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A Q&A with a Graphic Designer

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If you’re good with artwork and you’re considering a career in Graphic Design, find out exactly what it is, what you do and where you can do it.

When you work for a large corporation that has every department imaginable in their employ, you’re bound to see some type of advertising around your company. Think of Sanlam, Telkom, etc. Those companies have marketers, advertisers, art directors, programmers, sales guys, financial people, admin people – literally everything.

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In a large company the advertising can be a huge project. Each project needs some sort of visual appeal. The company needs a logo. The brochures need to be perfect. So who does all of this and makes sure the art is original and keeps to the clients/companies specifications? Graphic Designers.

A Q&A with Graphic Designer Simeon van den Bergh

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Simeon van den Bergh attended Belville High School and took Visual Art, Technical Drawings, Computer Applications Technology and Maths Literacy (definitely a creative). He went on and obtained his National Diploma in Graphic Design from CPUT in 2015. He has a permanent position at an advertisement company. He spends his free time freelancing and working on his own brand – Simi Stabba. Through his studies and personal interests, he’s developed the talent for illustration and animation. He’s currently exploring the option of becoming a full-time freelancer to get the freedom of choosing his own projects. In a Q&A, Simeon chats to EduOne about the graphic design career path.

What was the focus of your qualification?
Some of the courses included:

  • Illustration
  • Design Techniques
  • Visual Communication
  • History of Graphic Design
  • Professional Practice

The course delves into the various directions of graphic design as well as teaching you the necessary practical skills to function in the industry, regardless of the specific field.[/su_service]

What were the top 5 skills that you learnt throughout your course?

    • Adobe creative suite
    • Time management
    • How to develop creative concepts and execute them efficiently
    • How to sell concepts and utilize criticism and failure
    • How to use limitations to increase creativity.

How was the workload, the ration of academic and practical work?
The class receives a brief to complete by the assigned deadline.  You work on the project throughout the week on campus.  A lecturer guides you through it and offers critique.

Of the five work days, two days are dedicated to theory (history and professional practice).

Did you face any challenges or successes during your studies?
Meeting deadlines can be quite the challenge sometimes, but the experience is essential to becoming a more efficient and responsible creative.

What kind of careers can someone with this qualification go into?
The field of graphic design is so broad the options are infinite.   Graphic designers are everywhere : film, publication, fashion, IT, web, architecture, education, music.  Take your pick.

What kind of salary can someone expect from one of these graphic design fields?
Because of the huge variety of fields, the salary really depends on which one you choose to pursue.

To what extent did you feel prepared to enter the working world when you graduated?
I have a good enough understanding of design principles and software to be competent in any entry-level design job.

Do you have a specific career in mind for your future?
Eeny-meeny-miny mo. The options are endless and I’m still exploring them all.

Do you have a current online portfolio to showcase your work?
Sure, check my work out on Behance.

What advice do you have for students who want to do this course or go into graphic design?
If you’re not passionate and driven, don’t bother.  It’s hard work with ridiculous deadlines and challenges at times, but it’s also extremely fun and even more rewarding.

What drew you to studying this course?
A few of my creative heroes came out of this course, it was affordable and reputably more practice-orientated than my other options.

Are there many positions available in this field?

Where do you see the future of this course/field going?
Like the field, the course is ever changing with advancing technology, becoming more digitally orientated, constantly phasing out older mediums and adding new ones, bringing new creative and employment opportunities.

What would you say is the best part about the job you are pursuing?
The opportunity to earn money by being creative. ‘Nuff said.

What does your job look like and what skills did you gain from your qualification?
I work in numerous visual disciplines, from animation to illustration and infographics. Because of the skills acquired in the course I can effectively communicate in any medium with the necessary software.

What was the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?
Risk: Entering the creative industry.

Lesson: It’s just a job.  Don’t take it too seriously.

Open Window Institute (OWI)

The School of Design Studies at OWI opens up many possibilities and opportunities for aspiring designer minds. If Graphic Design is something you could see yourself doing, why not browse through their courses and see if any interest you.

EduConnect 2cents

There are so many different career options out there that it can be rather overwhelming. Take a look at our Day in the Life of series to find a career which you may find intriguing and explore it a little. Or perhaps you’ve always loved the idea of becoming a Graphic Designer and this article has you convinced. Contact OWI ASAP for more information on how to start your journey to become a Graphic Designer.

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