Career Opportunities in Designing
It is true that the profession of designers has come a long way in the last decade. It has received public recognition firstly as a part of our economic and cultural life and secondly as 'business', or 'design industry'. However, one can still perceive formidable challenges for those trying to pursue a career in design. The contribution of 'industrial' designers is not as widely known as it should be. The reasons for this are that most people are familiar with engineers and architects as people carrying out more challenging design based activities. Industrial design, however, refers to an activity that has to do with products and objects that are used to fulfill practical functions. It is impossible to dissociate the term design from the term manufacture.
In design it is the application of creative and artistic skills to a practical end. Designers work within technical, manufacturing or budgetary limits but ensure that, the design serves the purpose it is intended for. Designers work to a brief, but they are creative people who must be left to develop their own genius. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Design is divided up into a number of separate areas:
'Graphic design' and 'Textile design' are two dimensional while 'three-dimensional design' includes industrial design, product design, fashion and jewelry design, interior and furniture design, exhibition and theatre design, etc.
Graphic design originated as design for the printing industry - books, posters, magazines, but has expanded into other areas and it now includes photography, film and video, and all kinds of visual communications.
Textile design relates in particular to manufacturing industries. Willie artists and designers skills are alike, artists' work shows self-expression while designers work is aimed on problem solving and practical tasks, Designs of products, environments and systems aim at the customers' needs in terms of comfort, aesthetics, efficiency, safety, reliability, economy, etc.
Designers often have to put restraints on their creativity as they work towards deadlines. Professional designers need to be creative but the amount of creative or original work they can be involved in 'varies. It is essential that designers have technical knowledge appropriate to their discipline, and commercial awareness of markets.
Design finds application in a number of different fields. Industrial designers develop and design products like cars, home appliances, computers, medical, officer recreational equipment, children’s toys, etc.
Designers combine their artistic talent with research they do on product use, marketing, production methods, and materials to create the most functional and appealing design and to make the product competitive in the market.
Graphic designers work in visual communication design. They work through print, drawings, pattern, photography or a combination of these. Graphic designers work for ad agencies, in printing and publishing, commercial packaging, design research, TV and film companies etc.
Fashion Designers- Design Apparel and Accessories
Fashion designers may be self-employed and design for individual clients. They make fashion trends by establishing the line, colors, and kinds of materials that will be worn each season. Others cater to high fashion department stores.
Graphic design/animation design -Graphic design is really the design of communication and has developed considerably from the days when it was known as commercial art.
Product design/ceramic design/furniture design - In manufacturing industry, traditionally, the engineer who designed the working parts of a machine also designed its exterior and, without any art-based training, did so more or less according to the shape and size of the product's parts and the demands of the manufacturing process.
Rapid growth in consumer spending and growing competition for sales led manufacturers to see the possibility of designing products which not only look good and can be sold on appearance, but can also be more efficient and convenient to use. Increasingly now, designers are working with design engineers to produce designs for goods, keeping in mind the appearance of items, convenience, safety, efficiency and ease of maintenance. New development in design has also been possible because of technological developments and new materials, e.g., metals, plastics, rubber, etc., are more flexible for the designer's needs.
Craft design - Designers have technical knowledge of relevant handicraft or manufacturing processes, for example firing, decorating, carving, inlaying, molding, engraving and glazing. They work for designing of ceramics (ornaments, tiles, etc.), jewelry, silverware, metalwork and pottery, glass (glassware and stained/architectural glass) and furniture. Design is usually for mass-manufacture, or possibly for production through traditional methods by designer crafts persons.
Designers may work with potters and jewelers to create products that have a wider appeal and a more competitive pricing. Some work for the film and advertising industry, making anything that is required for the purpose of creating a special effect.
In addition to being visually creative craft designers are their own technologist, production manager, marketing expert and salesman, book-keeper and buyer.
Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, adapting men's, women’s, and children's fashions for the mass market. Textile designers design fabrics for garments, upholstery, rugs and other products, using their knowledge of textile materials and fashion trends. Other designers may be working as even exhibition designers, craft designers, etc.
Interior designers plan space and furnish the interiors of private homes, public hotels and theatres.
