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Build Your Career As A Professional Graphic Designer — 5Ws And 1H Answered

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Visual communication, which helps in presenting messages or ideas in an aesthetically appealing way, also plays an important role in making content engaging and impactful. Simple and beautiful designs make a positive impression on the viewers, set the brand apart from competitors, highlight credibility and professionalism, and make complicated ideas or messages easy to understand. Communicating with the target audience through designs that fulfil these purposes is crucial for brands to survive in today’s cut-throat competition. Thus, professionals skilled in graphic design are in demand. If you are also enthusiastic about skilling up as a graphic designer, here are a few things to know beforehand. 

What Is Graphic Design? 

Graphic design is the craft of communicating and solving customer problems through visuals. These visuals are created by combining various elements (such as lines, shape, colour, size, texture and typography) and principles (such as balance, alignment, proximity, contrast and repetition) of graphic design. Visuals concepts are designed to create awareness, inspire, educate, entertain and solve customers’ problems. Great designs help in differentiation and identification, improving user experience, beautification, setting mood and emotion, providing essential information, building a unique individual or brand identity, and allowing customers to use their purchasing power at its best. 

Why Learn Graphic Design? 

Whether it is for print, logos, website or branding, visual communication experts get lucrative career opportunities and enjoy the liberty of being creative and artistic at their work. As all brands across the globe require graphic designers for marketing and branding purposes, there is a huge scope for skilled visual communicators. Graphic designers enjoy significant reputation as they closely work with different departments and ideate, plan, and design the brand identity (logo, website, apps) and marketing campaigns of an organisation.

They make the products and services of a brand aesthetically appealing and salable. Learning graphic design could help you build a dynamic career, become technologically sound, have a great work-life balance, work on multiple projects simultaneously, continue learning through comprehensive online courses, and enjoy steady career growth. 

When Do Organisations Need Graphic Designers?

Brands or organisations need graphic designers for the visual interpretation of their digital and physical messages. Designers contribute to every aspect of a company’s operations, right from its incorporation. Organisations hire designers to build the brand’s unique visual identity through a logo, typography, colour palette and image or illustration libraries that never change and are used all across media for branding. Graphic designers also analyse customer behaviour, conduct market analysis and create visuals for newspapers, magazines, television, email or online advertising.

They work closely with UI/UX designers and design, execute, manage and improve the look and feel of the company’s website and mobile app. For outdoor or environmental graphic design, designers collaborate with different-skilled people such as architects, interior designers, or industrial designers and design their office space, hoardings, retail store interiors and exteriors, and designs for advertising on public transport. Designers also contribute to increasing the value of a company’s product and services by designing attractive, informative and protective packaging for the product. 

Small scale organisations or startups usually hire 1-2 graphic designers who can manage all these tasks, whereas MNCs and renowned brands usually prefer specialised designers that dedicatedly work on visual identity, advertising and marketing, packaging, environment, web design, and other aspects. 

On a regular basis, organisations need graphic designers to brainstorm, plan, ideate, take briefs and finalise design requirements of different teams. They then create a rough draft based on the brief, and select the colours, typefaces, layouts and images for the same. Later, different designs are created through hand-made sketches, photo editing softwares, illustrations or graphic design and layout softwares, and then drafts are shared with respective teams. Finally, suggested changes are made, final designs are reviewed and rechecked with the teams before publishing, uploading or printing the designs. 

Where Can Graphic Designers Find Suitable Jobs?

  • Marketing and advertising industry: Graphic designers can work for marketing and advertising industries/agencies that handle accounts of high profile brands. They could either be assigned single or multiple brand accounts to work on where they design still or motion visuals for print, TV or online advertising. The major role of visual communicators here is to attract customers’ attention to the brands’ products or services. Their designs should add life to the message, reflect the USP of the offerings, and must drive conversions to increase the sales, revenue and profit of the brand. 
  • Publishing industry/agencies: Publishing industries produce physical copies of content, literature, information or music in bulk that could be distributed/sold to the general public. While earlier, publishing industry was restricted to producing print products such as magazines, brochures, journals, directories and books, technological advancement has now allowed the industry to venture into e-books, online magazines and other digital content production as well. Graphic designers handle essential responsibilities in the publishing industry such as choosing art forms, pictures, typography, creating layouts for a whole magazine or book, creating covers, supplying artwork, arranging photoshoots, editing pictures and working with photographers and illustrators. 
  • Corporate branding and consultation agencies: Logos, colour palettes, typography, website design and mobile apps of even the most modern organisations can become dull and boring over time and require constant improvement and updating. Graphic designers can work with agencies that provide corporate branding and consultation services to various clients to help them keep their brand’s visual identity updated as per the modern industry norms. Designers here inform and educate the brands about new changes in the design field, and assist them in refreshing their logos, following current trends to attract new customers, polishing the story behind the brand and ensuring sustained growth. 
  • Packaging and manufacturing industry: Packaging and manufacturing go hand-in-hand where skilled graphic designers are required to work closely with engineers, content developers, manufacturers and marketing professionals for designing unique and attractive product packages. The packages they design must have essential details such as brand name and logo, product category or type, variant, functional benefit, instructions to use, size, weight, manufacturing and expiry date, and other content details that could encourage customers to buy the product. Graphic designers work on the look and feel of different kinds of packaging such as molded packaging, replica model packaging, protective packaging and transparent packaging. 

Who Can Do Graphic Designing? 

Graphic designing is an intricate responsibility and requires essential technical and non-technical skillset based on the type of designing you wish to do. To build a career as a graphic designer, one prerequisite is that you must have experience in working on Adobe Photoshop. Some organisations also demand working knowledge of Illustrator and InDesign, so you might also have to learn these to get senior-level roles. For graphic designing, you must have some knowledge of design elements and principles of design, and keep yourself updated with the latest technological developments and trends in the design industry. Having an idea of trending art movements, competitors’ design strategies, customer preferences, new colour palettes, marketing and advertising strategies, changes in UI/UX designs, etc. is essential to land lucrative job opportunities. 

As a design combines multiple elements for the purpose of creating awareness, informing, educating branding, marketing, advertising and fulfilling social responsibility, designers have to communicate and work closely with different departments. Thus, they must hone essential soft skills required to work with cross-team members such as ideation (creating mood boards, drafts, etc.), creativity, communication, strategising, time management and problem-solving.  

How Can You Learn Graphic Design? 

Graphic design can be learned through beginner-friendly, affordable, up-to-date and practical knowledge-driven online trainings. Other than instructor-led video tutorials, online trainings feature placement assistance for finding lucrative internship/job opportunities, doubt clearing Q&A forum, certification of training and downloadable training content to assist you professionally. 

After enrolling in a credible online graphic design training, you can build technical and non-technical skills required to design stunning graphics using Adobe Photoshop. You will be given training videos that are divided into multiple modules to learn different concepts like creative process and history of graphics, composition theory, image concepts and graphic design tools, Photoshop- interface and tools, workflow and photo correction in Photoshop, effects and techniques in Photoshop, and beauty techniques in Photoshop.

The training also includes quizzes, assignments, modules tests and a final test that allows you to implement your learning, practice and strengthen your practical knowledge of the subject. 

Courtesy: Internshala Trainings — an online training platform

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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