Sunday, March 6, 2011

Considering a bachelor inf graphic design?

By Espen Ostby

Graphic Design combines the conception of visual materials, text placing and images to communicate ideas and thoughts. Graphic design is problem solving, you have to work creatively to meet your client's brief. This is a quite a specialized course that offer you understanding, knowledge and skills needed for communicating information, editorial, typographic areas in graphic design to its market. The aim is to develop you as an communicative designer able to succeed in various visual medias.

There are different programs that you might consider; Bachelor of Graphic Design and Bachelor of Visual Communication. The difference between these two is basically that Visual communication combine illustration with the graphic design. This may fit students who would like to combine their artistic skills, whether that would be painting or drawing. A school like Ravensbourne in London has changed their bachelors from visual communication to bachelor of graphic design simply because they have changed their focus from the artistic pathway to a more industrial focus in their change to do more digital design than fine art.

The most common topics in a bachelor would be: ideas generation; typography; diagrams; layout and grid systems; logos, symbols and branding. An introduction to web design and in some moving image or motion graphics could also be included in the program; however if this is your main interest I would strongly recommend a specialized bachelor in this field.

Throughout the time as a student you will also be expected to develop your business skills and learn how to plan, form and communicate the message to clients, good programs will offer work placement opportunities and cross discipline cooperation with colleagues. In the end you will have a professional portfolio, confidence across a wide range of skills, and the skill to design in a creative and contemporary way that considers social, environmental and commercial factors. A bachelor og graphic design is a very practical education and it is very important that you work hard throughout the period of the 3 or 4 years as a student. Many institutions offer internships and hands on work for companies during the period as a student, which is a fantastic opportunity to get professional work in you portfolio. You will be continually valuated through presentations of written and project work. Assessment in the last year is through a dissertation and portfolio. Remember in the end it is this portfolio you will show to when you start applying for a job.

Becoming a Graphic designer will give you quite a lot of opportunities. More or less every company needs to have a visual profile these days. Big companies usually have a in house designer, while small companies use agencies or freelancers. Printers have their own designers, newspapers and magazines needs designers - so your possibilities are many.

If you have some experience from high school or have a portfolio I would strongly recommend you to choose I school which does portfolio assessments in their admission process. This ensures a higher level amongst your co-students and in the teaching. If you do not have a portfolio take a shorter course that focus on building a portfolio or a foundation year before you apply to a better school.

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