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Career Opportunities

 

Animation

We all enjoy watching animated films but how many of us actually possess the talent and grit to make one? Animators are skilled professionals who create an illusion of movement with the help of sequential images in rapid succession. Digital tools have transformed the way animation is practiced and even viewed as a craft. This has enabled the use of animation across various platforms like cinema, television and even gaming.

Irrespective of the designation, you will be exposed to tremendous learning experiences and long hours in front of the computer screen. As an aspiring animator, you can choose to foray into 2D/3D animation, stop motion or the challenging vertical of live-motion combined with animation.

Some of the software that you would get acquainted with during the programme would be Illustrator and Photoshop for web designing and development, Flash for 2D animation, Premier Pro and Final Cut Pro for video editing, Sound Forge for sound editing and After Effects for compositing, VFX, motion graphics and montages. As an animator, there will be some tasks that you would be engaged in during a particular project such as brainstorming with the creative team and developing a concept around which the project will hinge, developing a character, creating frames and storyboards, plotting camera angles and editing the soundtrack. Animators need to work in tandem with other team members like compositors, lighting experts, model makers, etc. and ensure that the design elements (colour, tone and textures) are consistent across frames using relevant software and rendering techniques.

Brad Bird, a famous American filmmaker known for both animation and live-action films, once said, “Animation is about creating the illusion of life. And you can’t create it if you don’t have one.” Animation requires keen observational skills, attention to detail to infuse emotions into the animated characters. There is a huge demand for innovative animators in advertising and allied industries and the industry is poised for tremendous growth. Professional success in this career is heavily dependent on your expertise, finesse, ingenuity and passion towards animation.

 

Film/ Theatre/ Television

Upon completion of an undergraduate course in Communication Design you will be adequately skilled to work in films and theatre - two sectors of work that are always on the lookout for talented graphic designers. As a graduate of Communication Design, you may work on documentaries, television commercials or feature films and even have a team of your own once you become an assistant producer after a few years’ of experience. You may assist in production, script writing, direction, camera work, continuity, location search, cinematography, set design and/ or editing. This will help you identify the aspect that you find most interesting and want to pursue as a specialisation. No film is made by an individual and within a film, many areas of specialisation are important.

Fresh graduates of communication design may be involved in the pre-production stage of filmmaking but can sometimes also be a part of production depending on the project scale and individual capability. Some day-to-day activities would ideally include script writing, storyboarding, discussions on production and liaising with the director/ crew and cast for cinematographic inputs including research and drawings with regard to context and relevance to production needs.

While working on the project, you could be required to supervise and fabricate the set, props and costume as per production requirements and also create graphic props and set pieces that look authentic, making the set seem realistic. Gathering knowledge about history will certainly help you recreate a particular period’s graphic elements using the available technology and means. With the number of TV channels available now, the scope of production for television, including shows and special effects for the channel itself is huge. News channels offer challenging opportunities as current events and news items are covered and broadcast all the time, and competition is intense.

The internet also serves as a great platform for the adventurous who can collaborate with like-minded professionals and create a web series that has a wider reach at half the cost compared with distributing and promoting films through traditional channels.

 

Branding and Advertising

With companies becoming more conscious about their brand’s image and visibility, a communication designer's role in branding and advertising has expanded considerably over the last decade.

Communication designers employ their knowledge of various media platforms to create the most effective advertising campaigns for their clients. Brand identity design includes thorough research and visualisation of a brand’s image as it is to be portrayed to the audience. As part of the brand identity design team, your ideal responsibilities would include tasks such as understanding the brand and its marketing strategies, reading the target customer demographics, analysing trends to see what excites them the most and developing strategies that can help increase the brand awareness and sales.

An indispensable method of spreading brand awareness and influencing the target audience is advertising. The advertising world is split into digital, electronic, outdoor and print media. There is a clear distinction between the various platforms with television ads ranking high in their audio-visual appeal. Radio ads focus on relaying information effectively through various audio elements and print ads primarily have a visual (and sensory) appeal. The appeal and reach of digital media has increased over the last decade with the advent of smartphones that serve as a medium of audio-visual entertainment besides being used for calls and messages. Communication designers, therefore, are required to strategize and create the right kind of audio and/or visual communication suited to these various media platforms.

While pursuing a course in Communication Design, you will be upskilled in concepts of typography, illustration, storytelling, photography, image composition and print production among others. Furthermore, you will develop a keen understanding of cultural contexts that will help you create effective communication for the intended audience.

You can also explore packaging design, an offshoot of branding activities of a business. Companies are on the look-out for designers that can help in making their respective products consumer-ready and marketable.

 

Publication Design

Publication design includes two sub-disciplines - editorial design and book design. As an editorial designer you would be using various design elements and typography skills to enhance the layout of the newspaper, magazine or online publication you are working on. Despite the proliferation of digital media, publications are still an everyday sight and have much creative fodder to offer to fresh graduates like yourself.

Work in a publication would include page layout design, article design including illustration and /or editorial text. Many magazines are visible in the market which cater to niche audiences. Likewise, designers find space in these publications to become stylists or designers.
In publication houses, the commissioning department and the editorial team action out the covers which the design team and the marketing team work on as per budget, content of the book, marketing needs and so on. As part of the team in a publication house, one may work on launch of books and on collateral for promotion of the books also.