They develop designs, prepare working drawings .and specifications for interior construction, furnishings, lighting and finishes according to the clients' needs and tastes. Interior designers plan spaces that meet accessibility standards for the disabled and elderly also.
Set designers/design movie, television and theatre sets. They study scripts discuss with directors and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.
PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF DESIGNERS
Industrial and visual communication designers must be creative and artistic with a good imagination. They should be able to think in a clear; logical manner, analyses problems and come up with original solutions. They need visual imagination and should think in three-dimensions. They should be able to express their ideas through drawings. They should/ have numerical ability to enable them to calculate dimensions, etc. They must be capable of intricate and detailed work for drawing and constructing.
Models, good color sense, appreciation of aesthetics and sensitivity to ergonomics (the study of the relationship between people and their environment).
Designers should be amiable, good at communication and should be able to get on well with colleagues.
Skills in persuading are necessary to present ideas and arguments to other members of the design team.
THREE DIMENSIONAL DESIGNS
This category of design encompasses a wide range of materials and industries. It is concerned with products, objects, things. In 3-D design there is craft or studio based design, and there is industrial design.
Graphic designers work with print, pictures and patterns on flat surfaces. They 'layout' words and pictures on pages for books and magazines, in advertisements, posters, sales brochures, product packaging, the aim of graphic design is to effectively communicate information through visual means. It is a broad heading covering a number of different disciplines. Typography is an essential element of all fields of graphic design. Specialized areas are lettering and calligraphy.
Most illustrators concentrate on specialist subjects, e.g., fashion, nature or cartoon. Many designers specialize in particular skills or in types of media; for example, magazines or TV technical illustration work for scientific, medical or engineering subjects, for reproduction in manuals and text books demand precision. Animation is based entirely on drawings which, when photographed, produced a three-dimensional impression.
Basic knowledge of printing and image-producing techniques is essential. Designers must know how to use space, color, lines and shapes. The work is as much technical as creative. Designers have to understand the technicalities of printing processes, photography, and color reproduction, type with all its varied fonts, sizes and weights. More and more of the everyday work of the graphic designer is done on computer system.
NATURE OF WORK
Industrial Design/Visual Design/Graphic Design
The activities involved in three-dimensional designing begin with design research. Designers work on briefs from the marketing department of research. What the customers want and which designs will sell. The designer may work on modifying existing products or parts of products, rather than creating wholly new ones.
The designing process implies the application of creative talents to produce rough sketches to outline ideas, keeping the design within available production capabilities. The designers then select the shapes, colors and materials for products keeping in mind the functional aspect which must suit the lifestyles of customers and ensure product efficiency.
Designers use technical knowledge and liaise extensively with other experts to ensure feasibility and cost-effectiveness. Designs may have to be modified and adapted a number of times before they are acceptable. Technical constraints may often compromise the original concept for a product. Once designs in the form of rough sketches have been approved by management, detailed working drawings are prepared.
Computer aided design (CAD) systems may be used. Accurate models of products are also made for testing. In addition to supplying production staff with working drawings showing exact dimensions etc., the designer may have to provide written instructions.
The designer should be available to solve problems relating to adoption ensuring that the end product; as far as possible, conforms to the initial brief and agreed requirements.
A large number of designers working in industry and commerce are working in graphics/visual communications. Many of them specialize in one particular field such as advertising, publicity, packaging. The main areas of employment are as follows:
Advertising - Graphic designers may specialize in poster work, preparing lay-outs, TV advertising, shop display, etc. Normally graphic designers work in teams of two in ad agencies. The team has an art director and a copywriter'. Their skill is in originating ideas which promote products in imaginative and existing ways.
Publishing Printing - They are mainly doing typographic word, illustration technical illustrations and photographic work for books, book jackets, greeting cards, magazines and journals. Commercial firms and industries need graphic designers for advertising, packaging designs, etc.
TV-Print and video complies - Graphic designers design opening titles and credits. 'They may illustrate in animation or for educational programmers. This field of work is being increased by the spread of more and more sophisticated computer animation systems. Principles of animation are the same, but new technology allows a designer to put together sequences of movement much more rapidly.
Publicity materials - Another and less well –known side of the advertising industry concerns designing of brochures which describe products to potential customers or a whole variety of give-away material; carrying the company name, logo and slogan.
