Should I choose design as a career

Professional profile: media designer / graphic designer

Design courses such as graphic design, communication design or media design are strongly represented in the media sector. For creative minds who enjoy developing ideas and implementing them, the courses can be just the thing. But which professions are actually open to you after graduation? In which companies, in which industries and professional fields can you work? And what about the job prospects? We have prepared a comprehensive report.

With a Design studies do you decide at the beginning of your studies in which direction your professional career should go? But whether you are aCommunication design studies or. Graphic design degree graduate or do Media design studying, can (but does not have to) make a difference in your career choice. If you have preferences, for example prefer to work in the print area, you should find out more about the courses and the curriculum of the universities before starting your studies.

Professional profile media designer
or.
Graphic designer

Professions after studying design

The professional fields for graduates of the media, graphic and communication design courses are often very similar, sometimes even congruent, but there are also differences. In short: graphic and communication design is more geared towards the design of products such as brochures, packaging or exhibition stands, while media design, on the other hand, is primarily aimed at the digital area, e.g. B. app design or video editing. So you can say that graphic design is more fixated on immovable things (flyers, posters, etc.), while media design is more focused on moving things (video trailers, smartphone apps).

However, these areas are very often combined in modern courses. what does that mean to you? That you should definitely look at the curricula of as many universities and technical colleges as possible before starting your studies. So there are z. For example, at some universities the opportunity to choose subjects from another course such as media technology or business administration. Of course it can in the combination completely different potential occupational fields bring forth.

Conclusion: Different universities offer different specializations and thus different preparations for professional life. It is therefore important to look at the Examine and compare content carefully.

Professions for graphic designer / communication designer

The professional home of graphic designers and communication designers is originally in areas such as print, corporate design, book and poster design, photography and packaging design.

  • Agencies

    There are job opportunities for graphic and communication designers at various agencies, from advertising to event agencies. The tasks are very multifaceted and often you take on not just one part, but several tasks. For example as:

    Screen Designer: Bringing design and function into harmony in an intelligent way - this is how the task of screen designers can be paraphrased. Screen designers create layouts for monitors, from presentations and websites to modern app design for mobile devices. You plan and produce interactive multimedia content such as computer games.

    Corporate Designer: From company brochures to shop, trade fair and exhibition design, a corporate designer creates all the materials for a company. The challenge is to create modern and distinctive designs that adhere to the company's existing guidelines. As a corporate designer, you are in close contact with colleagues from corporate strategy, brand management and production design.

    Art Director: The Art Director (m / f) works in the creative team with other colleagues and develops ideas and creative concepts for a wide range of projects. As an art director you have several years of professional experience and have already successfully carried out challenging projects. A graphic design or communication design degree can be a prerequisite for the profession.

    Project manager: An example: Depending on the size, the launch of a new website for a company can take several months. There are many steps from considering the menu structure to designing the layout, programming and inserting the content. A project manager oversees this entire process, maintains contact with the customer and clarifies questions and develops ongoing improvements.

    Career prospects: In principle, the job market for graphic and communication designers is rather saturated. In economically difficult times, agencies save on staff due to shrinking budgets and if, for example, fewer flyers and advertising brochures are printed, fewer designers are needed to design them. On the other hand, new developments such as smartphone apps or the ever-changing requirements for web and screen design offer positive career prospects.

    If you look around in forums of communication and graphic designers, you will often find an answer like this: "Do you have talent and are well educated, do you have a job and a future - if not, then probably not."

  • Magazines & publishers

    Thousands of different magazines and newspapers are produced in Germany every month. There are also books and eBooks that have to be designed. In this area there are jobs for graphic designers and communication designers at magazines and publishers, e.g. B. as:

    Layouter: To convey the content of an article also through the pictures - that is the goal of a layout artist. As the name suggests, layouters deal with the layout, i.e. the design of a product. It goes z. B. the design of the pages, good reader guidance, the weighting of content statements or the rhythm of the magazine when leafing through. Regardless of whether it is a magazine, a journalistic website or an eBook - there are career opportunities here.

