Rwituja Gomes Mukherjee




Communication Design

Graphic Design – The answers you seek


Rwituja Gomes Mukherjee




Communication Design

IIAD Graphic Design Image 1
Photo by Pascal Meier on Unsplash

Images…words…ideas. The traditional role of Graphic Design has been to improve the visual appearance and function of messages and information effectively conveys this information to an audience. If this design domain interests you, then here’s a checklist of the 10 questions to ask yourself before studying it.

1) What is Graphic Design ?

It is the craft of creating visual content to communicate messages. Applying visual hierarchy and page layout techniques, graphic designers use typography, photography, icons, symbols and illustrations amongst others to meet users’ specific needs to optimize the user experience. Considered as a subset of communication design it covers a wide range from social communication to corporate communication, branding etc. Well-designed graphics enable its creators to boost sales, expand scalability, establish their name, earn goodwill in the market and thereby maximizing profitability.

2) The Graphic Design market size

The Graphic Design industry is constantly shifting due to constantly evolving technology and changes in the business environment. The India Design Report, states that with the growth in services like printing, advertising, book publishing, film, FMCG, consumer durables, etc, this industry is expected to continue growing exponentially and the manpower requirement is estimated to be around ten thousand designers per annum.

Graphic Designing is a core aspect of both the global and local design culture. It’s influence cuts across industries and forms the underlying foundation of all communication, marketing activities and branding initiatives. Thus, the potential audience for Graphic Design is vast and it’s reach can be predicted based on the fact that digital advertising is on the rise. It is estimated that by 2023 there will be over 660 million internet users in Indiaand by 2021, the Indian media and entertainment industry will reach 2.35 trillion.

3) Why study Graphic Design?

Graphic Design plays a significant role in the current competitive business environment. The need for effective communication with the target audience and market, positioning amidst competition puts itin great demand. Clever, unique and thoughtfully created graphics can increase sales as it has the power to attract attention, emphasize on quality and encourage brand recall and loyalty. It’s a great way to earn trust and goodwill.

According to India, by Design: Perspectives, Trends & Practices 2019 report, the importance of good design calls fora clear understanding of what the customer needs and what is vital for business success. In the past, the practice of design-focused mainly on the aspect of creating desirability. However, now, good design exists at the intersection of customer delight, business viability, and technical feasibility.

4) Is Graphic Design the right choice for you?

From amidst the multitude of design careers to choose from, some reasons why graphic design is a wise career choice

  • You apply problem-solving skills not only across all areas of life but create meaningful design for a  client, whether they be a company, a public body, a NGO or an individual.
  • It helps you understand fundamentals of how a business operates through extensive research, digging deep into data, conducting interviews, organising user tests, and more giving you insights about the business.
  • No two projects are ever the same. The challenges are invigorating. You’ll be able to express your ideas and vision to the client, accept criticism and feedback, and move towards a meaningful solution.
  • You’ll study the fundamentals of design, from golden ratio to colour theory to font pairing or creating engaging visual imagery. Moving from project to project you’ll pick up skills you never thought of such as pitching your ideas to clients, writing copy, projection mapping, using new technology or just plain old making good coffee. It will help build your confidence and communication skills and you’ll never stop learning and growing.
  • You’ll love the late nighters when your creative juices flow in the quiet of the night or the challenge of working towards crazy deadlines. Simply put, you’ll love what you do so it won’t feel like work.
  • The world will be your oyster! You’ll be able to charter your own progress. A traditional career path is only one of your options. You can learn the ropes at a design studio or agency, and then venture out either as a freelancer or be your own boss and start your own business.
  • You’ll have a set of transferable skills that means you can easily step into a range of related professions, such as UI/ UX design, motion graphics, animation, film and others. In short, the sky’s the limit!
  • You’ll be able to work from and for anyone anywhere you have access to the internet and access to your computer. Be it a home office, a co-working space, or travelling around, be it for clients in any part of the country or world. You can choose to work full-time, part-time, or pick up bits of freelance on the side when you need that extra cash.
  • Whether you like getting dirty and working with your hands or you are a tech freak who likes to work and keep abreast with the latest technological innovation, you will both find your own space within the work space.
  • You’ll collaborate and join hands with multiple interesting people on various projects and learn to be a great team player. You’ll become part of a culture that offers mutual support and starts helping, teaching and mentoring the new generation.
  • Whether you’re working for a client within a design studio or as part of an in-house design team you’ll get to be at the heart of any business and you’ll get to see the results of your work and how it positively impacts business.
IIAD Graphic Design Image 2
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

5) What you need to excel in Graphic Design?

