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Old 10-18-2011, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Hudson County, NJ
1,490 posts, read 2,738,572 times
Reputation: 1181

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I absolutely do not like what I do, or even went to school for. Degree in marketing and management. Marketing end would be alright depending on the details and company.

Corporate environment isn't really ideal for me as I've come to realize I'm more of a hands on and outside the box thinker. I like creating things, building things, inventing things, visuals, originality, and seeing instant results. So without completely leaving the business field, I was considering getting into graphic design and advertising.

I'm not an artist in the general sense. I could draw when I was younger but not anymore. I have a good eye for what looks good in a lot of aspects of life. From art work, marketing material, photographs, clothing, interior design, etc. I did a good amount of web / graphic design about 10-8 years ago on the side, but since I haven't done much. Even my past graphic design that I did on my own was pretty good and visually appealing. My friend works for a large sports manufacturer as their in house graphic designer and is willing to team up to teach me and he also wants to start his own gig on the side (which is ultimately both of our goals).

Any input from graphic artists out there? I know the competition is high, I think it depends more on portfolio and work completed than where you went to school (not looking to go to school for this). I'm looking for realistic input and not some feel good "you can do it!" input. Ultimately, I'd be happier making less money and enjoying my days than making a bit more and being miserable.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:40 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 47,624,600 times
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Don't do it. Graphic design isn't something you pick up with a book and a nifty design program. It requires a course of study. It's not for dilettantes, and you'll starve to death before you establish yourself.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:49 PM
 
3,100 posts, read 7,079,416 times
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Used to sell printing and had to deal with graphic designers all of the time. With the internet you are now competing against artists in China, Russia, India and who knows where else. The best paid, secure graphic designers I knew were the lucky ones who worked for a printing plant and basically cleaned up artwork before they sent it to the press. Not glamorous, basically assembly line work but it was steady.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:59 PM
 
4,249 posts, read 8,300,047 times
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With an eye for making things - why not actually make tangible things? From any earthy materials you see around yourself, just like artisans of the past did. Life doesn't have to be electronic, you don't have to be attached to a chair. Shipping electronic goods costs nothing, and that's why it's hard to compete with Asian geniuses. Try to ship a granite sink from over there. Hence your upper hand.

I keep wondering why people are not willing to take trades, - it's amazing what you can make with a skill. Why it HAS to be a cubicle type skill?
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Hudson County, NJ
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This is sort of true, however what I've noticed, and what I think some people still haven't noticed is that a truely good company would still and should still use lets say, "made in the usa" graphic designers. I've first hand seen a)Cheap but bad graphic design from a company using someone in India. b) the language barrier that exists, even though yes they do speak English. c) not knowing the culture, which is especially important depending on your role, but graphic design/marketing/culture I feel all go hand in hand. GD in India generally don't have a solid idea of the culture and designs in other area nevermind in specific regions ie - NYC.

Only problem is I think the bigger companies see and know this and respectively use and can also afford local talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grmi66 View Post
Used to sell printing and had to deal with graphic designers all of the time. With the internet you are now competing against artists in China, Russia, India and who knows where else. The best paid, secure graphic designers I knew were the lucky ones who worked for a printing plant and basically cleaned up artwork before they sent it to the press. Not glamorous, basically assembly line work but it was steady.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Hudson County, NJ
1,490 posts, read 2,738,572 times
Reputation: 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuala View Post
With an eye for making things - why not actually make tangible things? From any earthy materials you see around yourself, just like artisans of the past did. Life doesn't have to be electronic, you don't have to be attached to a chair. Shipping electronic goods costs nothing, and that's why it's hard to compete with Asian geniuses. Try to ship a granite sink from over there. Hence your upper hand.

I keep wondering why people are not willing to take trades, - it's amazing what you can make with a skill. Why it HAS to be a cubicle type skill?

This is true and I've thought about it, just never sure of what exactly I would go into. I contemplated getting into decorative concrete, ie - concrete sinks etc, but not sure if it will catch on enough or if it is a new phase/style.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:37 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,640,652 times
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Half of graphic design is marketing, so your background actually can contribute to your qualifications. Assuming of course you can stomach using your marketing knowledge. If you dislike marketing so much that you are not interested in using it, then you probably won't like graphic design.

The other half of graphic design is production. You should seriously consider at least a certificate course or computer software training course. Design software is complicated; it's not something you can pick up by reading a book. Without some sort of in-depth training to show you the tricks and shortcuts, your portfolio will never look as sophisticated as your competitors. And a credential, even if its a short weekend course from a community college will give credence to your qualifications.

Even with some sort of credential aside from marketing, it's going to be an uphill battle. Graphic design is oversaturated and your competition will have far more credentials than you. I strongly suggest you start by doing pro bono work for friends and family in order to develop a portfolio and then freelance while keeping your day job, until you've developed a reputation and a pipeline of work that can keep you fed and clothed. Realistically: five years or more before you can hang out your shingle and give up your corporate gig (in other words, it won't take you any less time to break into the profession by skipping the degree, and may possibly take more and hold you back in the long run).
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,381,375 times
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What do you use for graphic design software? Adobe or Corel stuff? Adobe Master Collection is really expensive; Corel is cheaper but not widely used...
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:02 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,280 posts, read 56,956,445 times
Reputation: 33579
I have hired many graphic artists over the years that were attending school, most the local Art Institute. Even graduates with great portfolios have problems finding work. The ones I hired were at the time working in retail
or waitressing to get by.

When this recession started the first to be shut down were the marketing departments. With the prior bust of the dot com boom, many graphic designers were already out of work. You will be competing against people with degrees, portfolios and experience, so it will be a challenge. We just hired one and got a ton of applicants despite requiring 5 years experience and bringing portfolio to the interviews. That's now one graphic designer in a company with 1,600 employees.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:42 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,640,652 times
Reputation: 4990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse69 View Post
What do you use for graphic design software? Adobe or Corel stuff? Adobe Master Collection is really expensive; Corel is cheaper but not widely used...
Pretty much nobody uses corel. Adobe all the way. If OP enrolls in a certificate course, they are classified as a student and can get the software for considerably less. Strictly for learning, not for professional use.

It's not just the software either. Files are big so the computer needs to be able to process them. Typically you need a larger monitor, preferably two so you can see the pixels very clearly. Once you get serious you'll likely need a pen digitizer too, not just a computer mouse. And a good printer for proofs. Large format, of course.

It's not an inexpensive profession, for sure.
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