Illustrators are an important part of the team; if you specialise in illustration (manual or digital) there will always be a great deal of of innovative design work for you. There are no set rules for career acceleration in this field as an individual’s growth solely depends on his/her talent, passion and portfolio of work. Illustrators work freelance also, choosing projects as per their preference and style

 

User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) Design

With businesses and services increasingly focusing on interactivity and user experience, interaction design has evolved into a burgeoning field. E-commerce and android applications have brought the market to one’s hands, and the user has a plethora of applications and applications to choose from, whether it is to purchase of a product or service, communicate with other users (social media) or experience virtual reality (gaming). Therefore, as a UX/UI designer you would be primarily working towards providing an overall engaging and beneficial experience to the end-user of the product or service, whether it is available through a mobile app or a website.

The probability of confluence between the roles and responsibilities of a UX and UI designer would entirely depend on the size of the project. For instance, in small projects the user experience and interface aspects are handled by the same individual but when it comes to a larger project, the work is assigned to separate UX and UI design specialists. UI designers focus on the presentation, layout and visual appeal of the product (application, game, website etc), while UX designers are involved in enhancing functional and structural aspects of the product, which includes the technological framework for that product.

As an aspiring UX/UI designer, you would be spending time in understanding the product objectives to help you design the structure and functional aspects of the product. Staying abreast of trends and innovations in user experience and studying user behaviour to align your designs form an important aspect of a UX/UI designer’s job profile. Developing storyboards, mockups and prototypes of the design ideas, Interacting and working closely with product managers, visual designers, motion designers, strategists, programmers and researchers would be some of the tasks that UX/UI designers are usually involved in.

With primary experience from internships done while pursuing your graduation, your career exploration in this highly technical field will begin as a Junior Designer. This field is relatively new and presents vast possibilities for skilled designers.

 

Exhibition/ Experience Design

Exhibition/ experience design is an innovative career option for communication designers where they can use their skills to design visuals that communicate the brand’s message to the intended customers in a very specific setting - that of exhibitions. Having learnt of the reach of the various media platforms and the technical typicalities of each, you would be well equipped to work with physical spaces to promote a product, make an impact or simply communicate a message. Having learnt graphic design, software techniques and working with physical space, you can work on exhibition design and create an engaging experience for the audience using a combination of print and digital techniques.

The roles and responsibilities of professionals involved in exhibition design is very fluid owing to the interdisciplinary nature of the field. Therefore, as a communication design student you can be involved across all stages of the process, be it conceptualisation, deciding upon the materials to be used and even overseeing execution of the design plan including the fabrication of backdrops, banners and exteriors as well as interiors of the exhibit.

 

Web Design

Unlike print, the web is a dynamic and interactive medium where the page layout can be dynamic. With mobile phones being increasingly used to access the web content, responsive web pages have become the order of the day. This in turn heightens the reliance on the expert designing skills of a web designer who has to create layouts that can be easily viewed across desktops, tablets, mobile phones and even televisions. Web design requires sound knowledge of typography, image composition, colours, contrast, textures, page layout, and various other graphic elements that are essential in making a successful website. A cursory knowledge of programming and coding would certainly help you design better. To design and sustain a functional website, there is a team of creative professionals involved like web developers, web designers, graphic designers, UX/UI designers, internet and marketing specialists, SEO writers and internet copywriters.

Your task as a web designer would be to build and redesign a website that is aesthetically pleasing and functionally effective. As a web designer, you need to understand the audience, their requirements and web behaviour to incorporate design elements that hold their interest. This will help you in conceptualising and designing a preliminary layout and structure of the website that is easy to access and navigate. In addition, as a designer you would be also be researching on the colours, fonts and images that would best appeal to the users. Web designers also present the visual designs for client approval, provide the developer with the graphic rendering/composite to be converted into a browser compatible file. They also work closely with the developer during testing to understand how the design functions across devices and resolve any design-usability conflicts that may arise.

Also, depending upon on the scale of the project and your level of expertise, you could either be working closely with a UX/UI designer to incorporate the necessary elements in the design or could very well be working on the UX/UI aspects yourself. With an abundance of digital information available on the World Wide Web, web pages that compromise on usability end up losing their customers to competitors. As a graphic designer, you must bear in mind to structure the page in a manner that does not increase the page load time.

 

Typeface Design/ Calligraphy

If designing characters, numbers, letters is what excites you and gives you a creative high, then being a Typeface Designer could be your calling! We see typeface design all around us! It forms an integral part of visual communication and helps convey the intended message or meaning to the audience. As a type designer, you would be creating custom and proprietary typefaces that will have diverse applications rather than being ones that can only be used occasionally.

Studying a communication design course will give you a sound background in graphic design and typography that will be of immense help when you design typefaces. Studying type history, understanding the various aspects involved in designing a typeface and scanning the various types available in the market to avoid replicating a design type would be some of the preliminary tasks that typeface designers are involved with. In addition, designers also spend time reading the type design brief to know the intended function of the type design, understanding the type design process and gaining cursory knowledge about the various platforms and media available. Drawing precise letterforms with a strong aesthetic sense is an aspect that typeface designers always need to bear in mind before embarking on any project.

Technological advancements and the advent of the word wide web have made type design technically and financially accessible to aspirants. Traditional type foundries have almost been replaced with digital type foundries that help designers create types with the help of advanced type design software. An entry-level job at a digital foundry will certainly give you quality exposure and real-world experience of the type design process and the industry. You could even intern with an experienced type designer and learn the technicalities of the craft under his/her mentorship. As very few designers seek employment in this specialisation, there are brighter chances of getting noticed in this field with exceptional talent backing you all the way up. Another avenue that you can explore is that of a a Calligraphy artist. While working in this field, you will get opportunities to work on various applications of calligraphy using traditional and manual techniques that find appeal in bespoke artefacts, specialised gifts etc.

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