A designer conceptualises and designs an item and completes the process by working closely with production companies. There are many different kinds of design you can work in. (e.g. Fashion, costume, interior, product, website)
Who can I work for?
Many designers work as part of a design agency. Some designers decide to work as self-employers. In this case these designers would usually produce their work by hand and sell it through art fairs or their own shop or gallery. Freelancing jobs are often also available.
Where and when can I work?
Most designers generally work in studios. Website designers can work in an office or from home. Fashion designers work in studios but may need to travel often. Product designers can work as part of manufacturing companies. In order to meet deadlines, designers can sometimes work very long hours, but otherwise at standard office hours.
What can I earn?
In fashion, recently qualified designers can earn £16,000 a year, but with more experience this can increase to £22,000 a year. As a ceramics designer you could earn around £30,000 per year. Experienced furniture or textile designers can earn between £25,000 and £40,000 a year. Experienced website designers up to £30,000 a year which can increase to £40,000 with specialised skills or as a senior designer.
What are the benefits?
Many designers say that the greatest benefit is the ability to spend your time expressing yourself creatively whilst still getting a good salary. For graphic or web designers there is also the benefit of a vast client base.
Are there chances of promotion?
Within the different fields of design there are many promotional opportunities. Generally, promotions are achieved with more experience. In web design, you can work for a company or in IT departments of businesses. Here you could be promoted into management positions of a design team, or alternatively promotions can be gained by developing other skills.
What will I be responsible for?
Most designers begin a project by discussing it with a team or client.
Costume designers are responsible for studying the script, designing, sketching and sourcing materials for the costumes. Web designers design the text, pictures and page layouts of the site, before uploading it to the Internet. Textile designers will create their designs by hand or using computer software, and take the designs to be made into samples. Product designers are responsible for the progression of a product idea, as set out in the design brief determined by the client. They use computer programs to create an image of the product, and will decide on its materials.
What qualifications do I need?
The kind of qualifications you will need varies tremendously in different design fields. For entry into most design jobs, you will need to prepare a portfolio of work and have gained an appropriate degree.
Do I need any experience?
Design is a competitive industry; therefore it is helpful to have some kind of work experience in order to make contacts. To make your CV more appealing you can also enter your work into competitions and exhibitions.
What attributes are needed?
Designers need to be creative and understand colour and the materials you are working with well. Good writing and drawing skills are vital. In addition, having an enthusiastic, motivated attitude is very useful.