The design landscape is constantly changing. Today, good design is defined by the user experience rather than the artwork itself. If you enjoy communicating your ideas creatively, communications design may be a suitable career choice for you. Communication design is a specialized area of design that involves communication through audiovisual and sometimes tactile sensory media. It is often confused with graphic design and used interchangeably with the latter. However, graphic design involves the expression of ideas and experiences through a visual format, such as using creatives for social media. On the other hand, communication design encompasses a wider range of media, such as visual communication, filmmaking, motion graphics, UI/UX design, and much more than just graphic design.
What does a communication designer do?
Communication designers seek to develop a relationship between a viewer and their work. They use design thinking and knowledge of various design principles to convey a message in a clear and interactive way. They also choose the right content, tone and message format to strike a chord with their audience. The ultimate goal of a communication design professional is to attract users and inspire them to take the desired action such as watching and engaging with them, generating brand awareness and recall , etc.
Communication design as a discipline
Communication design is not only an art but also a growing discipline. It merges design psychology, color palette, design tools and techniques with storytelling to convey the key message to the audience. Today, there is a plethora of courses available in communication design and its related fields. The minimum eligibility for the Communication Design course is a total of 50% in any stream of the Class XII exams from a recognized board. Some institutes may also require students to take an entrance test in which they are judged on their creativity, problem solving, and basic design skills. The four-year undergraduate program in Communication Design is highly recommended as it helps students learn about various fields such as graphic design and publishing, film and animation, advertising and branding , UI/UX design, etc. This course helps students navigate as generalists. and specialists to meet the demands of the rapidly changing design landscape.
The course enables students to find viable design solutions to critical problem statements. Beyond theory, it encompasses a mix of case studies, masterclasses, assignments, projects and internships to prepare students for a career in this field. It also emphasizes collaboration with faculty, peers, industry, and mentors to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in students.
Become Industry Ready
While a course in communication design provides a solid foundation and provides a gateway to several career options such as graphic design, UI/UX design, editing, animation, video editing, art direction and filmmaking, today’s competitive professional landscape demands extra effort to achieve professional success.
A communication designer should have storytelling skills, keen observation, basic drawing skills, knowledge of the latest tools and techniques such as InDesign, Illustrator, AfterEffects, and an eye for the latest trends. Additionally, new age skills such as interpersonal skills, decision making and problem solving are increasingly sought after by employers.
Focus should be on building a strong portfolio right from college by taking on projects and internships, attending industry events, and networking with professionals. Actively showcase your portfolio on platforms such as Dribble, Pinterest, and Behance and invest in your personal branding in addition to resume building.
Trends and outlook
Pervasive Internet connectivity and the proliferation of smart devices and social media have given communications design a boost. We live in an age of clutter where our attention span is shrinking, and the focus on customer experience and branding has become paramount for businesses. Communications designers don’t just work for creative agencies, advertising agencies, media, entertainment and gaming companies, and publishing; every business, regardless of industry, needs their services.
Technology has also proven to be the biggest enabler, powering powerful content formats – GIFs, animated videos, reels, and more. Additionally, experiential design has transformed the ability of communication design by turning every interaction with a message into an experience.
Rapid digitization has also led to the emergence of vernacularization as another powerful dimension. According to a report by Google Search, 90% of Indian internet users prefer to use their local language to search online. Successful communication designers have combined the power of storytelling with technology to expand into new horizons than the world ever imagined. Recently, Metaverse has opened up a range of opportunities for reimagining and innovation and promises to transcend the boundaries of this field.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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