Our five-pronged approach focuses on your individual strengths to develop your unique qualities towards making you an exemplary pi- designer.
In India, gone are the days when a successful career meant only being a doctor, engineer or IT professional. Gone are the days when the drawing period at school was considered a ‘free’ period. As we are well into the third decade of the 21st century, budding professions like Design cannot be brushed under the carpet or cannot be considered as something students pursue when ‘they are not good at studies.’
The word Designer seems to imply either Fashion Designer or Interior Designer. Although it seems they are the more common types of designers, there is more to this than meets the eye. So, let’s get started, put on your seatbelts and fly around the world of design and explore the different types of designers you can be.
The world around you is full of graphic design. Whether it is that attractive wrapper of your favorite chocolate, that full-page advertisement in the morning newspaper or the fancy cover design of your bedside book - you cannot escape drawings, images, letterings or colors.
Whether it is that billboard as you cross the Yamuna on the DND or characteristically unique name boards of your favorite brand as you walk into a mall - H&M or Lifestyle, or the poster of that much-awaited upcoming movie, you cannot escape drawings, images, letterings or colors.
Whether it is a promotional booklet that advertises various products and services a company offers or a folded brochure designed to appeal to the senses of touch and sight, you cannot escape drawings, images, letterings or colors.
Graphic design is not a random doodle, neither about putting colors here and there nor frivolous beautification. Graphic Design is actually about creating the desired look, feel and impact through an informed choice of visuals, type (characters or letters) and the overall layout. Graphic design has a few universal principles but it is primarily up to you, the designer, how to creatively use those to design something that really engages the target audience.
You can choose to create print graphic design or go digital using software, such as CorelDRAW Graphics Suite or Adobe’s Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator
One of the graphic design specialists is a Typographer or Type designer. Type design is the art and process of designing typefaces, that is drawing each letterform using a consistent style. It is a no-brainer that you would never write a condolence message in Comic Sans. Comic Sans typeface is intended for use in cartoon speech bubbles. Even though the idea seems simple, drawing each letterform using a consistent style requires a nuanced understanding of design elements and principles.
Publication design refers to the process of creating and designing layouts (that is, how text and images and color are arranged and sequenced) for newspapers, magazines, books, and the online equivalent to those. The main goal is to make the publications eye-catching, easy to take in, meaningful and have a high brand recall.
Content gives us the facts but how the various components (text, pencil sketches, ink drawings, illustrations, images, etc) are arranged gives us meaning and completes the communication between the content creator and the intended audience. A trained publication designer understands the universal principles of design like harmony, balance, hierarchy, proportion, similarity and contrast and applies them so that the overall composition looks appealing.
It takes a leap of faith to transition from text to image. It takes another leap of faith to transition from image to motion picture. Motion graphic designers understand the technicalities as well as the art behind motion pictures (that is, a series of pictures projected on a screen in rapid succession with objects shown in successive positions slightly changed to produce the optical effect of a continuous picture in which the objects move.)
Animators are trained to design compelling animation that adds life, dynamism and the third dimensionality to the stillness of the flat images. The scope of motion graphics is immense - video games, websites, mobile applications, television, movies, commercials, and even digital billboards.
Tools commonly used by animation designers include Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects, among others.
In short, a web designer (or a front-end designer) is an all-in-one graphic designer. S/he is basically interested in designing the aesthetics and whether or not the website (or the mobile app) is serving the purpose it is meant to (that is, functionality)
User-Interface (UI) designer is a broader term. User is a broad term for a customer and User-Interface design focuses on creating and optimizing the first “point-of-contact” (real or digital interface) between a customer and the offered product or service. A UI designer is basically interested in the ease of use of a product or service or any platform that promotes the product. They say, “First Impression is the last impression.” No one else understands this aphorism better than a UI designer.
Packaging design is the process of designing product packaging to securely contain, identify and deliver a product. It sets the stage before a product is actually used. It can be considered the print equivalent of front-end design for the reason that it is the first point of contact between the product and the customer.
Packaging design is essentially the artful selection of materials, color, imagery and typography for the package to make a product suitable for marketing. As you walk through an aisle of a supermarket, you see a plethora of products lining the shelves, each being uniquely identified and brought to life and attracting consumers through its packaging design.
To put it very simply UI designers develop the look of a product - physical or digital. But, what about the overall experience a user has with a product? UX (User Experience) designers see a product from scratch (conception) to consumer satisfaction. This can include several things - from shaping physical components such as a video game device to a user’s experience with an IoT (Internet of Things) interface, such as one for wearable medical technology. UX designers are expected to be all-rounders with a deep understanding of user-interface design, aesthetics, functionality and convenience. Their main goal is that the designed product gives the consumer the best possible wholesome experience.
Tools typically used by UX designers include Sketch, InVision Studio, and AdobeXD, to name a few.
A product designer essentially does the same things as a UX designer but is also equally concerned with questions like, “Is the user likely to use the product again? How to sustain sales performance?” Product Designers are expected to have marketing skills, in addition to focusing on product function and the user experience. They are also involved in developing the brand strategy so that not only the designed product meets end-user expectations but also reflects the brand image and makes an impactful connection with the target audience.
UX/UI designers have overlapping roles. However, there is a general understanding that UI design is focused on the interface/ first point of contact between the product and the customer whereas UX design is focused on the consumer. Product designers are inclined towards the brand strategy and marketing side of design.
In contrast to this, Service design is the whole activity of planning and organizing a business’s resources (people, time, budget and logistics) to (1) directly improve the employee’s experience (and the internal processes), and (2) indirectly, the customer’s experience.
The picture below is worth a thousand words. It clearly differentiates service design from UX design.
Communication design encompasses all the above designs. Therefore, a communication designer is the most versatile of the different types of designers mentioned so far. It seems they are the best type of designers.
A communication designer is a professional who uses visual elements to deliver information (and meaning) to an audience. They are especially relevant in this age of information overload. Different brands selling more or less the same thing vie for customers’ attention. How does a new brand cut through the noise? A competent communication designer is a key stakeholder in determining who gets heard and who gets left behind.
Typographers, Publication designers and UI designers are highly specialized designers whereas a communication designer working for a brand delivers a completely finished visual product to the target audience and conveys the message that the brand intended to convey.
What sets communication designers apart from the above-mentioned designers is their greater focus on the message/meaning than on the product/service. Communication design is especially relevant in the following three areas -
While other designers focus more on developing the right aesthetic or on the usability of a product or a platform, a communication designer is also concerned with developing the message (including copywriting or creating ad scripts) and creating new media channels. Communication design seeks to attract people with a call to action (that is, ‘convert’ the target audience).
Design as a concept or a creation is all around you. The ubiquitous ball-point pen or the Bendy straw was a product of design thinking. The latter was patented in 1937 after Joseph B. Friedman noticed his young daughter trying to drink out of a tall glass through a straight straw. The core purpose of design is to solve problems aesthetically in a way the ordinary person can easily understand.
So, look around you, identify one thing that you really feel can be designed better and give your own touch to it. Think about the different types of designers you can be.
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