Sandstorm Student Center

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I was wondering how much drawing is involved in graphic design?

I think I will ease your mind and tell you that not all graphic designers can draw. Being able to draw may help from time to time, but it's not necessary to becoming a talented and successful designer. Understanding composition, color theory, typography, and the power of a line is what makes the difference.

Artists tend to gravitate towards graphic design because it's a possible career avenue that utilizes creativity. It's also possible that some of the very talented students (that can draw) may become illustrators in addition to designers.

So fear not -- you don't HAVE to be able to draw, it just might be helpful from time to time. And congrats on your decision to pursue graphic design!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

What is a typical day like for a graphic or web designer?

First thing every morning is to check email ( I think that is the norm for most office-type jobs nowadays) to see if there is anything pressing that needs to get done immediately. For example, a web site page not working, a proof from the printer that needs to be signed off before going to press, a last minute conference call in 20 minutes, etc.

After "putting out fires" I create my TO DO list. My TO DO list is probably the most important thing I do each day. I easily will have 5-6 projects going at once, and none of them are related. I may be waiting for content for an ad, or need to finish up reviewing web design concepts, or trouble shoot some html. The challenge is switching from project to project and getting reacquainted each time with the design and what needs to be completed.

I take a good look at my deadlines to create my TO DO list. Those with the shortest deadlines are supposed to come first... but sometimes I can't help it when my creative self is pulling me towards a different project. It's a game of balance. I have to make my deadlines. That's business, and that's how I keep my job and my clients. I can't call in sick and expect the deadline to be excused.

Each day is different. And at the end of each day I somehow can't figure out where the day went. I mean to get so much more work done. And that is when I work late. I often work late. In the design world, it really is feast or famine. You are swamped, then bored.

A "typical" day is a mix of deadlines, diet coke, and consistently pursuing the best creative solution for every type of project, every day. It's fast-paced, and stressful, and wonderful.

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