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Graphic design can be hard, yes. If you’re working commercially, …

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Graphic design can be hard, yes. If you’re working commercially, there will always be projects that you don’t get a “feel” for. It can also be incredibly fun, as it’s one of those jobs you can really enjoy.

Schools usually expect some previous art experience in high school, but it isn’t mandatory to making graphic design your major. You’ll be taking a lot of art classes, and if you’re planning on going into web design, you’ll be taking a lot of computer classes, as well, along with marketing and core classes.

Graphic designers can mean web design, package design, poster design, advertisement design, etc. There are many different facets of design that you can specialize in.

However, a fair warning, the graphic design job market is incredibly saturated. A lot of people who go to school for graphic design end up with a job that doesn’t utilize their degree or experience in the field.

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Graphic design is a very competitive field, but you will have a huge advantage if you stick with the double major. The pharmaceutical industry, insurance companies, hospitals, etc. are HUGE consumers of graphic design and marketing. They turn out an incredible amount of training and sales literature, and they look for (and pay generously) any designers who understand and can illustrate their products, medicine, and biology in general. So I think you would be smart to keep both if you can. Education is never a waste, and the medical training is definitely going to be a huge benefit to you later on down the line. You can tap a huge profitable market that’s closed to many other designers.

On a somewhat related note, designers are stereotyped as flakes sometimes. Having a science degree shows you have drive, focus and intelligence, and larger agencies will see that as a huge bonus when making a decision on who to hire.

Plus someday you may be completely burned out on design and want the stability that comes with working in medicine. It’s good to have that option.

I’ve been a designer / prepress tech for 15 years and I’ve worked with GSK, Pfizer, Wyeth Labs, and many others over the years, so I have some insight into this stuff.


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Graphic Design is a broad field while advertising design is concerned with advertising. This may involve the use of graphic design in the creation of an advertisement. Just as in web design, graphic design would play a part for creating websites.

Also keep in mind, there will be aspects in advertising design that go into other areas besides graphic design just as it happens when creating websites.

There are many avenues open for graphic designers, advertising as you mentioned above is one of them, web design is another, print design is yet another area and there are many others.


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Graphic design and illustration are related but not necessarily the same thing. There are many excellent illustrators who are not working in graphic design. Graphic design can include anything from posters and album art to advertising, and into web design and so on.

Photoshop is only one tool that graphic designers and illustrators may use. Illustrator is also used, and for many aspects of graphic design is the better tool. For example, if you are producing a logo to be used on a variety of materials, from business cards to letterhead, to brochures, to billboard sized ads, you would want to use Illustrator because it is a vector program (Photoshop is a raster program), and vectors can be resized without loss of quality, while raster images cannot.

Many digital artists (graphic designers, etc.) use a graphic tablet because it gives you more flexibility and control over what you do.

Many digital artists also start out with “traditional” materials: pen or pencil and paper, watercolors, etc. They may work up a good quality rough in these materials, then scan them in using a scanner to digitize the image, and then go on to work on the digital version using Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. Many, if not most, good artists will work up a series of thumbnail sketches first, to play with concepts and ideas, before they go on to more finished work. There can be many steps from original idea to final image.

Hopefully the good art you are seeing does NOT involve copying the pictures from the Internet. For one thing, if someone does this and represents that image as their own, they are breaching copyright.


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