the power of TV
Graphic designing as an career
Monday, 01 Sep 2008
Sheetal Patel - Televisionpoint.com | Mumbai
Graphic designing add zing to a movie living you feeling entranced, compelled and maybe even a tad dizzy, such is the magic of graphic designing.

The scenes of thousands of machine sentinels attacking the human city of Zion were mesmerising. The climactic duel between Neo and Smith in the pouring rain in the streets of Matrix was breathtaking and beautifully executed. The Matrix movie garnered a cult like status around the world.

Millions of fans debated as to its plot's true purport and what message it held in the real world. Its tech savvy directors managed to induce mass hysteria in millions of people both old and young- as they laughed all the way to the bank. Much of the trilogy's magic on screen was possible due to the genius of some highly gifted motion graphic designers who toiled away at their computers for months on end, creating magic on screen for us to watch.

The term graphic design was first coined by William Addison Dwiggins, an American book designer in the early 20th century. In the last ten years, Internet growth has exploded from 50 million users in 1997 to more than 1 billion in 2006 and usage, web sites and e-commerce sales are all expected to continue to increase! Not surprisingly, there is a critical need for people with the graphic talent and technical capabilities to design and develop effective web graphics.

This art form influences the most dominant of our five senses - our visual sense. A good graphic designer uses this knowledge to weave a composition which can leave us reeling; so intense is the connection we experience. Do you recall the Harry Potter books? One look at the illustration on the jacket and you experience an urge to dive in and trot alongside Harry and his cronies on their magical shenanigans.

These professionals execute the overall layout, and production design of magazines, newspapers, book covers and corporate reports. They also produce promotional displays, sales brochures for products and services, and design unique logos for products and businesses. The internet is also a powerful tool used by advertisers to influence consumer opinions and tastes, and it calls for the creative inputs of a savvy graphic designer.

Let's take a look at how a typical job profile in this profession would look. The first step in developing a new graphic design is to determine the needs of the client, the message the design should convey and what feelings it must induce in a customer. A Graphic designer prepares layouts either by hand or using computer software to illustrate his vision.

The designer then selects colours, sound, art, photography, animation, style of type, and other visual elements for the design. An initial design might undergo several revisions as per a clients critique and inputs, and the final product is usually the result of much slogging and creative brainstorming.

This field is coming of age in India. Sujata Keshavan, the graphic designer based in Bangalore has been honored twice as the Graphic Designer of the Year and is the recipient of the prestigious Eastern Press Award and the Schink Collingwood Prize. She says "To be a complete designer, one has to blend common sense with aesthetics and look across industries."

In our vibrant economy, with many international and local players vying for consumer attention, good design can make a world of difference in capturing buyer imagination. The India consumer today, is extremely discerning, and cares as much about good design as his parents did about function.

To excel you need, oodles of creativity, an open attitude to new ideas and challenges, clarity in communicating both verbally and in writing, a willingness to master new software tools and techniques, and above all handle criticism well. After all, remember, art is subjective and open to interpretation.

The field is teeming with openings in the worlds of advertising, publishing, events and promotions, television and the movies. Many private graphic design and multimedia companies hire trainees who go on to become permanent employees after showcasing their talent.

Although there may be some that make it to the industry just by talent alone, most, if not all of us need some sort of certificate or degree to land a job as a graphic designer. Getting a degree or certificate doesn't reflect your talent, but it does show that you have a good firm base of knowledge and you take the industry seriously.

So what are your training options? The best entry into this profession would be, via, a Bachelors in Commercial Art or a Masters or Diploma in Graphic Design and Multimedia. A typical curriculum includes studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and Web site design.

If you have a Bachelor's in liberal arts, writing, psychology, sociology, languages or marketing, fear not. Top this up with a Diploma in Graphic Design to allow you a smooth segue into this industry. And voila! Doodle away to glory.
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