Why I love my major-Graphic Design
It combines computer knowledge, an artistic eye and some real passion.
By Diana Odero, Chapman University.
I haven’t seen as many art-based majors on here with the exception of maybe English and History so I’m happy to introduce my art inspired major that I really love; Graphic Design. Graphic Design is one of those majors that requires the person to be really passionate about it, kind of like people who get into medicine and law, you can’t just decide to do it, it has to be something you have your heart set on as it’s very intense and demands practically all of you.
Graphic design, as opposed to most art based disciplines, is more on the technical aspect. It’s combines both computer knowledge and an artistic eye to create abstract visuals, websites, books, magazines, packages; literally everything that you own, wear, read, write on or open to eat/drink has some graphic design element attached to it. So graphic designers are pretty much as important as doctors, lawyers or teachers. We convey messages to the world aesthetically.
As a major, graphic design has got to be the coolest one because of one thing.. NO STUDYING. Yep, no heavy set books involved, no flashcards, no term papers to write, and for me that is absolutely perfect as I’m not really one to study volumes of books. But on the down side, graphic design is also the major that requires the most work put into it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours have been spent in my school design lab working on numerous class projects and finessing portfolios, there are times when I would spend every waking moment in that lab. You gain a whole new understanding of the term ‘patience’ when you are a graphic designer.
There are many reasons that I love my major but I shall pinpoint just a few of those reasons here:
- You are basically your own teacher, grader, supervisor and soon enough boss
With graphic design, you do have professors who teach you the techniques of the design programs and basically train you by giving you different projects to work on, but in real sense you end up teaching yourself most of the time because as much as you are sitting in class, YOU are the one doing the work and not the teacher. YOU are the one figuring out different tricks and styles by practicing with the programs every time you start a new project. YOU are the one who can tell if the finished piece is worth this or that grade based on the amount of work you put into it and based on how well it turned out. YOU are the one to decide the hours put in to work on your projects so technically you are your own supervisor and once you graduate and get that degree, you still call the shots on all your work as yes, you will have clients who want this or the other from you, in the end its what you end up creating that will be decided upon because it is YOUR vision meshed with the client’s vision that should come alive at the end of your work.
I love this aspect of graphic design as a major as it allowed me the freedom to express myself through my work. We are given guidelines to follow and step by step and with more and more projects under your belt you end up getting better and better at it and soon enough, you don’t even need the teachers guidelines anymore, YOU decide on what project you want to work on and their job is simply to critique, give a second opinion where there was none and keep you motivated and challenge you by providing a variety of projects.
- The Free time…And yes Im not joking!
I know I said graphic design is time consuming but it also has its upsides in that when you DON’T have over 3 projects at a time to work on, the weekends seem less busy and you see less of the design lab and more of the outside world… In my case, that means hiking! Please note I am not a hiking fanatic, last time I did go hiking before this year was 10years ago! But thanks to my friend and fellow graphic designer, Stef, she convinced me to spend our one free weekend in months hiking out in the mountains of Southern California. Free time is albeit very rare in the graphic design field but when it comes around, it comes around abundantly and we majors take full on advantage of it because who knows when we will get a chance to breathe again?
- Graphic Design is an all rounded art
I say this because not only have I learnt a side of art I never knew before, i.e. the digital art, but because I have learnt so much more inclusive of that. The graphic design major includes digital and a part of it includes studio arts as well. There is a lot of drawing and sketching involved, there is a lot of crafting involved when it comes to package design, Art history is also incorporated into the major to let the students understand the evolution of graphic design in terms of fonts, movements and styles… Graphic design is basically an all rounded art so unlike most fine arts majors where you only focus on one aspect, graphic design enables you to learn and practice both the digital and non digital arts as well. Plus it’s a lot of fun creating something from scratch, making a brand, designing an identity, conveying a message visually… Graphic designers will always be needed in the job market for any company out there so whether you freelance like I am doing now or you choose to go the contract route, just know that all those hours, in all the 4 years of college, spent in that cold design lab, did not go to waste at all.