DESIGN   From the look and feel of our living spaces to the colors displayed in advertisements to the layouts of websites, art & design influences our...
Author: Thomas Lawson
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DESIGN   From the look and feel of our living spaces to the colors displayed in advertisements to the layouts of websites, art & design influences our lives in a variety of noticeable and invisible ways. Design is a combination of creativity and practicality. In all its forms design is an art that tends to stylize and make something aesthetically appealing and commercially viable. Design comprises varied fields, namely,

INTERIOR DESIGN This is about designing spaces to suit those using them – homes that suit the people living in them, offices that inspire people to work effectively, education complexes for students to learn, live, interact and have fun in, hotels and resorts that take people out of the ordinary world. Besides Residential and Commercial spaces, some interesting specialisations include

Exhibition Design focuses on targeted audiences to help them access and absorb a theme or exhibit. This includes designing art galleries, museum interiors, zoos, visitor areas, trade fairs etc.

Virtual  Reality  is one of the latest trends  in museum design. By  using both head‐worn  and hand‐held devices,  visitors are able to  interact with the  simulation in many ways.  Museum visitors are able  to make choices during  their virtual travel  enabling them to feel a  sense of exploration –  triggering curiosity and  the desire to learn. 

Set Design deals with designing stages, studios and sets for performance of theatre and music, or for the making of films or television serials or for fashion shows or other events. This includes designing scenery, props, backgrounds, lighting and often aerial displays and rigging.

FASHION DESIGN Fashion Design includes conceptualizing, outlining, creating the designs and preparing patterns for costumes, apparels, garments, clothing accessories, jewelry or any other articles. Fashion designers often specialize in Indian wear, Western wear or bridal fashions.


Fashion Communications refers to the management of brand identity and growth strategies for fashion labels in the national and international markets. This includes defining the brand positioning and its competition, managing the development of new collections, monitoring brand visibility in the press, through events, advertising and other forms of customer communications. Jewelry Design works with diverse material such as gold, precious stones, copper, platinum, thread, wire and countless other forms to create jewelry for men and women for casual, formal and ceremonial occasions. Accessory Design refers to designing bags, shoes, wristwatches and other fashion accessories. Accessory designers work with leather, metal, textiles and other materials.

GRAPHIC / VISUAL COMMUNICATION DESIGN Graphic design combines text, colors, images and graphics to communicate an effective message in the design of logos, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and other type of visual communication.

The job opportunities for graphic designers are varied and spread across industries like advertising, publishing, films, animation, PR, etc. They may work as Copywriters, Illustrators and Brand Identity/ Logo Designers. They may also produce credits for television or other film media or prepare drawings to show sequence for story development for film production. Graphics showing data, charts, polls, results etc are also made by visual communication designers. Jobs are to be found in Design Firms, In-house Design Departments of larger companies, Production Houses, Advertising Agencies, PR firms,etc. Freelancing is also very popuar with Graphic Designers.

The most  popular  color is…  Blue. According to various international studies, the world’s most popular color is blue. Based on the survey conducted by several global marketing firms, they’ve concluded that people worldwide picked blue (40%) as their favorite color followed by purple (14%). Though some researchers also suggest that red and green are a close second and third respectively. 

PRODUCT / INDUSTRIAL DESIGN Product or Industrial design combines functionality with aesthetic appeal in designing a range of products like wall clocks, furniture, computer screens, mobile phones, soft drink bottles, automobiles and toothbrushes! It encompasses creative design of products with due consideration of human, technical and aesthetic aspects. Industrial Designers research CAREERS IN DESIGN| 2

product use, design trends, materials, and production methods. They create detailed designs using drawings, models, computer simulations, or prototypes. It combines technical knowledge of materials, machines and production with artistic talent in order to improve upon both the appearance and functionality of the products. Automobile Design refers to the design and development of road vehicles – cars, trucks, utility vehicles and two-wheelers. The job goes way beyond the designing the appearance of these vehicles but includes materials, design of engineering equipment and technology, managing driving experience and fuel efficiency as well as looks. Furniture Design is part of both interior and product design. It refers to customized furniture for individual homes, ambience furniture for hospitality, as well as commercial furniture – indoor and outdoor. Furniture designers work with varied materials, tools and textures. Quite a few of the commercial and industrial designers are self-employed. They also seek employment in specialized design firms and engineering organizations. Manufacturing companies too, absorb them as employees.