Illustration - Illustration is a specialized area of graphic that concerns the drawing and painting of images that will appear alongside text in a book, poster or magazine. An illustrator gets briefed by the editor on the kind of style required and the subject matter.
Photography - Photography will be dealt with later in this section ~ut it is as well to realize that photography is just as much a part of graphic design as illustration. It is simply another way of producing pictures, and freelance photographers, who want to work in publishing or advertising, build their career in exactly the same way as illustrators.
TRAINING IN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN/GRAPHIC DESIGN/ ANIMATION, ETC.
In India, design is a comparatively new area of work and study. Professionals in the area of design particularly industrial design (products) are generally engineers who have furthered their interest and career objectives through a related course in basic design, e.g., electronic design. The industrial designer's professional course is offered by the National
Institute of Design at Ahmedabad
This institute offers 5 years professional courses to school level’s and some advanced programmers to graduates. The Indian Institute of Technology also offer Masters in industrial design course to engineering and architecture graduates.
Graphic designers are generally being trained at Art Schools. However, professional courses in visual communication are offered at National Institute of Design and at Film Institutes at Pune and MADRAS
Description of School Leavers Professional Programmed
The foundation year (I year) involves an introduction to the basic skills and conceptual abilities necessary for a designer. Inputs during this year include freehand drawing, geometry (plane and 3D), model making, and introduction to materials, color, graphic composition and design process. Taking off from a theoretical base, the emphasis is on learning through actual practice, experience and exploration of media and phenomena. At the end of the first year, students are given their streams for specialization based on their preference and aptitude, and their performance during the foundation year.
• Product design - The product design programmer aims to produce professionals who can handle design and development of products of both industrial and small scale sectors (e.g., consumer goods, automobile, packaging, etc.). Students are exposed to real and simulated work conditions in the form of projects in which they demonstrate their learning, application of theory and their creativity and innovation. Theory courses include technical drawing and illustration, engineering materials and processes, technical sciences, ergonomics, photography, computers and model making, along with assignments in form, space and aesthetics. The major projects include simple product design in plastics, control-display interface design, techno-aesthetic detailing, lighting, packaging, electro mechanically complex product and systems design.
Furniture design - This discipline involves the design of furniture for different domestic or commercial applications and can be extended to the design of system furniture and storage devices, structures and exhibitions. Some of the theoretical courses in furniture design are shared with product design.
Some specialized inputs include furniture technology, wood and metal joinery and prototype making. The major projects include simple furniture design (wire products), outdoor furniture, craft design, folding furniture and system design.
Textile design - Textile design involves the design of printed and woven surfaces for applications like, garments and apparels, furnishings and interiors.
Students are introduced to various techniques of surface design and decorations, fabric structure and construction and are also given practical experience in weaving, printing and dyeing methods in both craft and industrial sectors.
Visual communication - This programmer aims to turn out professionals who can communicate through a variety of media in different sectors that might need their services (like social developmental communication, advertising, film making, corporate presentations, print/publishing, etc.)
Some of the important courses in :visual communication are elements of composition, layout and typography, letter design, color, photography, illustration, DTP, printing technology, packaging, symbol design, exhibitions and elements of video, animation and audio visuals. After the third year, students of communication design take up major projects in areas like graphic design, video programming, animation and exhibitions for specializations.
Fashion is a term commonly used in relation to clothes, dresses, garments, textiles; etc. There may be styles in a large number of other things, e.g., furniture, automobiles, etc. In this Chapter I have dealt with fashion as related to garments and accessories.
In the last fifteen years fashion designing has gained spectacular prominence. There is increase in quality textiles materials for the fashion designers to work with. This trend of fashion consciousness is bound to grow and stay.
Fashion is identified today with status, acceptance and it almost implies social involvement. India enjoys a prominent place in the international market with its rich silks, traditional handloom fabrics, rustic textures and vibrant dyes. The creation of a world market for Indian garments is largely the contribution of Indian fashion designers. The trends of growth are set for fashion entrepreneurs.
