Are You Cut Out For A Creative Design Job?
Everything You Need To Know About The Creative Designer Role
A career that you are cut out for, for the most part, doesn’t just present itself to you or ‘happen’. It entails an awful lot of trial and error, and experimentation with various jobs, before you find your feet in the perfect role. That said, if you’ve at least recognised that you thrive in a work environment where your artistic flair is honoured, allow us to play devil's advocate for a moment. Perhaps you might be well suited to a creative design job? Indeed, if you boast an impressive imagination and an eye for visually pleasing aesthetics, this might just be the ‘aha’ moment your career needed. Of course, there are other aspects to the creative designer role. Understanding what attracts and retains a consumer’s attention is critical, as is an ability to inspire others. Still curious? Read on to find out precisely what you’d be letting yourself in for, and what’s required of you, in a creative designer role.
First, What Is A Creative Designer & What Do They Do On A Day To Day Basis?
In a nutshell, creative designers use their design skills to promote a company, its products or services. Industries that employ them range from publishing and broadcasting to marketing and advertising. Day to day, creative designers implement ideas or build on ones generated by clients, creative directors or marketing managers. In a commercial setting, ‘creative ideas’ might extend to product labels, brochures or logos. Creating banners for web pages or graphics for TV broadcast are often required too. In essence, a creative designer will use their knack for visuals to add a dose of magic to pretty much any marketing materials. In the publishing industry, creative designers make graphics to complement or illustrate articles or ad layouts.
Ok, So Creative Designer Vs Graphic Designer: What’s The Difference?
It’s not uncommon for the creative designer role to be used interchangeably with graphic designer. There is a distinction, however. Creative designer is a broad, umbrella term that encompasses many roles, including multimedia artists, graphic artists, photographers and, yep you guessed it, graphic designers. Basically, it refers to any role that requires creativity and design skills, including a fashion designer at a clothing brand. Despite what you might expect, if we were to flip reverse the two roles, graphic designers are not always creatives. In fact, while a graphic designer might have the ability to design images they could very well struggle without creative briefs or direction.
What Are Some Creative Designer Challenges
Now, if you’re wondering if a creative design job is suited to you, it’s certainly not without its challenges. Namely, it’s an ever-changing field. As a creative designer, it’s essential that you remain up to date with industry trends and research - which can take its toll. Plus, there might be days within your role when inspiration just simply doesn't strike, despite racking your brains for ideas. Naturally, you will hit a roadblock now and then. It happens to the best of us! To overcome this, it’s important to give yourself time to recharge and refresh your mind so the creative juices can keep flowing.
Do You Need A Creative Design Degree?
At the very least, most companies seeking a creative designer expect you to hold a bachelor's degree. Any degree that demonstrates artistic talent such as graphic design, art or photography is relevant. That said, candidates with limited academic backgrounds but who demonstrate strong creative accomplishments or portfolios (more on that below) will still be considered. It might just make your initial attempt to get noticed that bit trickier. After all, if employers are faced with two candidates of similar experience, portfolios and personalities, the job seeker with a degree will probably get the job.. Evidence of internships and apprenticeships is often required to land bigger and better creative design roles too.
Is A Creative Designer Portfolio Necessary?
In any creative industry, having a portfolio will help you progress massively. Not only do they help you showcase your best work, acting as a resume, but they can also help you stand out from your peers. One way to do this is to adapt your design style to that of the company you're applying for. When you’ve taken the time to study or critique your potential employers' use of design, nothing says ‘creative’ and ‘good fit’ quite like it! Ultimately, to get hired in a creative designer role, you have to be willing to dedicate your time to updating and tweaking your portfolio.
3 Essential Creative Designer Skills & Qualities:
- Creative flair - Ok, perhaps this is a bit of a no-brainer, but before you consider a creative designer role, seriously ask yourself whether creativity is your strong point. Does coming up with new ideas, or breathing life into old ones, give you a buzz? If the answer is an emphatic yes, then a creative designer role is likely suited to you.
- Strong communication skills - Design is just another, more visual, form of communication. That’s why yours will need to be on point in this role. On a daily basis, you’ll be interacting with various types of creatives, who approach their work from a slightly different angle, such as copywriters, illustrators and photographers. You’ll also be expected to interact with those in managerial positions and, let’s not forget, clients.
- Able to use creative tools - Most creative designers are comfortable using graphic design tools and software such as Quark, InDesign and Adobe. Naturally, the one you become most skilled in will rely on factors such as the company/industry you work for, your area of interest and demand.
Creative Designer Career Path
In terms of career progression, there is scope to work as a creative designer in-house, within an agency or as a freelancer. Each has its pros and cons. Generally, in-house is considered more of a moneymaker, while creative design agency jobs provide more variety in terms of the work you’ll be doing. Freelance, meanwhile, allows you to pick and choose jobs that interest you. The pinnacle of a creative designer's career tends to be that of a creative director. This involves determining the creative vision of a brand or project, which is revealed through digital, print and film installations. Be it a video game, advertising campaign or fashion line, maintaining a cohesive look and feel of a project is a key responsibility, as is managing creative teams, budgets, timelines and client relationships.
Are you seeking a creative design job, based in Sussex? At Wired Sussex, we regularly connect talented job seekers with incredible companies. From junior creative designer jobs through to more senior roles, such as a head of creative design, we’ve got you covered. Check out the current opportunities available on our jobs board now.