The creative industries in the UK are now worth £84.1 billion per year to the country’s economy, according to new government figures. That’s a lot of money and revenue for the country, and this also proves that there is the work out there for those who want to break into this sector. But how do you get there and what are employers really looking for nowadays?
Many of our students have managed to secure a career in the design areas, from graphic designers, graphic artists, packaging designers, fashion and textile designers, freelance designers plus many more positions, and this has been down to a few things, uniqueness, skills and the ability to deliver. One thing you will always need to come to terms with when wanting that dream break is that you must learn to deliver quickly and creatively at the same time. Let’s face it, a business wants to make money and they want it quickly! There are lots of stories I can share with you about students I have worked with over the past 10 years who started their studies thinking that becoming a designer involves just a creative brain which designs things they like when they like and make tones of money just doing that. You can imagine the shock when I told them ‘wrong’, it involves very hard work designing things that other people like and quickly.
When I first started out as a designer, there were no computers and most of our artwork was produced by hand using dark rooms, bromides, typesetters and very last minute deadlines. Now it is all about computer software and digital printing. So, there are no excuses for not being able to work fast.
One of the biggest downsides of design today is that everything is just looking the same. All of the students graduating from universities and colleges throughout the country are looking all the same, copying one another and letting the software do all the work for them. The designers that are standing out and making all of the money are those who don’t follow the trends, don’t allow the software to dictate their design style, and use other techniques to achieve this.
That’s what we teach our students, and encourage them to experiment with a variety of media. We have found that our students, the ones who really want to stand out from the massive crowd out there actually achieve their ambitions, and they enjoy their work also. There are no short cuts, believe me! One of the most important attributes to a successful design career is a creative process that works, and works quickly. That is what we teach you in a big way.
No matter who you end up working for or with, you must be able to come up with the best solution, the most creative ones and very quickly. Here are a couple of short stories from ex-students of ours who are now working in professional positions within design companies.
“I was always told by my course tutor that I would need to develop a fast pace if I was serious about working for a print company as their graphic artist. He prepared me by presenting me with projects in which I would be timed and checked for creativity plus attention to detail all at the same time. However, once I landed my first job after graduating I found out how tough it really can get. Without the skills and techniques given to me through my course, I could honestly say that I would have broke down on my first week and walked out. Make sure you listen to your one to one tutor and design coach, they know what they are talking about”. Chris, Former Graphic Design level 2 student.
“After I completed my course in textile design, I managed to quickly establish myself as a freelance textile designer. It didn’t take me long to build up a list of clients but I soon realised that speed and accuracy is everything. Thanks to the course I studied with the CDSI, I had developed the valuable skills in delivering quality and unique designs for my clients quickly and on time. If you don’t achieve these essential qualities, trust me, the are other designers out there who will gladly take you work and clients away from you”. Jenny, Former Textile Design Student, level 2.
“My first day working as a graphic designer in an agency was like a dream come true for me. From the outset I was given an advert to do for a magazine which had an 11am deadline. That was just two hours after I started and sat down in front of my computer. The brief was handed to me and off I went into full flow of the process I learnt at the school. I’m not saying that I was calm or totally confident, but I knew how to get running with this right away without any panicking or blankness in front of me. Funny enough, there was another graduate from another college who started on the same day as me and ended up leaving the job on the first day as she couldn’t cope with the pressure”. Adam, Former Visual Communication Student, Level 4
So there you have it, the work is out there but are you totally equipped to deal with it? We will make sure you are!