Author Topic: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions  (Read 750 times)

Offline Smartypants1635

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Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« on: March 11, 2008, 07:31 PM »
Well As some of you may know, Next year is my last year in high school. Its hard to believe its been almost 4 years since I started Posting here. :o(I know some of you still view me as that 13 year old running around the forum unchecked causing problems ;))

I've been researching alot of different majors that I would be interested in. I started Looking at engineering or architecture(this is still a possibility). However lately I have been really liking the idea of graphic design.
One of the colleges I have been looking at, Grand Canyon U. has an awesome course in graphic design, with internships at Disney and other large companies right out of school. Plus its a Christian school, which I would really like to attend one if the money allows.

I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with this school, or if they have had any Graphic design experience at all(professionally or as a hobby). I would really like to hear your take on this as a career and the basic things that would go into a job like this.

Thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate it.

Adam

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Offline efranks

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 07:57 PM »
Three of my best friends went to college for graphics arts/design and they've all done well for themselves with the field.  John worked for a telecom company doing design and web sites before working for Merck for a couple of years.  He now owns his own company doing web design, advertising and marketing consulting. 

Ralph did some work for several companies before also going to Merck and he now works with John. 

Joe went to the Art Institute in Philly and he now works for the government doing 3D modeling design for training software of various types.  He's also been working on his Masters degree and is angling for a job in TV or film.

Depending on what your goal is there are a lot of places to go with a GA degree; advertising, making movies, print publication, web programming, game design.  It's not a bad field IMO.  If I were more artistically inclined and just starting out for college now I'd be tempted with that path.

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Offline Rob

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 10:15 PM »
I'm not a graphic designer per se, but I work very closely with them animating what these guys dream up.  I work at a design / animation studio in Texas.  It's a tough industry, but it's a hell of a lot of fun.  I guess the first thing to do once you decide that it's a career that you're interested in is to figure out what sort of style or medium you want to work in - print, commercial, web... there's all sorts of ways you can go.

If Deanpaul is around, he could probably provide more insight than I could - I've only worked for one studio at this point in my career.


We also have an apprentice program you could apply for (basically an internship program) where younger kids work on full blown commercials and films while learning about the industry.  I don't think there's a page for it, but you could get info about the studio at www.reelfx.com - PM me if you want to know more about it.


Offline MetalJedi

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2008, 10:41 PM »
I went to Collins College in Tempe,Arizona. It's a great school and they've expanded alot since I graduated in 01. I however have no insight to the school your asking about. The career of graphic design is crowded however it's always good to know people. Introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Sell yourself and your talents. Also I would recommend going for a BA straight away.

Also try to do an internship while going to school, as the more experience the better when you get out into the real world. Alot of places like you to have experience even though you just got out of college.

Rob has a good point for you about contacting Deanpaul. He's a great guy and could answer alot of indepth questions.

Good luck.
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Offline Angry Ewok

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 01:38 AM »
By the end of this semester, I'll finally have the AAS Degree in Commercial Art. It's a good field, and while it is crowded, it's also very, very broad. So broad, that you might find yourself going in very different directions at the same time. That can make it a very frustrating experience, but the relationships you build can be extremely rewarding, too...

...but like these guys have already said - and like my mentor and boss told me - This is a "relations" kind of world. Be good to folks, keep channels open, etc.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 01:40 AM by Angry Ewok »

Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 10:41 AM »
I've been an artist all my life and have been in the biz for at least 25 years now in some form.
I have two design degrees. One in Industrial design, the other in Graphic Design.

I would urge you to not only go for graphic design, but also marketing. Unless you plan on owning your own business, it's a very tough field to move up in if you just have a graphic design degree. Marketing opens up many more doors.

Also, I would say you need to be pretty well rounded in design. Meaning you can work in both the print and web mediums. However you may find that you are better suited towards one area and that is fine as well, just realize that you may miss some opportunities otherwise.

Get your BA or BFA first, but then if I were you, I'd consider a Masters as well.

It may cost you a lot to go to school, however in the long run it WILL pay off. Take the opportunity now while your young and have many years ahead of you to get as much education as you can. This will help in your career advancement.

Personally I waited until after I was out of the military to go to college. I didn't go for a Masters which I now regret and finding the time and money to do so now would be extremely difficult. So again, I'd urge you to do so now.

One big key to design is organizational skills. This goes much further then just slapping some graphics on a home page or printed piece. You need to be organized in you file maintenance, how you set up your files, etc. This should also translate to how you organize projects you work with as well as the clients you cater to, and any market research you do.

