What comes to mind when you think of the subject “Topics of Graphic Design”? This was the first question posed to us as we settled in to our first day of class. Naturally, most people thought that this class would cover everything we would potentially experience as young and upcoming professionals. Also, the topic of trendsetting and trendsetters were discussed as well.
What do you think is a trendsetter? What makes someone a trendsetter? I think it was unanimous that a trendsetter is one that goes against the grain – does something that has never been done before. We discussed several trendsetters in the graphic design field such as Stefan Sagmeister who was known for his out of the way art using nudity and body art. Another trendsetter discussed was Paula Scher who was known for her quirky text decisions and text orientations on various poster/flyer media. . Her style was similar to that of Russian constructivism and Dada. Milton Glasser was also discussed and coined as one of the first designers to combine symbols and text. Some people mentioned Massimo Vinelli, Roberto Blake an Ellen Lupton but the professor explained that trendsetters have to be alive as some of the above mentioned names have since passed.
What can one expect working in the field and how does one go about getting a job? In the field, you have to face many personalities and you therefore need to be capable of handling yourself. For example, if the client shoots down your idea, you must be able to defend your idea and explain it in an understandable and respectable way. Secondly, if you’re going for a job interview, you must be dressed appropriately and your portfolio must be done and presented well. Your portfolio should showcase your skills and style. If you’re unsure what your unique style is, then you include 1-2 of your best artworks and explain the different themes. Furthermore, when going on an interview, be sure to have your resume and send a cover letter for the job you want. It was suggested that you should research the company to which you are applying so you can have a better idea of what your role may entail and what the company is about.
We also discussed freelancing. The professor stressed the point that we should always have a contract ready and it must specify how many revisions you can do, and payment options. It was suggested that you make the client put down a deposit upfront, and then pay the remaining balance at completion. Also, rates were briefly discussed but we (students) were promised that we explore the topic in further detail as the semester goes by.
Another important topic that was briefly discussed were the jobs in the field – especially jobs available for recent college graduates. It was mentioned though that the competition in NYC is really high but at the same time, it gives you a chance of snagging something as there would be a lot more jobs available. Students were also curious on what the difference is in terms of working at an agency, and working at a creative firm. Creative block was briefly brought up as well. However, we were promised that all these topics will be covered in detail during the semester. I think these topics are all of interest to me and can’t think of anything else that I would want to discuss.