The early days of the Internet were defined by crudely formatted text, underlined hyperlinks, and a very modest color palette. Before the birth of the Internet, this same dynamic was present in the movie and television industry.
Today's graphic designers and digital animators work on the cutting edge of their respective technologies. Graphic designers work with small businesses, large corporations and all levels of government and related agencies like law enforcement and the U.S. As designers gain experience, they are often given the opportunity to supervise junior designers and take a more active role in project planning. Due to its combination of technical and artistic proficiencies, there are a number of different education paths open to those looking to break into graphics design.
A Bachelor's degree is still the preferred education level for most employers when they hire new designers. A bachelor's degree program in graphic design typically takes four years of full-time attendance at an accredited college or university. Graduate studies for this job role primarily consist of the Master of Arts (MA) degree in graphic design. Graphic designer training is generally split into two categories: core competencies and software proficiencies. Here are some of the core competencies and software proficiencies students can expect to learn as part of a graphic design degree program, or will need to add to their skill set through additional classes. Software company Adobe Systems is the industry giant when it comes to graphic design software. Job prospects, according to the BLS, are expected to be especially strong for graphic designers with animation and website design experience. There are many talented individuals vying for jobs in graphic design, but those with interactive media experience and business acumen will have the best prospects, the BLS says.
Computer animators bring characters, images, logos and text to life for everything from animated feature films and live-action movies and television, to online advertisements and computer games. Senior animators may end up supervising teams of animators, or even managing an entire department.
It has taken time for schools to create dedicated degree programs in digital animation, but today these programs are available from select colleges and universities across the country. A bachelor's degree program in digital animation usually results in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. A few schools offer a master's degree graduate program in digital animation, mostly as a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Training for digital animators can be divided into two categories -- core competencies and software proficiencies. Many animation companies use a blend of "off-the-shelf" software and custom in-house software tools. Computer animators are in demand in a variety of fields, including film, television, advertising and video game design. Gaming is a fast-growing component of the industry, and investment banker Paul Heydon put the market capitalization of public gaming companies at more than $100 billion in 2010. Considering these trends, it's easy to see why the BLS predicts multimedia artists and animators will be the fastest-growing group of professional artists from 2008 to 2018.
If you've ever had a frustrating time trying to figure out how to navigate through a company's ecommerce site, or been stuck trying to use a new smartphone app that's a hot mess of confusing buttons, fields, and menus, then you already know the value of the user experience (UX) designer. Designers who also have software developer skills may find themselves employed to perform both roles in an organization. Most user interface experts enter the industry with a bachelor's degree, as this is the preferred education level for modern employers.
The majority of the bachelor's degree programs listed above take four years of full-time study at a college or university. Again, there is no training framework chiseled in stone for people who want to become user experience designers. User experience designers can benefit from having a basic working knowledge of the most popular software programming languages.
While the formal title of UX designer is not part of its database, the BLS reported that employment projections in all but one of the identified information communications technology (ICT) job categories reflect double-digit percentage increases in the years ahead. The BLS does not have a separate job category for UX designers, but the category for "graphic designers" can prove useful here, as the two job roles share many similarities. Any logos displayed on this website belong to their respective owners and the uses of such logos may not be endorsed by such owners. Graphic designers, also known as graphic artists, are employed by advertising firms, publishers, and other companies that work with visual communications. Graphic design students learn to work with illustration, photography, animation, color, type, and layout techniques. Keep in mind that graphic designers with expertise in web design and animation will have the best job prospects in coming years.


