So you want to be a designer?

So you want to be a designer blog title.

So you want to be a designer?

So your son or daughter wants to be a graphic designer and it’s got you wondering what do designers actually do?

At tgm
Here at tgm our six graphic designers work flat tack creating designs to meet client briefs – this can be anything from creating a new logo for a brand through to designing websites, print, signage, packaging, promotional products … basically anything you can put a logo or design on. And you’d be surprised what you can put a logo on these days – our printers can even print on wood!

Where does it start?
Our designers all have varied backgrounds, which is perhaps why we are so good at meeting the diverse needs of our clients, but they all have one thing in common, a very creative eye and the ability to spot the latest trends! Many of the team are WITT graduates too.  Cleverly (we think), we’ve sponsored WITT’s design and web awards so we get to meet the next generation of designers coming through each year.

What’s involved with being a designer
It all starts with the client brief. This can be written or verbal and is essentially an instruction list of what needs to be done combined with a wish list of preferred colours, fonts, previous work they like and imagery. We always ask who is this for? Why do you need it? And what problem is this going to solve for your customer or client? Then the designers hit their computers and using software like Photoshop and Indesign they interpret the client brief and turn it into a proof for the client to view and give some feedback on. Then it’s back to the computer to tweak the design until the client is 100% satisfied.

Is there variety?
The clients bring the variety – both with what they sell or the service they offer and what they need designed. There are so many different design mediums (think signage, cars, print, web, promotional products … the list is long) so no day is the same for a designer.

What makes a good designer
In addition to the obvious skills of having a creative eye, attention to detail and being able to translate concepts and ideas into something practical, designers also need to have great communication and organisational skills and the ability to relate to people from all walks of life. In the tgm office you may be designing beauty product packaging in the morning , then meeting with an engineer wanting help with new signage in the afternoon and in between liaising with suppliers on quotes and timeframes.

Where can you go with design?
While graphic design never makes the top 20 most in demand jobs, related fields like content creation, bloggers, web developers and social media managers are growing and many marketers and brand managers have a design background. It’s a versatile qualification and very flexible. Over the 30 years tgm has been in business we have had many part time designers squeeze work around family or other commitments. We’re lucky at tgm to have a stable team – some of our designers have been with us for 10+ years. We think the mixture of experience and youth provides a great energy in our office and results in some pretty creative outcomes.

So if your son or daughter has an eye for design along with great people and communication skills make sure they have design on their list of careers to check out. We’re always happy to have a chat with people who are considering a career in design – it’s better to make decisions based on some decent research than blindly sign up for study and change your mind!