Advertising, graphic design… two things I have always wanted to be apart of, since I love visual arts. Because of this, I decided I would interview my graphic design teacher, Sarah George, to help me understand a little more what work will be like in graphic design as a major and what it is like to live an average day in the life of a graphic designer. I recently began my graphic design classes this semester, in my sophomore year, hoping to further my understanding of graphic design. Sarah is my first graphic design teacher and she has been 100% helpful to me and my recent understanding of graphic design and any of my accomplishments.
This interview was aimed to ask questions that would not only help me in my future endeavors as a graphic designer, but also to help people understand what graphic design entails, which is typically much more than what people usually thing graphic design is simply based off of.
I interviewed Sarah on 10/1/14 at 3:02 p.m. at Indiana University.
1. What do you think the outcomes for graphic design majors are becoming as technology advances…Job openings?
A. Uhm, what we focus on in Richmond is training people in web design with a concentration in web design and user experience. There’s also a large field for marketing so that would be more in like 2D graphics. There’s also a field in construction documents, which is what my background is in and doing building information modeling, and constructions graphics for designing and building.
2. Do you believe that graphic design will become a more popular career in the near future because of all of the technological advancement?
A. Yes, if you look around and see everybody is on their phones. Everywhere you turn you have… gosh, web design. Yeah, absolutely.
3. Do you believe that if graphic design becomes more of a demand, will there be a possible likeliness that it will be harder to receive a job in this field of work?
A. Uhm, well, uh… re-say that… Oh, because it becomes competitive? No, I don’t think so, there are so many small companies even now that don’t have websites, they don’t have marketing strategies. There are so many companies across the nation that need a boost and need help. And there so many advancements within large organizations, like Apple. I don’t think so. Because I think as many people that are being trained there are that many companies hiring, more and more and more.
4. Would you encourage others to pursue graphic design to be their major if they are considering it?
A. Yes, and I think it’s a wonderful way to be creative, problem solve, and have a technical background. You can make good money at it, but you can also be creative.
5. What do you think graphic design majors have in store within the next 10 years or, what do you think their job description will entail?
A. Oh, that’s a tough one… It’s hard to say because we’ve come a long way in ten years. I don’t know what the next ten years will bring.
Interviewer: Very open ended question
A. Yeah it is. It’s going to be there, I do know that.
Interviewer: It’s just going to be advanced?
A. I don’t even know if, when I started twenty years ago in graphic design, those programs are obsolete now, and I learn new programs every year to stay up-to-par with what is out there so I have to stay up-to-par to teach students how to get a job. So I don’t know how to answer that.
6. In your experience with graphic design, do you believe it was a good career choice? Money, being happy with your job, etc…
A. Absolutely. I started out as an undergrad for fine arts, and quickly realized that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. So, picking up the graphics skills helped me land a good job. And, I made really good money as a graduate, but I wanted to further my education. So, going into architecture helped me move in that direction. I don’t know if that was a good answer.
7. With someone who is taking graphic design as a major, what would you suggest their minor be to help them with their future career?
A. Hmm, that’s a good one, business. I think anyone with a business background has a golden key to do a lot of things. It structures them in a general sense. Uhm, possibly fine arts, just to give an edge on the creativity. If you’re really into the technology side of things, a CNIT major would be great if you want to go into programming like video game design or animation, advanced animation. Those would be my top three choices.
Interviewer: Out of those three choices which one would you recommend the highest to take?
A. Depends on where you’re getting your degree from, if the CGT program, computer graphics program, has a lot of CNIT options that you could take in electives, I’d almost go a minor in business.
Interviewer: That’s interesting, I wouldn’t have thought of business for graphic design, I would have thought maybe fine arts, or something like that.
A. I think you learn to be creative and you learn all the technology you need to be successful as a computer graphic designer. I think a lot of people end up going into freelance, and then they don’t have a knack for how to run a smart business.
8. Is it beneficial to move to a bigger city when applying graphic design to job opportunities?
A. Uhm, possibly, I would think. Graphic design is so… there are so many things within it, I don’t think people even know what it means.
Interviewer: Yeah, because there are so many opportunities.
A. There are, if you’re into building, information modeling like I was, in a bigger city there are more opportunities. If you’re into 2D graphic design and marketing, there are a lot of opportunities in small towns.
Interviewer: Like advertising?
9. In the world of graphic design, what overall is your favorite aspect of what it has to offer? The people you work with, the job itself, designing projects, etc…
A. I love the camaraderie of design, being in a design-firm, working with clients, and getting a creative outlet. And I love the problem solving and coming up with a solution to what they need in a creative visual way.
10. What would be your most used tool when designing things for customers – are there specific ways you come up with your ideas?
A. Typically the way I work with clients is I sketch out three basic ideas based on the program that they give me. So if I do freelance work its typically in architecture, which is very parallel to graphic design, which is another creative outlet. I get three ideas based on what they want and then I meet with them and come up with one solution based on those three ideas. And then I use an application, I put that final idea in the computer.
11. Lastly, would there be any tips when studying graphic design that you could give anyone who is wishing study it in college and possibly pursue it as a career?
A. You get what you give. It’s something that you can learn, and then do nothing during lab time, or do just enough to get a C or a B. But if you really put your heart into it and put the time in, and you have to research and feel comfortable problem solving and trouble shooting on your own… I would say commitment to time, practice, and problem solving.
Interviewer: So overall hard work and just focusing on your projects.
A. Yeah, yep.
Interviewer: Thank you
A. You’re welcome