can afford it. That kind of general design knowledge will help you no matter what kind of job you want, assuming it's design-related in some way. It doesn't even hurt for other jobs where you might not think of design as important initially, like let's say you become a product manager. If you understand design, you're going to know how you want something to look and be presented. If you don't have the eye for it, you might let an inferior design slip by and sink your chance at landing a client or getting a green light to continue production. Computer programming can also be enhanced by someone with some design sense, especially on smaller projects where you don't have specialists available for every aspect. Just look at all the applications with crappy user interfaces out there. A lot of those are "designed" by engineers who have no design experience.

    I didn't even know they had special "web designer" degrees. It's certainly possible to move from where you're at into other areas if you get into the right company, but it's not easy. If you're good at what you do (web design), your manager will be reluctant to let you spend time doing other things. Basically you have to work on upgrading your skills your own time and wait for some opportunities to present themselves. Maybe someone leaves or there's a small project you could take on that no one else wants to do or is too busy for.
     
  3. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #3
    If you get into an agency that is small enough, you'll be able to (and have to) wear all of those hats. Thats one of the few perks of working for a smaller agency, and it has pushed my skillset into every facet of design and advertising.

    PS: I like the simplicity and tone of your website.
     
  4. dornoforpyros thread starter macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #4
    Thanks ;)

    I've actually worked in smaller agencies like that before where everything was very hands on and mixed. It's just been a few years since I've found a position like that and I'm finding it hard to break into a position like that.

    I think that's kinda the point I'm at now, I'm a decent web designer, and thus I'm always assigned web task. At this point I think I'm leaning towards night classes for some more general stuff (I know I can improve my typography skills) and seeing where that takes me.
     

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