You can be a great and artful designer, but if you've got a messy desktop and/or can't keep files, clients and other work related stuff organized and easy to find, then you will do yourself a great disservice as well as your employer and may find yourself out of work. So PLEASE keep that in mind.

Also, while having a full-time job pays the bills in many instances, don't allow that to be your only option for making money. Many designers also work freelance. That is to say not "FREE" but rather working outside of the office setting. For instance having a room in your home dedicated to your profession. (A home office)

With that you generally have more freedoms with design and other than the client won't have others looking over your shoulder to tell you how to design (and/or steal your ideas-which happens all to often). Freelance can be lucrative, but at the beginning, do not expect to make a bundle from it. It's generally those long term designers who have built up working relationships with their clients over the years who have the network in place to support a thriving freelance business.

One last thing, if you get involved in the print side of things, make sure you learn about PRE-PRESS. Whether you are in business for yourself or work for someone else, knowing how to correctly set-up files so that there is NO problem when sending them to a print shop is a great advantage. This will save either yourself or your employer time and money.  Check your learning institution to see if the offer any classes for pre-press. It's not often a college does, but if they do, be sure to take what they offer in that area (again should you decide to work in the print design industry).

If you have ANY questions, please feel free to PM me.

Not only do I have the degrees, but have worked in the business for 25 years. As well, I've been a designer, pre-press/production artist, supervisor and art-director. I should be able to answer just about any graphic design related question you have.

One final piece of advice, while in school, treat it as your JOB. If you don't do well at your job you'll get fired. In this case if you don't do well at your job (college) you won't get good grades and have to retake classes costing you valuable time and money. I'm not saying to not have fun while in college, just be responsible with it. Don't party too much or you may live to regret it for the rest of your life. Study hard now so that in the future you can live a more comfortable life. There is plenty of time after college to have fun, just in a different setting.

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Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 01:41 PM »
Well As some of you may know, Next year is my last year in high school. Its hard to believe its been almost 4 years since I started Posting here. :o(I know some of you still view me as that 13 year old running around the forum unchecked causing problems ;))

Don't worry Adam, I still view you as a 13 year old running around the forum unchecked causing problems. :P ;)
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Offline Ryan

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 06:42 PM »
I've been researching alot of different majors that I would be interested in. I started Looking at engineering or architecture(this is still a possibility).

I can't claim to know anything about the graphic design portion of your question, but I can give you a bit of advice on the engineering thing. If you aren't passionate about engineering, don't find it really interesting, or would rather be doing something like graphic design, DON'T be an engineering major. I'm speaking from experience here, if you aren't into it it is not going to be a fun experience at all. I was an engineering major my freshman year. I had no clue what I wanted to do, my parents told me engineering might be a good fit because I had always been good at Math and Physics. Not wanting to fall behind early my first Semester I took Calc 1, Java Programing, and Physics 1 (both the harder variety for scientists and engineers). I had never taken Calc before, but wasn't too worries. The Physics class I took though required all the Math from Calc 1 that I hadn't even learned yet... It was absolutely horrible. I ended up dropping Java to try to stay current in the other two. I even got some tutoring, that didn't help much. There was so much homework I couldn't keep up and that semester was a completely lost cause. I was never that interested in it to begin with so that semester really took a toll on me.

I have since changed my major. And am enjoying my classes (most of them anyways) much more. I guess what I'm getting at here is don't let your parents, friends, or anybody else tell you what major to take. If you are passionate about graphic design, go into that field or you may end up regretting it for the rest of your life.
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Offline Smartypants1635

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 07:46 PM »
We also have an apprentice program you could apply for (basically an internship program) where younger kids work on full blown commercials and films while learning about the industry.  I don't think there's a page for it, but you could get info about the studio at www.reelfx.com - PM me if you want to know more about it.

Awesome! That sounds like a definate possibility for me, I'll def. hit you up on that when the time comes.

The career of graphic design is crowded however it's always good to know people. Introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Sell yourself and your talents. Also I would recommend going for a BA straight away.
Sounds Good, I'm a pretty social guy so hopefully this won't be to hard of a feat to accomplish :P


I would urge you to not only go for graphic design, but also marketing. Unless you plan on owning your own business, it's a very tough field to move up in if you just have a graphic design degree. Marketing opens up many more doors.
GCU's program offers the degree with communications, how good would that be for this area


Get your BA or BFA first, but then if I were you, I'd consider a Masters as well.