    Graphic designer / editorial designer: While a layouter with the basic concept z. B. employed in a magazine, as a graphic designer you are involved in day-to-day events. Example: A new issue of a women's magazine appears every week. For this, photos of celebrities have to be searched for, retouched and arranged / placed on the page. The same applies to the fashion pages, where dozens of accessories can be found next to each other. And of course the cover of a magazine has to be designed according to certain aspects (e.g. eye guidance).

    Editor: If you have a good eye for design and can also write well, you also have the opportunity to find a lateral entry as an editor. Magazines or blogs on the subject of design are particularly suitable for this.

    Career prospects: The not so good news: The circulation of newspapers and magazines has been falling for years. In the future, there will very likely be far fewer “paper” products printed than they are today. This trend ensures cost-cutting measures for publishers and thus fewer vacancies. The good news: If a magazine is no longer on paper, but digitally prepared for iPad & Co, you still need graphic designers who do the layout and set the individual pages. So there will always be professions and corresponding career opportunities.

    Insights:Interview with a graphic designer

  • Self-employment / freelancing

    Another option after studying graphic design or communication design is self-employment. If you want to be your own boss, this is the right place for you. But: Anyone who wants to be successful and earn at least as well as an employee must be good. Creativity and reliability are among the top requirements for independent graphic and communication designers. The course can provide a good foundation because some universities also teach business subjects. Because, of course, accounting and writing offers are also part of self-employment.

    It is also important to be able to approach people and maintain a large network. Because most orders are awarded through recommendations. This means that you have to draw attention to yourself and your work among friends and on other occasions and then (of course) do a good job. Then the recommendations come as a logical consequence.

    Career prospects: The competition is fierce and it is not always easy to get your foot in the door. Because many lateral entrants are also trying to attract customers with rock-bottom prices, this area is a tough one.

    Conclusion: Anyone who wants to be successful as a freelance designer needs a lot of stamina and should be flexible, strong in communication and sociable.

    Insights:Interview with a freelance communication designer

  • More options

    In addition to the professions listed above, there are also various other fields of application after studying graphic design or communication design. During our research, for example, we found jobs like this:

    Online designer: An internet bank is looking for an online designer who has programming skills and who deals with quality and user tests. The tasks include the analysis of user behavior based on qualitative data, the transformation of prototypes into CI-compliant visual design, the visualization and implementation of graphic languages ​​and visual styles as well as the maintenance and further development of the style guide.

    Game Artist: A company that develops and operates online games is looking for an employee with a degree in graphic or communication design who adapts the existing games for iOS and Android in close cooperation with the mobile team and takes on the design of graphics and animations for mobile games. In addition, user interfaces (e.g. menus, buttons, dialog windows) must be created and a graphical vision for new games developed.

    Industrial designer: As an industrial designer, you develop designs for new products or redesigns for existing products. The spectrum actually includes every object that is produced. From flower vases to cars. Tasks are, for example, the independent development, communication and implementation of creative product ideas as well as the elaboration of the concepts in 3D surface models. In addition, there is the safeguarding of the feasibility requirements.

    Many more options: If you want to find even more potential jobs for communication or graphic designers, just google them or take a look at online job exchanges. In this way you can find many interesting job postings and get an idea of ​​which areas are particularly in demand. Perhaps that can also give you advice on choosing a focus of your studies.

Professions for media designers

The above-mentioned professions are not only possible after studying graphic design or communication design, but are often also open to media designers. In addition, there are job opportunities here, for example:

  • Agencies & Studios

    For media designers, there are a variety of jobs, especially in agencies, such as advertising or communication agencies, or design studios. These can include, for example:

    Motion Designer: Motion design is the audio-visual design of moving images through typography and graphic design. It is used, for example, in film opening credits, trailers or advertising. As a motion designer, you develop a storyboard for the animation to be created and then implement it in 2D or 3D.

