Are you considering graphic design as your career choice? It was not something that I thought about or studied in school. All I knew was to be a science student until SPM and then switched to arts during STPM.
I loved colours and even though I was not very skilled in drawing, I liked to copy designs and colour them in my notebook. What designs you ask? Tattoos! But mainly geometric patterns because they were easier for me to draw. I didn’t know then but my “design” eye was being awakened.
When it was time to apply to universities, my courses were mainly in the economics and business field. However, I received an offer to pursue a degree in Animation at UMK. It was here that I discovered my interest to become a graphic designer. The degree program included one year as an intern and this experience is key in putting me on the graphic design path.
Spending 9 months being the only designer in this company specialising in telecommunication device sale and repair, was a wonderful experience for me. I was not yet qualified but my designs received a lot of positive feedback from my boss. I gained confidence in my designs and this was where I decided that graphic design was the career for me. I even started doing freelance work.
Recently graphic design has become one of the most popular career choices of today’s generation. Anyone with creative visual ideas can become a graphic designer. Graphic design basically demands a lot of creativity with a clever combination of images and great typography.
Graphic design is a versatile skill and education base that offers opportunity in many different roles. You can work with any field you like as a graphic designer. Graphic designers work as Art Specialists, Design Consultants, Design Management professionals, Creative Associates and even as freelance experts in their domain. If you think that the scope of a graphic designing degree is limited, you are certainly mistaken.
Graphic designers produce visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, enlighten and fascinate consumers. They improve the general design and production strategy for various requests such as commercials, promotional material, magazines, and business reports. The primary responsibility of a graphic designer is creating visual features like images, logos, designs, photographs, etc. to create a lasting impact on the consumer’s mind. Other than that, graphic designers also play roles as desktop publishers, craft and fine artists, industrial designers, web developers and animators.
There are a few things in graphic design we should not expect – routine days, regular hours and relaxed work environment. Graphic design jobs are not 9 to 5 jobs, you will be submerged under tons of deadlines and extra pressure. As a graphic designer, you have to love your profession, because it’s more than just mastering the designing, software and logic or you will get bored.
One of the best things about being a graphic designer is that there’s a clear career progression, from junior to senior designer, and then onwards up the hierarchy through to being an art director, creative director and senior management.
As a freelance graphic designer, you can work from anywhere you can find an internet connection, whether that’s your home office, a co-working space, or travelling around the world as a global nomad. You can choose to work full-time, part-time, or pick up bits of freelance on the side when you need cash.
And of course, you don’t have to stay working as a graphic designer. As an experienced and trained graphic designer, you’ll have a set of transferable skills that means you can easily side-step into a range of related professions, such as UX designer, motion designer or web developer, animator, film-maker and others. In short, the sky’s the limit!
By: Meenachi A.P Subramaniam
Meena is interning at Impact Malaysia for 3 months under the Felo Usahawan Malaysia program.