9 Things You Need To Know About A Career In Design

Posted on September 26, 2016 in Education

By Saloni Maheshwari:

I have a lot of friends who hear about my profession and think,“I would love to do what you do!”

I love the enthusiasm, but I don’t think that a lot of people really know what designing involves, especially when you choose it as a profession. Your profession in design could be of various kinds like interior design, graphic design, product design, architecture, photography, web design, fashion design etc. They are all separate fields for which separate skill sets are needed, but they all seem to be professions that are ‘labelled as easy’. This sickens me, simply because designing isn’t just clicking a button or two and out pops a design. The illustration isn’t just “drawing pictures” and photography isn’t just about having a camera. Each one of these professions requires skill and talent.

1. Be Yourself

Being yourself – this is what everyone wants in this independent world. You can be yourself, have independent thoughts, make your designs, enjoy your profession – which other courses might lack. Be confident about what you do as an author, designer, photographer. Then develop a personal approach and introduce it to your creative work.

Your work should never be about you, it should be able to expose you as a designer. As your work becomes more well-known, you will get hired for your traits. And as far as your personal work is concerned, don’t be afraid to tell your story. No one else is going to do it for you.

2. Power To Turn Your Thoughts Into Reality

It is a field where you produce what you think. Your thoughts become your design, your design becomes the reality for many others. Everyone may have ideas but it is the professionals who use their thoughts and turn them into designs while others let go.

3. Think Out Of The Box

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When you choose design as a profession, you have to have a good imagination, and you also have to think outside the box. Designers shouldn’t be perceived as professionals who just make ‘visual magic happen’ where user-experience is always expected to be fruitful. In design, there really is never a right or wrong answer to anything. You simply have to determine what is right for each client and each situation. You have to have a good eye for colour, and be able to set a mood. Concept is the key and you have to be able to come up with a solid concept in order to develop anything at all. Market research is also involved while creating a design, so designers aren’t merely pushing buttons on their computers all day.

4. Feeding ‘Bookish Knowledge’ Is Not Compulsory

Few people look for academic excellence while a lot of them focus on the professional background, portfolio. But more than anything else what people look for is creativity and people skills. However, a formal degree in design could come to your benefit and increase your value as a designer. But the real knowledge comes from practising and enhancing your creativity.

5. It Won’t Be A Boring Office Job

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Designers have to move around, a little more than other professionals! Meetings clients, coordinators, suppliers, doing on-site work, reviewing the completed work, designing ‘plan-revival’, updating the existing design – you have a long list of reasons to get out of your office. So if you are a person who dislikes boring office jobs and likes creative jobs where your ideas and spirit would be appreciated, designing may be your thing.

6. What Matters Is Experience, Not Degree

Your degree does not matter in this field, it only matters for the sake of knowledge but not for your job. You won’t be getting a job by showing higher grades, but the portfolio you have made throughout may help a great deal.

7. Develop Your Own Firm, Be Your Own Boss

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Who in life wants to work under a rude boss? But people have to as they may be unaware of other options. Designing is the best option where you can create your own office, be your own boss, work in any place of the world, be cosy in your bed and work online. But for creating your own office, you have to be experienced enough.

8. Live In The Practical World

Could you ever understand the reflection of light had you not seen a mirror? Just reading about a phenomenon is not enough even though it may be explained in the best manner. You actually got to see it happening in front of your eyes and not just hear about it from somebody else. Training and exercising are meant to improve your skills which cannot be obtained by just equipping yourself with theoretical knowledge. Field trips, projects, experiments -don’t they interest you more than books, assignments and lectures? I’m sure they do for many of you because they are much more interesting and engrossing than reading the regular books. Practical education is way more interactive than mere theories. Designing is all about getting practical knowledge, learning new things, thinking in accordance with your client.

9. Be Your ‘Own Kind Of Creative’

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I believe that each of us, as adults, still has an opportunity to be creative – our ‘own kind of creative’. You may not have it in you to write a book, but maybe because you want to write a blog, or an article (or two!).  Maybe you can’t cook, but you can bake. Maybe you can’t draw or paint, but you can strip the engine of a car and put it back together again. And maybe you can’t devise, write and deliver a whole new training project for your organisation but you can create the processes needed to make sure it gets rolled out successfully.

Don’t fall for anything that convinces you of your lack of creativity. You have always had the ability to be creative. You just need to unravel the desire again, dust off the right side of your brain, rediscover your inner creativity and go forth and create something new, better, inspiring, innovative. Enjoy!

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Image source: Ethan Miller/ Getty Images

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