Design As A Career

What is Design?

Design is a widely used word. It is applied to any process where an outcome is being planned rather than relying on chance. So people in all sorts of occupations speak of designing aspects of their business activities. In many cases, they are using the word as a synonym for plan.

Design is also a term used by technical professionals such as engineers or software developers. These professionals must reconcile the technical and commercial requirements of projects.Professional design grew out of a need for skilled individuals who could plan products and environments that would appeal to customers. An essential part of design is the preparation of plans and instructions that will allow for the accurate production of the design by others rather than the designer also performing the production task.

Design is what links creativity and innovation. It shapes ideas to become practical and attractive propositions for users or customers. Design may be described as creativity deployed to a specific end.

Designing is the blend of artistic talents and creativity. Design encompasses a number of different fields. It can be mainly divided into four ie, Fashion designing, Product designing, Graphic designing and Interior designing. Fashion designing deals with clothing and textiles, product designing with designing products, graphic designing deals with designing for websites, movies, logos, signage, etc. and interior designing is the arrangement of living space i.e organizing, managing and planning of the interiors of rooms at homes, offices, retail shops, showrooms, hotels, airports, exhibition halls, conference centers, theatres, TV and film studios and commercial establishments etc. The objective of designing space is to achieve functionality and to create the right kind of atmosphere for the right budget.

Who is a designer?

Besides the common question about what is design, another is what is a designer or rather, who is a designer? If we are convinced that design is all around us, and that we live in a designed world, then is everyone a designer? And, in that sense, how can a designer make a living or make a difference?

A designer is a person who designs. More formally, a designer is an agent that “specifies the structural properties of a design object.” In practice, anyone who creates tangible or intangible objects, such as consumer products, processes, laws, games and graphics, is referred to as a designer.

Therefore, a designer is a business professional who develops solutions to commercial needs that require the balancing of technical, commercial, human and aesthetic requirements. A designer can be said to be both technician and artist. A designer plans things for manufacture or construction. The difference between a designer and a crafts person or artist is that designers usually develop things that have requirements set by others and will ultimately be produced by others.

How is design different from other activities?

Perhaps the most obvious attribute of design is that it makes ideas tangible, it takes abstract thoughts and inspirations and makes something concrete. In fact, it’s often said that designers don’t just think and then translate those thoughts into tangible form, they actually think through making things. This ability to make new ideas real from an early stage in developing products or services means that they have a greater chance of becoming successful more quickly.

Another, sometimes less obvious, attribute of design is that it is human-centred. Designers are sometimes caricatured as self-obsessed, but the truth is that really great designers care hugely about the real people who will use the product, service, building or experience they are developing. This focus on users inspires great ideas and ensures that solutions meet real needs, whether the users are fully aware of them or not.

This pragmatic process of making ideas tangible and then trying them out with users means that design has a particular ability to make things simple. Anything that is too complicated to understand, communicate or operate is soon exposed. Perhaps this is why really great design can seem as obvious as common sense.

Finally, design is collaborative. The dual qualities of tangibility and human-centerdness mean that the design process is very good at engaging others. Design processes are increasingly being used as a way to enable groups of designers and non-designers to work together to tackle big issues.

Design professions

Different types of design professions include:

– Product Design – Interior design – Landscape design

– Urban design – Furniture design – Graphic design

– Industrial design – Interaction design – Learning design

– Packaging design – Web design – Fashion design

– Jewelry design – Footwear design – Game design

– Costume design – Lighting design – Scenic design

– Sound design

How do I become a designer?

To become a designer, one has to pass the plus two level examination with the required percentage (which can differ from institute to institute) and write the specific entrance exam of the institution of your choice. The National Institute of Design conducts the National level NID NEED exam (National Entrance Exam in Design) which enables you to apply to five institutes with the NEED score : National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, D. J. Academy of Design, Coimbatore, IILM School of Design, Gurgaon, Wigan & Leigh College, New Delhi and Pearl Academy of Fashion (PAF), New Delhi. If you are interested specifically in Fashion Technology, you can write the NIFT exam for entry into the National Institutes of Fashion Technology. Apart from this, you can write the entrance exams of other colleges & Universities for example, CEPT Ahmedabad, MIT Institute of Design, Pune, Symbiosis Institute of Design (SID), Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore etc. Visit their websites for details about these exams.


The candidate must pass their Higher Secondary Examination or equivalent examination like AISSCE/ IB/ ICSE etc with at least 50%. They need not be specifically from a Math or Science background. However, knowledge or proficiency in the technical or related subjects, considered as an advantage at the time of admission.

Candidates appearing the final of the qualifying examination are also eligible to appear for the entrance test. Candidates must be not less than 17 years of age, and for the reserved categories there is a relaxation of three years in the upper age limit.

Degrees & Diplomas:

The main UG degree offered for design is B. Des (or Bachelor of Design) & a B. Sc in Design. Apart from this there are a number of Diplomas and Certifications offered by various colleges.

Job Prospects & Career Options

Fashion designers can find excellent placements in garment, leather and jewelry industry as merchandising executives, fashion designers, illustrators, fashion co-coordinators, etc. Export houses, textile mills, garment store chains, boutiques, leather companies, jewelry houses, fashion show organizers also look for such candidates.

An industrial design degree is an all-purpose qualification across every form of commercial product design. Career options are based on skill and technical levels, rather than the sort of types of employment which define other careers. The design types, technical levels and degree of expertise define career progression.

These are generic types of industrial design:

  • Product design and conception
  • Product and prototype development
  • Design consultancies
  • Experimental design
  • CAD design
  • Architecture (design elements)
  • Component design
  • Consumer goods design
  • Merchandising
  • Product safety design
  • Children’s products
  • Packaging
  • Furniture
  • Professional and industrial tools and equipment
  • Hardware

These areas of design offer a lot of possibilities for career development. Most industrial designers begin their careers working for commercial design organizations or manufacturers. The different types of design work can also create good options for specialization, depending on the designer’s career goals.

Product designers have a huge influence on the form, function and style of many of the objects we use in our daily lives – everything from kettles to telephones to televisions – as well as creating much more specialist products, such as medical equipment. Individual designers often focus on a particular area, such as consumer electronics, automotive design or indeed medical equipment, but many of the product designer’s skills are transferable between projects and products.

Product designers work with many other disciplines which are often closely connected to the product development process. On the research side, for example, designers might employ people with qualifications in ethnographic research, ergonomics, semiotics or even psychology to inform their design processes. Materials and technology specialists also play a crucial part in product development, particular in innovation.

A new age career, graphic designing is one of the most sought after career options in today’s world. And as the world gets more and more digitalized, the avenues of graphic designers are also evolving. Graphic design career paths cover all ends of the creative spectrum and often overlap. The main job responsibility of a Graphic Designer is the arrangement of visual elements in some type of media. The main job titles within the industry can vary and are often country specific. They can include graphic designer, art director, creative director, and the entry level production artist.