When did you know/decide you wanted to be a designer?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by klymr, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. klymr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #1
    I was just reading through the sticky thread about design tips, books, etc. and was thinking about when I realized I was in the wrong field of study at school.

    I started school in landscape architecture in fall of 2005 and one of our assignments was to design a logo for this particular conference they have every year. For our assignment we had to design the logo and draw and color it 6 times, each time using different color schemes (warm colors, cool colors, complimentary colors, etc). The students who were in charge of the conference picked out of nearly 150 students works the one they felt worked best for the theme (that particular year it was "Wildland and Urban Restoration: Processes for Rejuvenating Place."

    Well, my design was chosen out of all the students who had the assignment. It was at that point that I had first started to somewhat consider switching my major to graphic design. I have always enjoyed working on the computer editing videos and messing around with 3D animation, etc. After my second semester of school was finished I decided I had had enough of the landscape architecture program. The following fall I began taking the required art classes and have been far more happy with where it now than where I was headed before.

    Here is a copy of my design that I used (BTW, I don't know why they chose this particular color scheme, I had better looking ones). It's a simple maple leaf design, the bottom obviously looks like a leaf, and the top half is buildings. It's drawn so as to show the urban restoration that was talked about at our conference. I just wish that we could have used a computer to design with. The class was basic graphics for landscape architecture so everything had to be hand drawn. Oh, and my design had NONE of the text that is in this image. Someone went through and butchered that one up for me. Oh well, what can I do about it.

    So, that is my story of how I came to this point in my studies. What's everyone else's stories of how they got involved in this fascinating field.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #2
    For me it was through my amateur photography. I love photography although have always thought I would not be able to make it professionally due to the competition.

    Through photography I met a lot of graphic designers and I decided to have a go myself for fun - something appealed to me so I decided to take a course on the subject and I just love it.
     
  3. klymr thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #3
    I could have also mentioned photography. That was another area I had thought about focusing on, but like yourself, don't know how I feel about the intense competition. I can tell you right now I know I can produce better stuff than some of the photo majors at school, but I still don't like the thoughts of all competition. I sure wish I had a digital SLR. It really sucks being stuck with just a cheap Nikon N80. :p
     
  4. macaddict23 macrumors 6502

    macaddict23

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    MacVille, USA
    #4
    For me, I was always into traditional art such as pen, ink and watercolor. After high school, I took a lot of art classes not really knowing what I wanted to major in. Then my cousin asked me, "Why don't you get into graphic design?" The next week, he helped me pick out my first mac, a 266MHz tangerine iMac. Like they say, "the rest was history".

    As for the maple leaf, I like the building-leaf concept. But the overlapping and busy type takes a lot of attention from the leaf. Think "color pulls, black explains". Make the leaf more dominant, and tone down the type. Try making the image full strength, and center the words below.
     
  5. klymr thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #5
    Like I said before, I had NOTHING to do with the type. That was someone else's mistake. :p
     
  6. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NY
    #6
    I retired after 20 years as a NYS Correction Lieutenant and was not ready to settle down. I have always been a part time photographer but saw a chance to expand on my knowledge of Graphic Design programs aside from Photoshop. I will be graduating this semester (at the age of 51) with a degree in Visual Communication/ Graphic Art-Printing.
     
  7. macaddict23 macrumors 6502

    macaddict23

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    MacVille, USA
    #7
    Opps, I missed that one! :D
     
  8. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #8
    When someone said "I'll give you this much to make me a brochure". I always knew about Photoshop and the likes, and I've got an artistic eye or something. Just put the 2 together and went through college and university with it. Soon I'll be teaching it.
     
  9. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Straight out of college about 4 years ago I worked for a fortune 500 company as a business analyst. It was very much like office space. We really had Hawaiian shirt Fridays and Birthday cake once a month. It was not my idea of how I wanted to spend the next 30+ years of my life. Then I had been outsourced! That's right, my analyst job went to Manila. Right around then one of my friends asked me to make his fraternity a website, and they'd PAY ME! I've never heard of such a thing at the time. I started a website in 2001/2002 and got it up to around 5k uniques a day, but that was only a hobby.

    After I worked my ass off for them, I decided this gig wasn't so bad. I started placing a few ads in Craiglist showcasing my work. I found the whole "let's see your portfolio", but I dont' have anything yet conundrum to my most difficult challenge at first.