WEB DESIGN This encompasses creating the pages, layout, and graphics for websites. It involves both designing the visual text and graphics of the website as well designing its navigation and user interface using knowledge of internet technology as well as visual graphics and design. Prospects in this area are ever expanding- the net is ubiquitous and evolving. Work opportunities exist in advertising, entertainment, multimedia, e-commerce, and so forth. Almost all companies, small or big, employ professional designers to put up their websites – for company information or e-commerce. The spate of social networking sites, photo, video storage, information sites etc has also led to increasing work for web designers. Most web designers work freelance, though some are employed by advertising agencies.

TEXTILE DESIGN Textile design is essentially the process of creating patterns for woven, knitted or printed fabrics or surface ornamented fabrics. These textiles are used in clothing and interior decor items like curtains and upholstery. Textile designers usually work with cloth and textile manufacturers and sometimes with fashion and garment manufactures. Many are also self-employed or work with Design Houses in actual Design as well as Quality Control.


WHO MAKES A GREAT DESIGNER Does your job allow you to express your individuality? Are you encouraged to use your imagination to push the boundaries? Do you feel you have the freedom to challenge the status quo and discover innovative ways of thinking? Great designers Are spontaneously creative: They enjoy the blank canvas of ideas that can be moulded into a concrete design. Aesthetically gifted: They display well-developed visual sensitivity, color sense, an idea of lighting and decoration, and an appreciation of ergonomics Work extensively with software: All design is software based today, even fashion design. It helps to build sound technical knowledge of computer-aided design software. Work under pressure: Like many creative fields, work often stretches to fill the time available for it and then overflows a bit. Or maybe, its that the best ideas take time to form shape. Designers often work unpredictable and irregular working hours and learn to handle pressure patiently and efficiently. Work well with people: Clients can be confused, fickle, detail-oriented, stubborn or even nonresponsive. Great designers build skills to listen, understand, pitch ideas, handle unpredictable requests. Above all, they learn to match their designs to the client’s real needs rather than their own fancies or tastes. Web / Instructional Design additionally need to have an understanding of software such as HTML, Adobe Photoshop, DreamWeaver, Javascript, Coldfusion, Java, Perl and Flash Successful industrial designers are often engineers.

COMPENSATION Well, it depends on if you are working as an independent designer or part of an organization. As a fresher, you would be earning a starting salary of in the range of 20,000-40,000 while peak salaries can go from 15-30 lakhs. Again, if you are working freelance, it would depend on the size of the projects you undertake. A graphic designer, for example, could start by charging 2040,000 per logo and go upto charging 50,000 -1 lakh per brochure. Senior designers could charge 5 lacs to 30 lacs for the same. An interior Designer may charge 50,000-1 lakh for a residential project and 5-10 lakhs for a commercial project, but again there is as much variance as there are projects. Billing is usually estimated based on man- hours the Designer would be putting in.


STUDY ROUTES A Bachelor’s in Fine Arts or a Bachelors in Design are both routes for entering this field. BFA graduates usually work in Graphic Design, Visual Communication or Photography. Most Design colleges conduct their own Entrance Exams that usually follow a similar pattern a ‘Studio Test’ that aims to test ‘Design’ aptitude and sensibilities. There are two parts to this – a two-hour exam of drawing skills and a one-hour general aptitude test. This is followed by an interview 9 and in some colleges a Group Discussion) where the students are expected to carry a portfolio of their work. Apart from individuals who provide coaching in drawing, there are some online services (e.g., that provide coaching in drawing skills. There are no subject restrictions in school to approach an undergraduation in Design.

