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Forums > Social Discussion > Any Graphic Designers amoung us .......

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A Meerkat that eats chicken
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 27th May 2002
Total posts: 194
At the moment i am studying Graphic design i finish my course in june/july, I am not very confindent at using packages like ILLUSTRATOR , FLASH ,DREAMWEAVER of course i will be looking for a job soon as well.

In your experience do you generally learn as you go along in a job anyway ?

Did anyone feel the same when they came out of higher education and look back and wonder what you were worrying about?

Is it mostly a creative innovative mind and a good portfolio they are trying to employ ?

Any information about the design world and employment would be of great help to me and will calm my nerves a bit. THANKYOU

smile smile smile


Member Since: 23rd Mar 2004
Total posts: 4
Posted:Don't panic! At uni you get bogged down with learning things to pass the course, try to remember why you were there in the first place and why you wanted to do what you are doing (difficult sometimes i know) because this is what really shows through in your personality. I went to uni to escape from a dead-end job and left last year. I am doing a masters, but then i am a scientist and cannot give you direct help with the graphics industry.

However, my boyfriend and most of my close friends did a computer animation degree(which is kinda in the same vein as you) and they have found that people in their industry are looking for creative POTENTIAL not expertise on loads of computer programs. People have done drawing tests, animation tests and spacial awareness type things at interviews, but never computer skills.

My advice would be when you go to interviews don't pretend you know everything about the programs (they will know you are lying and will catch you out as they know loads) but show that you have a determination to learn the program if necessary and if you get the job, learn the relavent program ASAP.

Anyway, I have rambled enough, that is just my second hand experiences of the graphics industry make of it what you will and Good Luck!

It's better to die with purpose than to have lived a mediocre life!

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:most important thing in graffix i reckon is the signoff.
if a client has agreed and signed off on a creative/look&feel, and has decided they want something else/something more, charge em for it. don't work for free!
also, in general, if it isn't written down, it does not exist. contesting agreements is a total pain.
And a hefty portfolio never hurts.
Employers often know that if someone is unemployed, they're usually unemployed for a reason! peace
good luck mate!

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay
Member Since: 29th May 2003
Total posts: 1107
Posted:Let's see if this works WITHOUT it crashing out on me right before I hit the "post" button this time.

Anything vaguely arty/design based is a pig to get into.

First stop, ask your teachers whether any of last year's graduates got into design straight away and
who it was who actually employed them, then have a poke around on the web and see who is hiring
and what qualifications they actually ask for.

It isn't enough to say "I can learn, please give me a chance." They actually want to see for themselves
what you can do.

To this end you need to build a portfolio that has something that all your contemporaries who will be
going for the same jobs don't have.

Start pimping yourself around, try fanzines. You won't get paid but you'll get good experience working
to a brief and a deadline. Get your mates to give you briefs for an imaginary advertising campaign or
something similar and see if you can convince them with your work. See if you can get a couple of
weeks work shadowing, it all adds up.

The ads from the back of my paper run adverts from small printing presses after graphic designers,
invariably they ask for people with skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark. If you have a weakness
now is the time to work on it.

And make sure your portfolio is actually presentable. I have seen people try and get comic-book work
by plopping a screwed up bit of butcher's paper with a doodle on it infront of an editor. It may have
worked for Michaelangelo but it cuts no slack now.

There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.


Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:Since you're still in school, you have a lot of time to prepare to enter the job market. Here's a coupla thoughts:

Yes, you WILL learn more as you go, no matter how many tutorials you read or classes you take. Graphics programs are in a constant state of evolution. If you're smart, you'll never stop learning. When I entered the field I knew practically zilch, I was doing paste-up layout for a newspaper. Within a year I was managing the Prodcution Dept., dealing with electronic pagination, raster imaging equipment, and state-of-the-art graphics database managing systems. This may sound impressive, but it's nothing compared to, say, trying to spin poi. rolleyes

Look at all aspects of graphic design and know what you want to do when you escape sollege. If you want to go into print advertising, programs like Illustrator and Quark are industry standards. If you want to work in broadcast or internet, then animation should be your focus. (By the way, if you don't already, learn to love Macs...) Start putting out feelers for the type of job you'll want when you graduate, not only will you see whats available, but a lot of places offer internships, which may count towards your graduation.

Expect to have your skills tested in an interview. The last interview I went on, after all the paperwork and formalities were done with, they sat me in front of a terminal and told me to "trap the first two layers, and then vectorize and export the document." Luckily I could, but don't think they won't test ya. Innovation and creativity is paramount, but they're also looking for speed and attention to detail.

Start building a portfolio now. Have an example of everything you've done since Kindergarten. Have stills, sketches, prints, lithographs, even the Mother's Day card you drew in crayon when you were 4.

A note on resumes, Grahic Design is one of the FEW industries where a fancy resume will be appreciated rather than thrown out. Add a letterhead, maybe some abstract background art, experiment with fonts (be sure it's readable), a little extra effort will get you noticed.

Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.


A Meerkat that eats chicken
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 27th May 2002
Total posts: 194
Thanks for the feedback . smile extremly helpful

I actually already have recived an equivelent to a-level qualification in graphic design and in two months finish my BA hons degree in Graphics but as was previosly said you get so caught up in trying to get work done you forget how much you really need to learn. confused

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