Careers in Advertising Design

Successful advertising brands a product into the minds of consumers, sometimes remaining in people's heads years after the conclusion of the advertising campaign. Behind these campaigns are creative people including the advertising designer. This person helps organize the visual imagery so that the intended message is clear to the public. If you are considering a career in advertising designing then we have few suggestions - 

  • Don't expect to just float around after you graduate and do whatever you want to do. Most employers will see that lack of direction as a red flag. Have an idea of what type of design you want to get into once you graduate, and then learn as much about that specific area as you can. Once you get out on your own you can tailor your portfolio and job search to fit the career you want to have.
  • Don't be lazy: If you sit back and wait for agencies to start calling and job offers to roll in, you'll be waiting for a long time! Getting that first job takes a lot of effort, and you'll likely send out quite a few resumes before you get a call back.
  • Be polite :This is extremely important for students to remember. The creative directors you are calling and interviewing with are all very busy people who are willing to make time to sit and review your work.
  • Learn how to speak about your work:This is an extremely important skill as you'll not only be presenting your work to potential employers, but also to your future clients. Learn how to present your work, tell why you did what you did, what the concept was or what the problem was and how you solved it.
  • Master your tools: We all use the same basic set of tools — Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc. — so learn every nook and cranny of your design programs. If there is a piece of software you know you'll need to learn, pick it up somewhere and spend a weekend with it. Mastering your tools will make you a quicker and more productive designer.
  • Look for critiques and criticism: Having your work critiqued is a very humbling experience, but one of the primary ways we grow as designers. As a student your work can always be improved, so ask anyone and everyone to look through your portfolio and give you some constructive feedback.
  • Do personal projects: You don't have to wait for the right job to do the work you want to do. Make your own projects, pursue your own passions and find your creative outlet aside from your day to day work. Personal projects can be a great way to experiment with a new style or learn a new technique, and are usually more fun and rewarding.
  • Be professional on social media: College is a time to have fun, and everyone gets carried away from time to time, but be careful about what you post online.
  • Develop your personal brand: Design your own visual identity and be consistent. Brand yourself with a logo of some sort, design matching stationery and business cards, resume, promotional materials and a website.
  • Get involved in professional organizations: Whether it's AIGA, SEGD or AIA, most every design discipline has a professional organization. Many, like AIGA, have organized student chapters that develop programs for young designers in conjunction with the governing professional chapters. Getting involved in these organizations is a great way to meet new people, make connections and learn about the industries you'll be entering soon.
  • Make a list of your dream jobs: If you could have one job for the rest of your life what would it be? Granted that's not realistic, but what are the positions or companies that really interest you? Make a list of your top companies or desired positions and figure out how to get there. Look at job requirements for those positions, talk to people that work at those companies and set yourself on a path to achieving those goals.
  • Get to know your superiors: Who better to learn from than those who've been around for a while? Talk to local professionals in your area, buy them coffee and ask them lots of questions. This is a great way to get to know people and the agencies they work for.

The advertising designer who wants to build a career in the advertising world usually begins in an entry-level position. The company for which he works could be a design firm, a magazine or a greeting card company.

The designer starts as a part of the creative team and takes direction from either the Art Director or the Creative Director. Good luck!!

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