NATURE OF WORK
There are three main areas of fashion design and manufacture. These are designing for mass production (wholesale), fashion trends and large scale manufacture of designer ware. By far the largest area is wholesale manufacture, where firms mass-produce garments following fashion trends set in by fashion forecasters. High fashion designs when simplified and adapted for the common public are suitable for production in large numbers at low cost. Fashion trend setters are celebrated firms and fashion houses which produce exclusively designed garments collection. Fashion shows of collections are held for marketing these designs.
Designers, in the wholesale manufacturing sector, generally specialize in producing certain types of Clothes in a wide range of styles and fabrics. e.g., 6 jeans, jackets, children wear, men's wear, etc. Some designers specialize in leisurewear, women's wear; accessories, shoes, knitwear, sportswear. Some others specialize in designing of costumes for stage artists, TV or film. This work can involve historical research as well as design.
Stages in the Designing of a Garment
Research - Creation of a design involves identifying what customers need and which designs will sell.
Even in the special designers section, designers producing expensive original work keep in mind factors such as social customs, international fashion trends and fabrics available. In the wholesale sector, manufacturing designers select and modify designs which are going to sell. They get 'ideas, by reviewing periodicals and attending fashion shows, etc. They also take into account competitors' products and sales information. Trends are anticipated as designs are produced a year in advance of garments reaching the market. New designs are required for two or more seasons each year.
Designs - Designers use their creativity to produce ideas to suit the market's needs. Sketches are used to outline basic ideas when fabrics are selected. The appearance, quality and texture of fabrics are taken into account. During manufacturing, the designer liaises with production staff and the buyer to ensure that mass production is feasible and cost effective.
Patterns - Designers make formal drawings indicating the position of seams, folds, darts, etc., but in many cases patterns are translated from the rough sketches by draftsmen.
Samples - Designers garments are made up for the show or private clients. In wholesale manufacture, samples are made up before mass production begins and the designer makes any necessary adjustments.
Changes may be required to suit production/budgetary requirements.
Presentation - Designers are required to present their design work to clients. Effective presentation is essential for designers. They do so through fashion shows, selling to individuals or retail buyers. Designers market their work and give advice to clients about adaptations- types of fabric which can be used, different dimensions, production problems etc. This is a major aspect of the work for many designers.
Fashion designers should be artistic and creative. They should be able to express their ideas in sketches. They may not be brilliant artists but must be able to combine colors, shades and tones. Designers have a flair for creating with fabric and know how to use textiles effectively. Designers need visual imaginary and the ability to think in three-dimensions to translate into garments what they visualize. They must be fashion conscious and must be aware of market's requirements. An understanding of the market and customer lifestyle is required, so that designs are suitable for people they are made for.
Designers must be good communicators. The work involved with selling, and persuading and influencing are required.
Self-employed/freelance designers need business acumen. Top designers must be highly original and inventive. Sketching is not possible at shows; therefore designers must be observant and must have a good memory.
Manufacturing units work on a large scale. They employ designers, cutting assistants, sketching assistants, junior designers.
Cutting assistants have to cut samples as per specifications of the designer. This is followed by draping and garment construction. Sketching assistants make the technical sketches of the garments which are passed on to cutting assistants. From the making of Specification drawings which decide how a garment has to be fabricated to the selection of fabrics is often the duty of the sketching assistant.
Junior designers generally do the first pattern cutting.
They assemble the first samples with fabrics they have selected from the market.
Marketing and merchandising
Fashion trends are constantly changing the people in merchandising and marketing have a good knowledge of fashion trends, of sales data and the organizations marketing objectives. Based on this information the marketing department plans the company's overall direction. It determines the price product requirement, and hence they often work with the styling department when a new product in conceived.
The production manager is at the head of the manufacturing unit. He is responsible for scheduling work goals, training of workers, managing all activities in' order to maintain quality in production. The production manager oversees the work of pattern cutting from pattern grading, spreading and marketing to cutting, assembling and finishing. With the production manager are production assistants who supervise the work at each stage.
The production pattern maker makes the first 'master pattern' of the garment on tough paper. This master pattern is made in close coordination with the fashion designing department. The master pattern is made into a number of sizes. Each piece of the garment is represented by a piece of the' pattern. The fabric is spread out and patterns are cut. The pieces are assembled for the machine operator and finally finished by handwork.
This is the process where a number of people are employed in large manufacturing industries while in smaller units the same persons may be, doing a number of tasks.