Graphic design falls under the umbrella of IT careers because it combines creativity with technology.
The graphic design education requirements for most employers typically include a bachelor’s degree in the field for entry-level positions.
As a graphic designer, you may be responsible for producing packaging, promotional displays or marketing brochures for companies. Having marketing and business knowledge is beneficial in graphic design, because it is your job to determine the needs of the client and create a design that appeals to the end user. Remember: it is difficult to find work in the graphic design field without formal training. Graphic Design Schools: Establishing the Look and Feel of Your Career A graphic designer communicates a message through visual means, including typography and images. Online Game Design Schools: Taking Your Education to the Next Level If you have a passion for video games, explore the opportunities that online game design schools offer.
Web Design Careers: Becoming a Web Designer Web design careers blend technology and creativity. Images were considered too bandwidth intensive to send through dial-up connections, and animations were pretty much non-existent.
The earliest computer animation for films began in the 1970s, but it was primitive, and exceedingly complicated and expensive to create. Modern graphic designers help create colorful products, fully immersive web sites, and mobile apps featuring dynamic content and other web-based innovations. These types of designers are most commonly found in marketing and communications departments, publishing houses and software development companies.
This career path can evolve into managing a design team or department, getting involved in the recruitment and hiring process and creating annual budgets based on top-level business or organizational goals. In this case, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in graphic design is the industry standard. An associate degree program in graphic design typically takes two years to complete, and is on average less expensive than a full bachelor's degree program.
An MA in graphic design usually takes three years of full-time studies at the graduate school of a college or university. For example, the Harvard Graduate School of Design has a Doctor of Design (DDes) degree program.
A typical bachelor's degree program in graphic design will cover a large swath of both categories.
Training on Adobe products is available from Adobe itself, and from many technical schools and extension faculties of colleges and universities. As print media gives way to interactive sources, it's expected that more and more graphic designers will be responsible for online marketing campaigns. Additionally, the most recent survey of design leaders from AIGA, the professional association for design, showed the highest confidence levels since 2005, which many in the industry believe will lead to increases in hiring. They also work with larger production teams to develop storyboards and demos, create original characters or discover new takes on classic animated stars and provide specified pieces of animation for special effects teams to use in larger creative works. Moving up into this type of role requires learning additional skills beyond those of digital animator: people management, budgeting, project management and communicating with senior leadership. These programs commonly take four years of full-time attendance at a college, university, or technical institute. An MA or MFA typically takes three years of full-time study at an appropriate graduate school. The majority of this training will be covered by a bachelor's or associate degree program in digital animation.
Even non-animated movies and television shows still rely on computer-generated imaging to create backgrounds and special effects.
A UX designer is responsible for designing, developing, and delivering a user interface (UI) that provides users of a digital product or service with the best experience possible.
These designers are particularly active in the creation of mobile apps, which continues to be a high priority for companies, organizations and government bodies. Alternatively, those who also have graphic designer skills may be called upon to create the visual elements to be implemented in a user interface -- including buttons, dialog boxes, menu screens, text fields and notifications. The skill-set involved is incredibly diverse, spanning areas such as software development and design, user research and psychology and software product testing, not to mention a large dose of business savvy and excellent communication skills. Many employers would agree that a candidate who has a college or university degree, even if it isn't directly related to a particular job, is more desirable than a candidate without a degree.
Training courses for programming languages are easily found at technical schools, as well as online self-paced courses or home-based self-study materials. Graphic design education requirements are designed to teach students how to get their messages across in print and electronic media. In addition to meeting standard graphic design requirements, students are recommended to take a variety of elective courses at graphic design schools and obtain a broad liberal arts education. Graphic designers must know how to create their own designs and layouts using specialized computer graphics and design software, such as Quark, Photoshop, and Illustrator.


An associate’s degree may qualify you for some positions, providing that you also possess technical skills and prior work experience. Graphic designers must take a variety of factors into consideration when creating designs, including the psychological, social, and cultural.
If you’re interested in pursuing an exciting and creative career in graphic design, your best bet would be to meet the minimum graphic design education requirements of a bachelor’s degree, which is likely to help open more doors. Modern digital animators add incredible special effects to movies and television shows, and help create dazzling computer games with photo realistic characters and environments.
These designers can be found in any organization that has an online presence (which is every organization these days) or has a requirement for hard copy materials, branded merchandise, or any other physical collateral. An associate degree can often help budding designers get their start in the industry in an entry-level position. However, unless an existing designer is looking to become a professor of design at a college or university, the applications for such a degree are somewhat limited. That said, it's not uncommon for new designers to need to expand their software proficiencies, as there are many different software tools used in the design industry. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects overall employment of graphic designers to continue to grow from 2008 to 2018. Increased demand for online graphic design will create jobs, though other graphic design jobs will be lost by slowdown in the print publishing industry.
Because almost all animation is done on computers today, the people in this job role are often just referred to as animators.
Many major computer entertainment studios have large in-house animation departments that create the characters and action sequences for games, some of which sell millions of copies. An associate degree program in digital animation typically takes two years to complete, making it a more affordable option for students. However, candidates may find themselves wanting to augment their degree program with additional courses or self-study options in order to strengthen their post-education resumes. The BLS states that the motion picture and video industry employed the largest number of multimedia artists and animators in 2009. UX designers must take a multidisciplinary approach, implementing interface and industrial design best practices to produce a comfortable and intuitive UI for applications, kiosk services, or web sites.
An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete, and is, generally, less expensive than a bachelor's program.
Adobe products continue to be used throughout the entire graphics and digital design industry.
Courses that are beneficial to graphic design majors include writing, sociology, psychology, business, marketing, and cultural studies. Graphic designers also need to possess strong creative, communication, and problem-solving skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for graphic designers was $42,400 in May 2008.
In addition, graphic designers layout and produce the design of magazines, corporate reports, newspapers, and journals. Additionally, graphic designers must be able to work as part of a team because they often interact with clients and creative directors.
Increased demand from advertising and computer design firms will contribute to this growth.
Movie and television studios directly employ or contract dozens of animators to create feature films and weekly cartoon series, or to help with the production of special effects. Artists and animators in California tend to earn more than those in other states; after California, New York and Washington are the states with the most multimedia artists and animators. They help property owners create user-friendly map and information kiosks for shopping malls and professional buildings. Candidates can earn the Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) certification on a number of different products, including InDesign, Photoshop and Acrobat. On a given day, a designer might have a "meet-and-greet" with a new client, contract a photographer to produce a specific image, design the layout of a Web page and make requested changes to a corporation's annual report. Marketing companies use animators to create entertaining commercials for television and the Internet. They also help create the onscreen interface that appears on touch-based devices and consoles used in hospitals and factories, or found in vehicles, planes, spacecraft and home appliances. Many of the new jobs that will become available in graphic design will be associated with interactive media, so web design skills will be considered a huge asset in the field.



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