  • The basic skillet includes visualisation, excellent written and verbal communications skills and team working. You will have OCD about getting things perfect with absolute attention to detail with the ability to push boundaries and take-up challenges and driven to work crazy hours within stringent deadlines. Besides, in-depth knowledge of design thinking, empathy, marketing tools, fundamentals of typography, colour theory, form and composition and relevant software to refine your ideas and create a product that is market ready.
  • Educational qualifications include completing 10+2 from a recognised board in any stream (Science, Commerce and or Arts) at the graduation level. At the postgraduate level, one requires a bachelor’s degree in design. Self-study and supplementary training courses in graphic design can also help build up the more practical skills required.
  • Admissions into a reputed design school require appearing for a Design Aptitude Test. The entrance exam assesses creative ability, form explorations, comprehension skills, storytelling, logical reasoning, problem-solving and general knowledge.

6) How to become a Professional Graphic Designer?

A graphic designer role is very diverse. No matter what your business is, be it fashion, a start-up or a medical firm, everyone and anyone needs a graphic designer to add value to their business starting from branding to creating posters, brochures, websites, ads, promotional films, packaging or any other. One must address newer challenges, solve unforeseen problems, add value and create clever communication that is both unique and targeted.

Professionalism is enhanced by working seamlessly in a creative team or collaborating closely with industry professionals, clients, PR professionals, copywriters, marketers, advertisers and senior management. Feedback and constructive criticism influences the design process and end product. Ability to see the big picture, you need to have a strong interpersonal relationship and business acumen to set you apart.

The world around is rapidly changing and therefore calls for continuously upgrading knowledge and new techniques and technologies by upskilling to software tools is a bonus. Time management especially in terms of turn-around time, adhering to deadlines helps build confidence amongst the stakeholders and portrays commitment. It’s also advantageous to keep abreast with industry trends and key influencers in the industry.

7) Career opportunities after Graphic designing

IIAD Graphic Design Image 3

The typical career path can begin as a junior graphic designer at a creative agency or an in-house design team at an organization. This can lead to becoming mid-level to senior designer, project lead, art director, creative director and beyond. You can become an entrepreneur and set-up your own business when they’ve gained sufficient work experience or freelance in various areas creating a diverse portfolio. What will set you apart is your area of specialization because that expertise will always keep you in demand.  But because the industry is constantly changing, designers can adapt and become lifelong learners so they can change or add specializations throughout their careers.

Your work will include designing editorials, designing book covers, print and publication, big print items such as posters and billboards, icons and pictograms, illustration, brand strategy and identity, advertising, packaging, information, UI/UX design, interface graphics and elements, web, motion, animation, environmental graphics, way finding and signage systems across both print and digital platforms.

Experienced designers can also look at sharing their experience and knowledge taking up teaching in schools and mentoring college students, specialist education and training facilities.

8) How much money can I make as a Graphic Designer?

One’s earning potential is dependent on portfolio and skill set. Other factors are the industry that you work in, type of employment, years of experience, area of specialization and expertise.

According to PayScale

  • Entry-level designers with less than 1-year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of ₹205,609.
  • Early career designer with 1 – 4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹283,434
  • Mid-career designer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹404,580
  • Experienced designer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹424,748
  • Those in their late-career (20 years and higher) earn an average total compensation of ₹200,000.

9) How can I learn Graphic Design?

Graphic Design is taught in many specialised educational institutions and training schools. One can pursue the same either online or offline. Online courses usually range from 3 months (full-time) to 9 months (part-time). Many students and working professionals find them useful. Offline courses are for 3 years and can potentially give one an edge in the professional world. Some also develop their software skills by watching free YouTube videos.

10) How can studying Graphic Design at IIAD set you apart?

Good design is good business and that’s why to gain a professional advantage it’s imperative to learn graphic design from a reputed educational institution like the Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD).

IIAD believes in nurturing individualistic streak in all students and encourages a culture of ‘learning by doing’, which enables and challenges them to develop and evolve their creative process. This is further enhanced by following a ‘project-based learning approach’ rather than a purely theoretical one. They do not offer separate specializations but instead expose students to all the fields that fall within this domain. This makes the students multidisciplinary thinkers and broadens their horizon. However, students can position themselves as specialists in the desired field through a careful selection of their projects, and collaboration between staff and students. Students learn in a studio environment which forms the fulcrum around which the entire teaching-learning philosophy is based.