Ah, December. That time of year when one naturally reflects on the past 12 months and starts to consider new year resolutions – the things we hope to accomplish when we launch ourselves back into the routine after the festive break.
Many people who approach Shillington this month are considering their next career move. They’re usually feeling a bit stuck and keen to try something more creative. If you’re the same and you’ve always dreamed of becoming a graphic designer, why not make 2017 the year you finally take the plunge? Doesn’t matter how old you are, or indeed what skills and experience you have – you can always change paths.
But before you do anything else, consider the following 10 great reasons to become a graphic designer in 2017, and see whether you should take the leap.
1. Learning will be a daily thing
When you’re a graphic designer, your work will never stop evolving or improving. There will always be new challenges to overcome. New problems to solve. It’s a never-ending whirlwind of discovery and invention. You’ll make mistakes. We all do.
If you’re still not convinced, take inspiration from Paula Scher who eloquently once said: “It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.”
2. Design will always be in demand
In the age of automation, when we’re constantly being told that our jobs will one day be taken over by robots, you can be rest assured that graphic design will always require human thinking and creativity. It’s an essential cog in the world of work; one that is required for any brand or business.
From simple business cards and printed materials, to packaged goods, websites and advertisements – it’s unstoppable. Visual communication will live on, and it takes a designer to imagine all its possibilities.
3. Design opens up so many different career paths
You'll be able to add value to any workplace, not just a design studio. Design is something that no business can live without. If an agency isn’t quite for you, perhaps you might want to venture into editorial design and work for a major publisher? Or join an internal team at one of the world’s biggest sports brands? Your career path is open to so many exciting routes.
4. Designing will boost your problem-solving skills
Creativity is crucial for any business. Steve Jobs of Apple once said: "It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough. It's technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing."
It’s for this reason that graphic design will enhance your problem-solving skills – not just because you’re overcoming common issues for clients; but because you’re encouraged to consider the bigger picture. What will your design solve? How will it add value? How will it achieve a brand’s goals? Design will boost more skills than you realise.
"Think you’re just going to follow the herd? Design can take you to places you never thought possible."
5. You'll enjoy working as part of a team
Graphic designers are rarely alone; they’re often part of a creative team or working closely with the client, collaborating to come up with the best possible solution. You’re likely to get to know PR professionals, copywriters, marketers, advertisers… you’ll probably work with senior management and be expected to consult with company directors.
Your role will rely on many business relationships; the knock-on benefits of which will only boost your skills and experience – especially your ability to effectively deal with different personalities.
6. There's (usually) no need for a suit and tie
Hate stiff white shirts and uncomfortable blazers? Relax. Graphic designers tend to have more relaxed work attire these days. T-shirts, jeans and trainers are practically the uniform. You can’t be creative when your arms struggle to move in a formal business suit. Clients won’t mind either. It’s widely accepted that designers dress a certain way, and that’s alright with us too.
7. Your career path is unpredictable
Think you’re just going to follow the herd? Design can take you to places you never thought possible. You could secure a job at a studio on the other side of the planet, or find that your employment means lots of travel to far flung places. You might even go solo and launch your own studio some day. The possibilities really are endless.
8. You could see your work in lights
How would you feel if you spotted your work on a billboard? Or in a magazine? The sense of job satisfaction can be overwhelming. It’s your creativity up in lights, for everyone to see. Nothing beats the feeling of contributing to something that you know will inspire many people.
9. You'll change the way you see the world
When you walk down the street as a graphic designer, you’ll see things in a completely new light. It’s because your job will become your life. You’ll find inspiration in everything you see and do, saving ideas for your next project. Design brings a new perspective, and encourages you to get out there and discover new things. From art galleries and architecture to clothing and accessories – your life will be full of creative wonder.
10. You'll never stop being inspired
Prone to boredom? Easily distracted? Design will always leave you feeling inspired. Trends will develop and change, keeping you well and truly on your toes from one day to the next. You'll never know what's around the corner. And for a career choice, that has to be the most inspirational.