Fashion coordinators coordinate with the buyer and the production manager. The fashion coordinator makes sure production schedules are kept, meets buyers goes through specifications for fabrics, colors, designs and keeps an eye on the quality. When buyers give their own designs, the coordinator helps decide the fabric colors and accessories that should be used to suit the designs. They explain the design to the production pattern makers and get
Sample pieces made. The sample is draped on a dummy to see if some changes in details or style are 'required. Once the sample is finalized, its pieces are measured precisely. It is the coordinator who suggests how the cloth should be cut so as to minimize wastage. The garment is then and finally presented or sale.
Fashion, designing courses are generally offered to students after +2. The course imparts training in all the aspects-of garment manufacture. However, the quality of training varies from institute to institute. There are very prestigious and competitive courses in fashion technology offered by National Institute
Of Fashion Technology, New Delhi which has gained tremendous applause for training perhaps some very Prominent fashion designers. Sophia Polytechnic in Bombay too is a well-known training school. Fashion Designers, however, are being trained by some newer institutes also. In the courses section the reader find a complete description of the courses at NIFT New Delhi, Sophia - Bombay and the addresses of some polytechnics in Delhi. Students in other parts of the country are advised to visit local polytechnics and vocational training institutes for courses in fashion design.
National institute of Fashion Technology
NIFT offers professional programmers in the areas of Design, Technology & Management for the Garment Industry. NIFT is the premier educational institute dedicated to imparting professional training to men and women, aspiring for a career in different areas of the fashion industry. The medium of instruction for all teaching programmers is English.
This three year diploma programmer introduces students to basic design concepts, visualization techniques, manipulation of materials and techniques of interpretation, leading to the creation of costume jewelry and accessories in various materials and traditional Indian craft styles. Students are taught portfolio and presentation techniques, given marketing inputs and trained in design management.
This programmer offers careers as Design Coordinators,
Managers and prepares them for entry into the emerging market of accessory export from India.
The curriculum for this three years diploma programmer covers the development of the garment from source of inspiration to the finished product.
Technical aspects like fashion art, patternmaking,
Garment construction, grading and draping are taught and practiced. Subjects like History
Students are taught presentation techniques, organization of shows and preparation of Art portfolio to link aspects of creative marketing in the curriculum. Individual creativity is articulated into design collections and projects. This programmer offers students the opportunity to take up positions as Fashion Coordinators, Stylists, Patternmakers and Designers. Apparel Marketing and Merchandising this course is a specialized two year post graduate diploma programmer which covers practical aspects of the fashion industry, with a focus on marketing & merchandising. Students undergo rigorous training
And buying, merchandising, retail operations, fashion coordination, advertising, forecasting, international marketing, trade documentation and project formulation.
They are exposed to creative merchandising/ marketing following domestic and international marketing practices, forecasting & other factors. 'Raining is also imparted in computer applications in business and the students are also given production intend inputs to develop competitive professionals. this programmer prepares students for careers in middle management level in functional areas of international marketing, retail & inventory management.
Garment Manufacturing Technology
This two year postgraduate level diploma programmer covers aspects of optimal resource utilization and timely delivery of quality merchandise to customers.
The syllabus is practical, based on classroom and laboratory simulation of current factory and business trends. It includes subjects such as business administration, industry and engineering concepts and techniques of production patternmaking, strategic planning and an in-depth knowledge of seams, stitches and machine types. Time and motion studies are applied to critical activities like spreading, marking and cutting, ensuring high standards of quality control and garment specification.
This programmer prepares students for careers in middle management levels in garment manufacturing firms. The graduates are employed as Production Managers. While trained in assembly-line simulations, they are also capable of handling job-work with tailor based units. Graduates with engineering background are more suited for this course.
Leather Garment Design and Technology
The course has inputs on Production System and Garment engineering skills, leather garments manufacturing processes, design forecast and awareness and skills, patternmaking techniques and concepts, garment specifications and international size charts, selection of trimmings etc.
This is a modular programmer, which allows the students to specialize either as Designers/Stylists or Managers in a Leather company.
FASHION DESIGNING inter-related aspects of Knitwear and knitted product design, along with the required aspects of technology.
