Graphic Design Programs and Trade Schools

If you are looking for a career that combines your artistic ability, your creative side and technical know-how, then graphic designing will just be right for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities for graphic designers will be increasing at the rate of 10 percent from 2006 through 2016. The main employers will be advertisers, computer design firms, and publishers. You can work in the print media designing posters, brochures, magazines, CD covers and a host of other non-interactive elements; or you can be designing web interfaces, power-point presentations, video games and other interactive projects. Log on to BLS.gov to have detailed information on graphic designing.

A Graphic Design Trade School
Any communication medium needs a graphic designer. As a graphic designer you are responsible for providing a visual solution to your client's communication problem. A graphic design trade school teaches you not only the creative elements of designing, but also the technical essentials of illustration, animation and layout techniques, and other skills. Though there may be self-taught designers doing quite well, a design school always adds to your inherent ability, with software knowledge and practical industry skills bringing you on par with the best in the industry. The role of a graphic designer is becoming increasingly important in today's media-driven lifestyle; every commercial that you see - each printed page (whether an advertisement or simple layout), movies and television serials, every promotional element from packaging to posters - needs designing. In this extremely competitive career, the design school and course that you choose will determine your career.

Is a Degree Important?
Students who are creative and can paint and sketch often think that they do not need a degree when they already have the talent. There are also numerous books and online tutorials on graphic designing that can help you learn the basics of Flash, Photoshop, Fireworks, Illustrator, and other software packages. Your inherent skill and self-taught techniques may help you to work for employers who are not too choosy and accept assembled design products that you hand out. However, graphic designing is not about techniques and creativity alone. It is important to understand your client's need and provide a solution that will not only be attractive but also achieve the primary target of selling the product or service. Your graphic designing degree will teach you this key element of synchronizing the 'need' and the 'solution'.

The Certificates and Degrees That Are On Offer
When you select your school or course, check out the accreditation. About 250 institutions offering postsecondary programs in design and art have been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. These schools mostly offer degree programs. A bachelor's degree program is an absolute essential for graphic designing positions. However, for some entry-level technical positions, an associate degree or a certificate program in graphic designing may also be accepted. Some schools will not allow admission to a bachelor's degree program if you have not completed a basic course in art and design. You will also need a portfolio of your work to present at the time of admission. A full-fledged bachelor's degree program will include courses on studio art, design principles, commercial designing, printing, computerized designing, and the latest design software. You will also be inducted into liberal arts through courses in art history, sociology, psychology, culture study, marketing, language and writing. If you have a bachelor's degree in any other stream, you can choose a two- to three-year program in graphic designing.

Professional graphic designing programs also include associate and certificate level courses that focus more on the technical aspects of designing and less on the liberal arts. Usually a three-year associate degree or two-year certificate program will get you a job as an assistant graphic designer. However, this is one career where you can rise to the very top through your creativity and ability.

Online and Campus Study
Colleges offer both campus and online programs in graphic designing. The basic advantage of a campus course is the availability of state-of-the-art technology that will help build and upgrade your skills. This may be difficult in an online course where you will need to upgrade costly software on your machine to keep up with technology. The growing demand for graphic courses has prompted traditional colleges to offer online courses. An online course also gives you the advantage of developing your computer skills, as you are doing the course totally on the computer.

Specialization in Various Designing Lines
Designing involves various distinct specializations such as graphic designing, illustration, computer animation, and publishing. Graphic designers create visual communication through a combination of images, concepts, colors, layout, and other elements that present information in an aesthetic and accessible format. Illustrators convey ideas and messages through sketches, paintings, and drawings. They combine creative skills and technical know-how to reach their target audience.

If you are interested in knowing more, log on to: Study.com - Illustrator. Another specialty area in designing is computer animation, where the artist creates moving figures in a two-dimensional space. Computer animators are in great demand in film making, advertising and video making.
You can get more information at: Study.com - Animator.

Another apparently easy but actually daunting specialization is publishing; though it seems a simple process of writing, publishing and selling a product, in reality this involves a complex routine of acquisition, planning, editing, designing, art directing, copy editing, production managing, distributing, selling and marketing. Check out the following site for more information: Underdown.org.

Graphic designing involves constantly upgrading your knowledge. You should be well read, knowledgeable about the latest trends, and updated with the technical innovations. In a consumer-driven society the demands from your clients will vary, while deadlines will be tighter. Freelancers with a good business sense can do well in the designing field.

[return to main articles page]

Recent Articles
  • Are Online Degrees Worth Anything?

    In this article you will find the value of an online degree and how the experts perceive them. Read about the comparison of an online degree to a traditional education and the increasing enrollment of online schools.

  • Trade School vs Traditional College

    In this article you will find information regarding what to expect from a trade school experience versus the traditional college experience. Learn more about what might fit better for you, college or vocational and trade school.

  • What Major is Right for Me?

    Outlined in this article are steps that can be taken to help decide what to major in while attending college. Anything from self assessment to researching career fields are listed.

  • Careers that might be in Demand in the Future?

    Included in this article is what careers will be in demand in the future? Also included are trends in new career opportunities on the horizon.