    I stuck with it. I started my own business in 2004. My first year I made roughly 18k and as an adult, we all know this is barely anything to live off of. I scraped by. As much as I loved my business, I still wanted stability. One of the professors at a local college saw my portfolio at the end of the year and asked me to come teach a local web design class. I've taught for 3 years since on subjects such as CSS, XHTML, Photoshop, and just design in general. I teach a real life course with all real knowledge as I never took any graphic or web design classes myself, I figured the best thing for me to teach is how to do real world stuff to give them some sort of value after college.


    At that point in early 2005 after one year of doing web design I got a job offer from Apple & Macromedia. The Apple gig was QA in their hardware department and the Macromedia gig was working with the Dreamweaver team ( Macromedia at the time, Adobe now.) The interview process with them took 5 hours!! I got interviewed by everyone on the team, wrote CSS and SQL!


    At that point I was faced with a pretty tough decision. Stability, or trying to see what I could do for myself as a business owner. As you guessed, I chose to stick it out and see how hard I could push myself and what I'm made of. I knew I could always come back to these positions with my education, however I could miss the biggest opportunity of my life to create a successful business.

    My goal was to double my income every year. Luckily, I've been fortunate and determined enough to make that happen.

    My advice to anyone is stick with it. We live in one of the greatest times where an idea, a thought, and some determination can let you choose what you want to do for the rest of your life. I know it's stupid but if I can do it, so can you.
     
  10. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    I had four epiphanies related to graphic design and digital art:

    1. My father purchased a few sheets of the old rub-off transfer letters for me to play with when I was a kid. I learned the difference between my Helvetica and Futura at a pretty early age.

    2. I got a program for my Apple //e called Fontrix, which was a bitmap font design / typesetting program. For actual typesetting it was pretty crude, but it was a lot of fun to deconstruct the fonts that came with the program.

    3. First seeing the album cover design of Peter Saville. Those Joy Division and early New Order album covers were exercises in mesmerizing, cool minimalism. As I gained more interest in Factory Records, as much due to their overriding design aesthetic as well as their music, I saw inspiring album covers by 8vo (The Durutti Column) and Hannebert (Crispy Ambulance), amongst others.

    4. The first time I picked up a copy of Emigre magazine. It was 1988 and I purchased their issue dedicated to 4AD records. I loved the Vaughn Oliver / 23 Envelope aesthetic at the time (still do), but it turned out that Emigre themselves was the piece that put it all together for me: they were still deep into their bitmap phase at the time, showing the crude (at the time) digital roots of their work, which reminded me of my hours of messing around in Fontrix.

    After that, I bought up every back issue of Emigre that I could, started reading more traditional design magazines, borrowed friends' Macs and delved deeply into what type and applications I could avail myself of at the time, started my own magazine in 1991, and was on my way to graphic designerdom. I loved where I went to college, but there was no formal design curriculum there: just a half dozen classes vaguely related to graphic design from digital publishing (using command line tools like LaTeX) to book arts (fine letterpress), and for the rest I was self-taught or learned directly from more experienced people.

    I actually switched to doing IT consulting seven years ago, but stay heavily immersed in the design world as my primary clients are design shops and ad agencies.
     
  11. Z.Beeblebrox macrumors regular

    Z.Beeblebrox

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    NJ / NYC
    #11
    I was artistically inclined from birth thanks to a largely creative family. I won a regional art competition at age 5. From there I just ran with it.

    When I got to high school, they offered a "commercial art" class in addition to the regular generic art class. I fell in love. At age fourteen I was utilizing PhotoShop, QuarkXPress and Freehand on a Mac to layout a 12 page school newspaper every month in addition to school cards, signs, invitations and the annual literary magazine. I also learned how to work old-school with rub-on type, rubylith/amberlith and non-photo blue pencils back in the day. I was sending work to a real offset press by age 17. I kinda became the design bitch of my school. I made everything for everyone and realized that I was having a blast doing it all. I started entering contests outside school and won several local logo competitions.

    In my senior year, at the recommendation of my teacher, I started researching colleges that offered majors in Graphic Design. I had no idea that people did this for a living and that I could actually make a career out of it. After I graduated, I spent four years at Savannah College of Art and Design and earned my degree. I guess I never imagined being anything else other than an artist. I'm happily employed in-house in NYC working mainly in the area of corporate identity.
     

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