Any Advice For A Budding Graphic Designer?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Christopher Chung, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. Christopher Chung

    Christopher Chung Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys,

    I am going to graduate soon from Cal State Long Beach in Califonia. I've been looking around and asking some of my professors for some advise, but I've mainly been hearing to check print magazines like Communication Arts, or CMYK. Any fellow graphic designers have some invaluable words of wisdom that will help me find my way? [​IMG]

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Christopher Chung

    Christopher Chung Stunt Coordinator

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    No graphic designers here eh? I guess home theater and graphics don't mesh well... except for me that is [​IMG]
     
  3. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    Graphic designer, here (and HT fanatic, too). Just don't know what advice to give.

    Except maybe ... make sure you get a good foundation in production. After college, I started out with a small printing company. Crappy job, but I learned loads. Did everything from plate making to stripping. I learned so much about the offset printing process. It has helped me enormously as a designer in later years.

    Also, something hit me the other day. I realized that for over 15 years, my life has been all about deadlines, both in my day job and freelance business. Graphics is a deadline driven business, with often tight deadlines at that. It can get pretty stressful at times.

    As for looking for jobs, don't forget AdWeek. They have a lot of ads in the back.

    And speaking of deadlines ... have to get back to my print ad. It's due at 1::00 p.m.!

    Good luck!
     
  4. wally

    wally Second Unit

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    Designer, HT person here too.

    Home theater and graphics mesh perfectly I think. I glean a great deal from DVD packaging, menu design and extras that I later use at work.

    My two cents would be, don’t discount a job in a corporate design department. I know that agencies have all the perceived glamour, but in-house shops offer a great deal of diversity as far as what you get to work on. You don’t get pigeonholed like many young designers are at agencies.

    In the last year I’ve worked on interactive applications (coding and designing), proposals, presentations, digital video, web sites, 3D animation, magazine/newspaper ads, t-shirts, invitations, signage, and a lot more.

    I agree with Pamela 100% about the deadlines. Learn to love them and the stress/excitement they create!

    Another thing is learn as much as you can about Photoshop. Nearly everything you do for every media (print, video, on-line) will have a component that is “massaged” in Photoshop.

    It’s a great profession, one that I look forward to practicing every day!

    Best of luck in finding your dream job.
     
  5. Christopher Chung

    Christopher Chung Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Pamela and Wally. I really do love the design field, and I can't wait to find the right one for me.

    Deadlines and Photoshop are my friends really, they don't scare me at all. Pamela, I also heard from some people in the field that printmaking jobs are quite useful, maybe I'll look into that!

    But I'll be checking out AdWeek to see what's out there.

    Thanks again; any other advice out there?
     
  6. Jacinto

    Jacinto Second Unit

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    My advice would be to make sure you know how to draw well. At my first design job, there were only two of the designers who could draw (I was one of them), and we always ended up being the point men on new projects because we could develop ideas on paper right in front of clients. Needless to say, we were deemed as more "essential" to the company when the economy slumped and managed to keep our jobs. So, in my experience, a designer with a strong background in traditional art is more valuable than one whose art training is limited to the computer.

    Another reason that art is so valuable: Since I started working on my own last year, I would have gone broke if not for the illustration jobs that supplemented my income from graphic design.

    As the others have said, it is a deadline focused industry. You know your own personality -- if you don't deal well with the pressure of time bearing down on you (I think I actually work much better with pressure), this might not be the profession for you.

    Good luck!
     
  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Graphic Designer, MultiMedia Programmer/Animator, Video Production, etc. and HT person as well...

    I'd suggest learn as much as you can. The days of knowing one job really well are far behind us. Being versatile is VERY important. For me, it's not only knowing how to design, but program as well. Add the fact that I know the ins and out of Mac and PC's and can maintain my equipment without ever using the IT departments time is WELL worth noted by my bosses.

    I've come across SO many people who are great designers but have no clue about programming or maintaining a computer and it can often bite you in the ass. Just as I've met a lot of programmers who can't tell the difference between violet and indigo or have no design skills at all.

    Some companies can't afford to higher a Graphic Artist and a Programmer to do one job, so it is in your best interest to let them know you can do both. You'd be AMAZED at how many people really don't know both sides and you can really stand out in a crowd if you can.

    Whenever people ask me what my job title is, I never like to answer them because my success at my company is due to my ability to keep up with the changes. If I was just a 'graphic artist', I'd quickly find myself not doing a lot of work and that would impact my job. So some days I may be designing, other days I may be programming, other days I may be animating, other days I may be ripping apart my computer and upgrading components and software, and sometimes I'm doing all of those things at once.
     
  8. Christopher Chung

    Christopher Chung Stunt Coordinator

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    wow, all this information sounds really facinating! Actually, it's kinda getting me excited!

    If it were financially feasible, I'd be drawing for a living, but that's not what I want to do. Drawing for me is no problem! [​IMG]

    I really appreciate all the input guys, it's giving me an optimistic outlook on my future! [​IMG]
     

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