The course aims to prepare students who understand the important combination of creativity with a sound knowledge of materials and processes.
Technical aspects like fashion art, patternmaking, garment construction and grading are included. The training will develop skills in the student to produce a range of knitted products which demonstrate research, analysis, costing, technology application and design to a professional standard. Industry in ernship will provide students with awareness and experience of the related aspects of the business and industry.
The programmer will enable students to enter the knitted products industry as fully functioning designers who are business/technology aware.
Textile Design and Development
The Textile Design and Development has inputs which has both design and technology. The course is designed to explain the concepts of textile design from the stage of the original fiber till the final product.
The course is a two year master’s course after graduation and includes inputs of textile, sketching, printing, weaving and computer application to cover woven, print and embroidery designs. In the final year, the students will be mostly doing practical to take up careers as Textile Design Technologists, in Print Houses, handloom industry, Mills Sector and the Garment Export Houses.
Fashion is a very versatile field in terms of careers. Fashion Photography is a profession as well as an art Fashion Photography is an opening for the fashion form. You must have interest in visuals, attentive sensitive Journalists. In fashion photography the entire ness to color and shape and shadow, interest in Puts of style are given their simultaneous express- light, in observing how color look on certain days,
The fabrics, the stylists, the designer, the model, for example on dull days, or gold sunsets. For Fashion Photography, one must have a flair for
Vouch of our advertising is lifestyle advertising, which fashion,' and an interest in style, in fact involves not really fashion Photography. In India fashion met in the whole world of fashion. It has to be
Photography is still at a nascent stage, though it is almost a passion. Lot of photography can be; rowing. At the moment it is generally confined to learn from reading. Technical instruction, in the advertising of textiles because the big advertising is formal sense, is not necessary. Much techniques or the textile houses rather than the much smaller can be learned simply by assisting other photo readymade garment sector. Added to this there is a graphics. Mall market restricted to a glamour market. Apart
Textiles and yarns are of many kinds and are used for making garments, furnishings, 'carpets, towels, lace, net, embroidery, etc. Fabrics may be woven, knitted or printed. Designers specialize in designing fabric for men's suit, ladies' dress or furnishing fabrics.
Textile designing is a very technical subject today as a combination of methods is used. The Indian textile designer today has become prominent in the world market as he has skillfully blended the traditional textures and dyes the modern market needs.
Creative ability and good technical knowledge is essential. The textile designer must have knowledge of yarn making, weaving, knitting g, dyeing and finishing processes, including the knowledge of different types of looms, knitting machines, printing processes including block, stencil, roller and silkscreens.
Textile designing involves design research. This involves an understanding of what the customer requires and which designs are likely to sell. Fashion and design trends are important and so are popular Colors, yarns etc. Trends in the trade have to be forecasted since a product may take a year sometime to reach the market. Having studied current trends of fashion, designers apply their creativity to produce designs to suit the market. Rough sketches are used to outline basic ideas.
The designer takes into consideration the use of the fabric, its durability, weight, texture, etc. Sketches are transferred to detailed technical specifications, to be put on machines, looms or printing tables. The
Specific construction of designs is presented on graph paper or through CAD (computer aided design) systems.
Technical translations are used to produce samples of cloth. The designer works in liaison with technicians and technologists, making necessary adjustments to the designs, the design manager and sales and marketing staff, select samples from the range for the market. It is vitally important for textile designers to keep abreast with the market through trade fairs and visiting clients. Effective presentation, of their work determines the overall success of the design or the designer. Designer’s maybe involved in adaptations and modifications relating to the color, price, after designs are sold.
Designers are creative people and very talented. They have a flair for the work they do. They have a good eye for color and ability to work with details. Innovativeness is essential. Designers should be fashion conscious and able to anticipate customers' requirements.
Technical knowledge is a prerequisite.
Designers need the ability to communicate effectively and should be able to persuade and influence people. Since the work is as much concerned with selling as with creativity.
Textile designers have scope for employment with' textile manufacturing industries. They also work with cottage industries, small scale industries and as Entrepreneurs, with a growing market for exports of textiles, textile designers find employment with export houses as well as large-scale industries catering to the national and international markets. Many textile designers work as free lancers offering their designs to various industries.