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‘Being versatile is crucial’

Graphic designers are in great demand now with opportunities across sectors. Here’s a quick overview of what a career in graphic design entails

education Updated: Apr 23, 2014 11:38 IST
Harini Sriram

A career in graphic designing can be creatively rewarding and exciting. It calls for a strong background in the art of illustration and the ability to convey a complex message in a simple format. One must also be adaptable to various mediums and platforms – manual drawing, working on design softwares, etc.

“The demand for graphic designers is high now,” says Deelip Khomane, a senior graphic designer who is working with Oglivy & Mathers in Mumbai, “Given the number of designers graduating every year, one must learn to differentiate one’s work by building a strong portfolio. Being versatile is crucial in this field. These days, apart from the big firms, a lot of small design studios have cropped up across cities offering young designers plenty of opportunities.”

Although the salary is quite less in the first few years, you can gradually earn more once you have a decent body of work to showcase. Khomane adds, “Starting salaries for fresh graduates are in the range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 a month, but it can go up to Rs. 1 lakh or more after one gains some experience.” Graphic designers also have plenty of opportunities in fields such as advertising, product design, logo design, newspapers and portals, to name a few. Freelancing is also an option for aspiring designers.

B Anitha, a graphic designer who works for a Chandigarh-based design studio, points out, “Firstly, one must get rid of the clichéd notion that once you start working for a big firm, your career is made. It is not always true. I would suggest that design graduates work with smaller studios that lay a lot of emphasis on creative independence and experimental work. For instance, brands like Chumbak, Happily Unmarried, etc, have some really spunky original designs and they rely on creative designers.” She also advises young designers to present their ideas assertively, while keeping the client requirements in mind. “Although client satisfaction is key in this role, you need not always compromise on your creative freedom. Don’t be scared to put forth your ideas and suggestions,” she says. One must also stay updated on current international design trends.

Between the lines
Graphic designers must be comfortable in working with multiple platforms, and designing for a variety of products

Rs. I take home
Rs. 10,000- Rs. 1 lakh per month

I love my job because...
Fulfilment of creative urges. Every day brings with it a new set of challenges and it is exciting to work with different clients

Expert gyan
Graphic designers are in great demand. Apart from academic qualifications, one should also have strong people skills, build his/her own network and create a good body of commercial work. Salaries may not be great initially, but will get better as you grow