We spend most of our waking hours seeking or giving information through the use of digital and other mediums – information that connects, information that entertains, and even information that helps us make decisions. Look around you as you read this article – you may be reading this on a website that you are accessing through your computer or a tablet or a smartphone. You may even be listening to a song on the phone that you able to access through the Saavn music app that you downloaded yesterday. Perhaps there is a television in the room that is playing the latest Spiderman film or the newest version of the Jungle Book, a film that took almost 3 years to create.
Have you ever thought about who creates these platforms for you to seek and give information and for you to communicate, entertain or be entertained? It is communication designers…who, you ask? Well, you may have heard of graphic design, web design, mobile application design, animation, multimedia design…all of these are fields within communication design. There is simple reason why they are clubbed together under the umbrella of communication design – all these mediums are used to communicate a message or idea to the user – you! Whatsapp allows your friends and family to send text messages, pictures and videos to you. A video game like Temple Run allows you become another character and experience an alternate realm. On the other hand, a game like Pokemon Go adds a new dimension to the real world. Interesting ads on the television may inform you that your favourite Maggi noodles are now available in new flavours or a big hoarding in your city may let you know that a new H&M store is opening in a mall close to you. That boring text-book comes alive with illustrations and drawings that trigger your imagination and the golden arches seen on the side of the road tell you that there is a McDonald’s close-by. All of these are examples of communication design and practitioners working in these fields are called communication designers.
In the earlier days, Designing colleges and institutes would offer only graphic design courses. Animation and multimedia were also taught as short-term programmes. However, with the growing interaction between these fields, it has become imperative that designers don’t just have expertise in one field, but also understand other allied fields that help the designer create the most effective communication medium for the user. For example, a communication designer who has a working knowledge of all of the major sub-fields within communication design can offer accurate strategic advice to the client to use media platforms that would most benefit the client and the product or service that they are trying to sell. The designer can advice the client and help them to create an app or a website to sell the product/service, advertise on social media, use newspaper ads and create a cool logo that will be used on all of these platforms. In this way, a communication designer is much more than a graphic design technician and plays a strategic role in planning marketing communications for the client. A well-rounded course in communication design exposes the students to various print and digital media platforms, design tools and technologies as well as the interaction between these platforms. The students can then develop special expertise in one particular field that they are most fascinated by. Unlike a conventional graphic designing course, a degree in communication design educates the students in a multitude of pathways within the vast discipline and opens up a plethora of opportunities in the field. A communication design graduate may explore opportunities in film and television networks, advertising and branding, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design (this includes gaming and mobile apps), branding and logo design, print and publishing design, and even exhibition design. The list is endless! In fact, according to a recent article in The Economic Times, design graduates are even being offered upto 50% higher salaries than engineering graduates. Feeling exciting about Communication Design as a career option? Then look for the top design colleges offering communication designing courses in your city or a city near you.