A designer is someone who designs the form or structure of an object before it’s actually made, usually by drawing plans or drawings. The term “designer” comes from the designer’s need to devise ways of conceiving an object in its most favorable form, and also “to shape or form.” A designer’s work is often discussed in terms of aesthetics or form, with the designer determining the aesthetic quality or “the look” of an object. Often times, it’s not the final product that earns the accolade, but rather the vision or “the idea” behind it.
While some designer jobs are held by individuals with a specific technical skill set, most designer positions (in both residential and commercial settings) require a combination of technical skill, aesthetic vision, and marketing expertise. A primary designer has a responsibility for “designing” the work of the secondary designers, and is often involved in the conceptualization stage as well as the conceptualization process. He or she is often the architect behind the designs. In the case of architectural or engineering projects, a principal designer will generally be involved in the initial study, planning, design, and construction phases of that project, though he or she may also have input in the creation of the plans or blueprints.
So, we’ve learned that what does a designer do? Designers create works of art, architecture, computer software, jewelry, books, film, video, and more. How can you become a designer? You can choose to major in a Bachelor’s degree program in Visual and Performing Arts, which provides an education in the creative arts focusing on visual communication and performance. Or, you can pursue a Master’s degree in Interior Design, which will train you to create unique space designs, installations, and decorating.
When you’re considering a career as a designer, one of the questions you should ask yourself is, “What kind of designer are I?” You should know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses, so you can create an environment that best suits your skills. In other words, you don’t want to be an ‘imitation’ designer, you want to be an original, so you ask questions like: “How do I get my clients excited about my project? What kind of information would inspire me to create the best designs possible?”
The second thing you should know is where to find your ideal job. The best way to make this decision is to research job boards. Most job boards allow designers to post information about their qualifications and openings. It’s important to make sure the designer is experienced and that the educational background meets the company’s needs. For example, if the web designer’s experience consists of only a few years, it’s probably not a good choice for companies who need ongoing web site maintenance and updates.
The last piece of information to have in front of you is: what designers range from a one-person operation to a two-person firm or organization. Most firms start out small, working out of their home offices. A designer who is just starting out has probably spent most of their professional life on freelance websites, putting together websites and designs by themselves. A freelance designer can start out making affordable, interesting designs. As they gain experience, they can branch out into web design and become more proficient at creating designs for larger companies, such as a law firm. Web designers range from one person to two people, depending on their experience and skill level.