Digital Design Career | Schools & Colleges | Graphic Design Basics.com

Digital Design Degree Outlook

Digital design is a broad brush that covers any design field that works with computers and digital image software. This work can include Web design, digital illustration, advertising artwork, and/or print design. Currently, almost all design is created by computer software programs, so your role as a digital designer can encompass a wide field.

For the most part, however, a digital designer is expected to lean either toward Web design or print design. While some designers do know how to handle both design fields, usually the designer will know more about one field than the other. Digital designers who understand the print field, for instance, will know how to design printed pieces with the stipulations required by printed materials. Designers who lean toward digital Web design, on the other hand, will understand the parameters involved with Web design materials.

Some digital designers enter digital design as self-taught professionals. However, most of these self-taught designers have worked in print shops or at advertising agencies or design shops before setting up shop as a solo designer. They understand first hand how design, illustration, or photography can make or break a print or Web job if the wrong color palette is specified or if the design was laid out incorrectly.

A two- to four-year college degree is desired by most agencies that hire digital designers. They want to know that you've studied your art on the most recently released software on new machines, and a college environment is one place to accomplish that goal. It can prove difficult financially to stay on top of the latest releases of the most popular digital or vector imaging software systems, let alone use the latest computer technology as a solo operator.

A school that offers a graphic design or visual communications degree will provide the student with the adequate digital design skills. The student who wants to enter a digital design career will benefit from learning typography, digital drawing with vector software, color theory, and layout to learn how to design posters, brochures, and more. At the same time, it would help to take drawing classes to become well acquainted with drawing skills. The digital designer often is equated with the digital artist, so it might help to have those skills under your belt.

The digital designer has an edge over most designers in going solo, especially if that designer has drawing skills that appeal to advertising agencies and print shops. Those businesses can keep a digital designer in business, much as they would use illustrators to help their clients with artwork. The advantage that digital designers might have over illustrators is that the digital designer may know more about both Web and print design to offer illustrations in both arenas.


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