    Web designer / front-end developer: Since media designers not only deal with the design but also with the programming of websites during their studies, this is another professional field. As a web designer, you develop (interactive) designs and concepts for Internet portals and mobile websites. In addition, one takes care of the programming of dynamic and static pages as well as the maintenance and further development of websites and CM systems.

    3D compositor: As a 3D compositor, you can also work with moving images. As a media designer in this area, for example, you create ready-to-broadcast advertising clips with the help of specialized compositing software and are responsible for CGI compositing, effects and color grading.

    User Experience Designer: This area is also known as UI (User Interface) / UX (User Experience) Design. It's about making websites, apps, games and software as easy to use as possible. In the area of ​​user interfaces, media designers are responsible for creating eye-catching and self-explanatory buttons and user interfaces. The user experience is also about the question of how users move, e.g. via a website or through the smartphone menu. It is important to improve all points where a user no longer immediately knows what to click / do and thus create a positive experience.

    Career prospects: Media designers are at home in the digital world. As you can see from the examples above, there are a wide variety of occupational fields in a wide variety of industries. As a career after studying media design, there are therefore many options open and the career prospects are to be assessed as positive. There are many fields of application, especially for those who focus less on “static” design and more on programming, moving images and the Internet.

  • Companies

    Not only in agencies that work on behalf of companies, but of course also directly at the companies, there are different professions after the media design degree. We have selected examples:

    All-rounder: Small to medium-sized companies in particular are often looking for an all-rounder who can take on all tasks, from designing flyers and brochures to the layout of the company website and designing the exhibition stand. Here are career opportunities for media designers, but also graphic and communication designers.

    Screen designer: Here there is an interface to motion design, because screen design means harmonizing design and function in an intelligent way. Screen designers create layouts for monitors, from presentations and websites to modern app design for mobile devices. You plan and produce interactive multimedia content such as computer games.

    Marketing & Communication: You don't necessarily have to create and design. As a media designer with additional business skills, you can also take on marketing and communication tasks in a company. Here you plan advertising campaigns, e.g. book online advertising banners (which you can design yourself) and ensure that the marketing budget is used optimally.

    Career prospects: Most job offers can be found for design all-rounders. So if you are not only familiar with moving images, but also with the design of flyers and logos, you will have a good chance here after studying media design.

  • Self-employment / freelancing

    After studying media design, you of course also have the opportunity to become self-employed. Either you set up your own company that offers services from the spectrum of media design (e.g. an agency for interaction design and moving image design) or you work as a freelancer for companies and agencies.

    The advantage of independence or freelancing is the flexibility and the different tasks. Anyone who has also specialized in an area that is in high demand (e.g. in the area of ​​mobile / smartphone / tablets) will also be paid sensibly. It is important that when you start your own business, it is best to have a few customers from a secondary business that accompanies your studies or work and, above all, as many contacts as possible. Most designers get their jobs through word of mouth and "vitamin B". So you shouldn't be shy here and it is worth going to networking events.

    Nevertheless, you should know that you will not get rich with self-employment in media design. Since, for example, media IT specialists are also vying for jobs in the field of web design or programming, you have to struggle with a lot of competition and low prices in some areas.

    Insights:Interview with a freelance media designer

Companies and industries for graphic designers / communication designers / media designers

Now we have introduced you to many different professions for media designer, graphic designer or communication designer and finally we would like to give you an overview of which companies you can actually find jobs. If you have read the previous sections, you can already imagine that the spectrum is very broad. In principle, for example, any company that wants to have graphics work done in-house can be considered as an employer. And if this company does not employ designers, it will either outsource the design of flyers or brochures to freelancers or agencies and thus also create work for designers.

Companies and industries in which designers from the above-mentioned courses can work are, for example:

  • Advertising and media agencies
  • Graphic design and creation offices
  • Web agencies
  • Marketing departments of companies
  • PR agencies with their own graphic departments
  • Media company (print and media prepress, publishers)
  • Television studios and broadcasters
  • educational institutions
  • Production companies
  • Film productions

Vacancies for designers

Take a look at our job exchange to see who is looking for designers. Job advertisements are also a great way to assess job profiles and work environments.

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