Lots of people dream of a career in the creative industries, but not many do anything about it. And for many, being a graphic designer is a job that dreams are made of – fun, flexible and positively overflowing with creativity.
For the staff at Shillington Education, the clichés are most definitely true; graphic design IS the best job in the world. Shillington, a specialist graphic design school with campuses in London, Manchester, New York, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, offers intensive three- and nine-month courses aimed at replicating a working studio environment, catering mainly for those looking for a change of career.
Here, the teachers from Shillington share 13 inspiring reasons why you should follow your dreams and become a graphic designer:
1. You get to flex your brain muscles
Good design is about so much more than just making things look nice – it's a very thoughtful, challenging profession. Designers are creative problem solvers, so each brief represents a fresh challenge. You get to use your brain for much more than just filling in spreadsheets or firing off emails all day. Problem-solving is one of the most important skills for a designer, as you'll spend your days working out the best ways to communicate important messages in visual form.
2. Every day is different
Does your current job make you feel like you're just going through the motions and doing the same thing every day? Well, a decent design role should never feel like that. Every day is different, with each new brief throwing up a new creative challenge. You can't cut and paste good design; you'll be preparing unique things daily.
3. It can take you in lots of directions
We've told you how every day is different in the design world, but it's also the case that no two jobs are the same either. Whether you're working in-house or for an agency, there is virtually no end to the type of industry you could be involved with. You could end up designing posters for the president, crafting beautiful beer bottle labels, or arranging complex information on medical leaflets. You see, every industry in the world benefits from good design, so there is a need for designers in virtually any field you can imagine.
4. Good designers are in demand
If you are considering a change of career, then you'll want to be sure that there are jobs out there to help you earn a living. Don't be fooled…design is ultra-competitive! But there is and always will be a demand for good designers so if you have talent, the necessary skills and the determination to work hard, then you can be confident that you will always be able to find work.
5. You can wear trainers to work
Believe it or not, this is one of the most common answers our Shillington graduates give when asked to name the best thing about their new design career. But while it might sound flippant, the creative, vibrant atmosphere of the studio is one of the appealing attributes that attracts people to move on from their corporate roles and stuffy offices. Design agencies tend to be modern workplaces where there is no need to force staff into wearing a shirt and tie. So ditch the suit, and don your favourite kicks instead.
6. You'll never stop learning
Are you the sort of person who likes to push yourself, improve your skills and produce the best work you can? Design as a discipline never stands still and as a designer, you will constantly be developing. There are always new trends, new tools, new technologies, new theories, new sources of inspiration – a creative mind never stops learning. Graphic design also encompasses a variety of specialisms too, so whether you want to tighten up your digital skills, master the art of print production, become perfect at packaging or tackle typography head-on, there is always a new direction to pursue.
7. You'll gain a new perspective on the world
For many graphic designers, it is more than just a job – it's a way of life. An understanding of the principles of good design means that you will look at everything differently, from posters and magazine covers, through to pieces of furniture, buildings and the gadgets you use every day. Designers are naturally curious animals, and you'll find yourself thinking differently about the world around you and admiring the smaller details that go into beautifully designed products.
8. You'll surround yourself with inspiring images every day
Who wouldn't want to work with pretty pictures for a living? Of course, there's much more to it than that. Still, it is true that your daily working life will involve seeking out inspiration in all sorts of places, researching incredible images, illustrations and graphics – and creating them too. So if you get your kicks from crisp visuals, then this is the job for you.
9.You can design from anywhere in the world
We welcome students from around the world to our campuses in the UK, USA and Australia – and we've seen our graduates move to some pretty inspirational places too as they pursue their careers. One of the most exciting things about being a designer in today's world is the freedom it gives you to work from pretty much anywhere you like. There is a demand for good designers around the world, while many carve out successful freelance careers, which often allows you to work from wherever you fancy.
10. Creativity is fulfilling
When was the last time you gazed lovingly at a spreadsheet you'd just filled in and felt a warm pang of pride? Thought so. Graphic design is something that you can have a real passion for and can give you a real sense of satisfaction. It involves creating something, going through a process to produce something tangible, rather than just getting buried in reports and paperwork. Design offers you a chance to produce work that you can be proud of – and would be happy to show off.
11. Become part of a global community
This is a very friendly industry to be in, with designers regularly sharing their work, inspiration and ideas, and helping each other out with tips, advice and feedback. You need to look online at platforms such as Dribbble, Behance and Cargo Collective to see how engaged and helpful the design community can be. This translates offline as well and you'll find that most major cities will have regular events and meet-ups so that it can be a sociable job too.
12. You get to make a difference in the world
Everybody wants to feel like they are making a difference in their job – and as a designer, you'll be able to see the fruits of your labour and get a real sense of achievement in your work. Seeing something through to the finish is very satisfying, and when your design is live and out there in the world, it can be a real thrill to know other people are seeing it, using it and interacting with it. You'll join an industry with a rich heritage for making people's lives better.
13. Life is too short to stay stuck in a job you hate
If you're stuck in a rut in a job that doesn't inspire you then only you can do something about it. We understand how difficult it is to give up a comfortable position once you're on the career ladder, but you will soon realise just how quickly the years fly by when the daily grind takes over. So if you're in a job you don't enjoy and think design could be right for you, then get out there, practise your craft, and learn as much about the industry as you can. After all, life is too short to spend every working hour doing something that doesn't inspire you. And we can assure you, life as a designer is full of new inspiration every single day.
To find out more about how to kickstart your career with graphic design courses in the UK, USA and Australia, visit www.shillingtoneducation.com.