One big key to design is organizational skills. This goes much further then just slapping some graphics on a home page or printed piece. You need to be organized in you file maintenance, how you set up your files, etc. This should also translate to how you organize projects you work with as well as the clients you cater to, and any market research you do.

You can be a great and artful designer, but if you've got a messy desktop and/or can't keep files, clients and other work related stuff organized and easy to find, then you will do yourself a great disservice as well as your employer and may find yourself out of work. So PLEASE keep that in mind.

One last thing, if you get involved in the print side of things, make sure you learn about PRE-PRESS. Whether you are in business for yourself or work for someone else, knowing how to correctly set-up files so that there is NO problem when sending them to a print shop is a great advantage. This will save either yourself or your employer time and money.  Check your learning institution to see if the offer any classes for pre-press. It's not often a college does, but if they do, be sure to take what they offer in that area (again should you decide to work in the print design industry).

If you have ANY questions, please feel free to PM me.

I hope to eventually get my masters, It may take longer and cost more, but you end up in a better position.

The organization is a def problem for me, Looks like I'm gonna have to work at that.

I'm not sure about Pre-print class at GCU(I'm def. keeping my options at other schools open aswell) But they are starting construction on a new wing for their Arts degrees, Its supposed to be done before I graduate next year, So who knows what will open up.



Don't worry Adam, I still view you as a 13 year old running around the forum unchecked causing problems. :P ;)

Thanks Paul 'ppreciate it :P


If you aren't passionate about engineering, don't find it really interesting, or would rather be doing something like graphic design, DON'T be an engineering major.

Thanks for the save there Ryan, I'm liking AP physics but not that much.


Thanks for all your input, its been a real help.

Adam

Offline Nirvana

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 09:45 PM »
Yeah, I'm a junior in high school, too, and am starting to think about careers and colleges and all that jazz.

I've thought about majoring in something with Education. I've always wanted to be a high school teacher, especially after having some of my teachers this year. Does anyone know what specific major you would go for if you are looking to become a history teacher when you're out of college? 
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Offline Chris

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 11:11 PM »
Yeah, I'm a junior in high school, too, and am starting to think about careers and colleges and all that jazz.

I've thought about majoring in something with Education. I've always wanted to be a high school teacher, especially after having some of my teachers this year. Does anyone know what specific major you would go for if you are looking to become a history teacher when you're out of college? 

At many public schools just a general bachelor in education will work. Or a bachelor in history with high school teaching licensure. It's pretty easy to jump around subject areas in high school too, so don't think you are stuck teaching just one thing if you were to get a specialized degree.

Offline bamaker

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Re: Graphic design as a Major- have a couple of questions
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2008, 11:39 PM »
Yeah, I'm a junior in high school, too, and am starting to think about careers and colleges and all that jazz.

I've thought about majoring in something with Education. I've always wanted to be a high school teacher, especially after having some of my teachers this year. Does anyone know what specific major you would go for if you are looking to become a history teacher when you're out of college? 

What Chris said is pretty good advice.  I taught U.S. History to high school students for two years in the DISD (Dallas Independent School District), and did it without an education degree or a teacher certificate.  But most states will eventually require that you get some kind of teacher certificate.  I decided after two years that teaching high school students was not my calling (and trust me if it's not your calling you DO NOT WANT TO TEACH -- you'll be doing yourself and the students a huge disservice), and thus never went back to get my certificate.  My biggest fear was ending up like all the other teachers, who obviously saw the job as simply a paycheck, hated kids, and were just very bitter about everything.  I said to hell with that and got out.  As far as what history knowledge you should have ... well I had a B.A. is U.S. History and a M.A. in American Civil War History, as well as dabbling in 19th Century Germany, Imperial Russia, and WWI; but they had me teach U.S. History from 1865-Present (... so I did at least get to cover WWI).  But the overall impression I got from administration and teachers in other subjects was that the history teachers were expected to be able to coach a sport, or monitor the ISS room.

...but then the DISD has historically been a very poor school district, so if you get a position in a good school with forward thinking admins and involved parents you'll probably have a much better experience.  Teaching can be very rewarding.  It's been 8 years since I taught high school and I still miss being able to interact with the students and help them make good choices, and just teaching them about life in general.  I still recall taking one class and teaching the boys how to put on a tie and the boys/girls how to look professional so that they could impress potential employees.  The class had nothing to do with history, but that's the sort of thing that I miss about teaching.