Top 10 Colleges for BFA (Bachelors in Fine Arts) in India (India Today, 2015) A Bachelor’s in Fine Arts or a Bachelors in Design are both valid routes for entering this field. BFA graduates usually work in Graphic Design, Visual Communication or Photography.  Faculty of Visual Arts (Banaras Hindu University)  Faculty of Fine Arts (Jamia Millia Islamia)  College of Art  Visva-Bharati, Kala Bhavan (Institute of Fine Arts) - Santiniketan  Bharati Vidyapeeth (KalaMahavidyalaya) College of Fine Arts  Lucknow College of Arts and Crafts (LCAC) - Lucknow  Department of Fine Arts (Kurukshetra University)  Department of Fine Arts (Stella Maris College) - Chennai  Department of Fine Arts (Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith)  Department of Fine Arts (Aligarh Muslim University)

Interior Design Class XII (PCM) is required for a five year course in Interior Design at CEPT, Ahmedabad. Entry is through an admission test. This is the only 5-year professional course in interior design in India. Aspirants need to have qualified their 10+2 examination, with an average of 55% in English, Physics, Chemistry, and Math/Biology. Leading Design courses like NID offer a specialisation in Industrial Design which includes Interior Design. After XII (any stream), a two to three year diploma course in interior decoration can be pursued. After 3 years of diploma, one can work with interior decoration firms to get experience.


Many part time and one year diploma courses are also available. Some private institutes, too, offer certifications in Interior Design. The 4 years Bachelor of fine Arts (BFA) programme offers specialization in Interior Design.  The school of Interior design, CEPT, Ahmedabad  National Institute of Design, Paldi, Ahmedabad  JJ School of Arts, Mumbai (BFA- 4yr).  School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi  Sophia College B. K. Somani Polytechnic, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai.  Maeer's MIT Institute Of Design, Rajbaug, Loni-Kalbhor, Pune  Indian School of Design and Innovation, Mumbai (with a tie up with Parsons, New York)  SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai.  J.N.T.U, Hyderabad.  Vishwesharayya College, Bangalore.  Exteriors Interiors, S Kalkaji, New Delhi; 47/1C, Hazra Road, Calcutta.  Nirmala Niketan, 49, New Marine Lines, Mumbai.

Fashion Design and Communications Fashion studies courses are generally offered to students after Class XII. These courses impart training in all aspects of garment manufacture and branding. A few renowned institutes are as follows:  National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) particularly the centres at New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Calcutta, Bangalore, Mumbai, Gandhinagar, Mohaly (  Pearl Academy of Fashion, New Delhi (  Symbiosis Institute of Design (SID)  Amity School of Fashion Technology, Noida  Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology - Bangalore  Premlila Vithaldas Polytechnic (S.N.D.T Women's University), Mumbai (  J.D. Birla Institute, Kolkata  National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad. (  Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology ,Yelahanka, Bangalore (  National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD), Chandigarh. (  Wigan & Leigh College.(  Apeejay Institute of Design, New Delhi. (  Maeer's MIT Institute Of Design, Rajbaug, Loni-Kalbhor, Pune  Indian School of Design and Innovation, Mumbai (with a tie up with Parsons, New York)


Jewelry Design While this is often a specialisation within Fashion Design, one can also pursue a diploma in jewelry design. Student from any academic stream have to qualify an aptitude test and an interview to be eligible.  NIFT Campus, New Delhi  Jewelry Design and Technology Institute (JDTI), Noida  St. Xavier's College, Geology Department, Mumbai.  Indian Institute of Jewelry, Mumbai  Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council, Jaipur  SNDT, Mumbai

Product & Industrial Design Leading courses are offered at the post graduate level. Institutes generally look for a Bachelor’s degree in design, architecture, or engineering. Some aspirants might want to pursue a Master’s, to increase the probability of landing better jobs. Leading institutes are:                  

Industrial Design Centre, IIT, Delhi NID, Ahmedabad ( Maeer's MIT Institute Of Design, Rajbaug, Loni-Kalbhor, Pune ( Srishti School of Design, Bangalore ( Indian School of Design and Innovation, Mumbai (with a tie up with Parsons, New York) ( Department of Design, Guwahati ( IIT, Kanpur ( School of Planning & Architecture, Delhi ( Centre for Product design and Manufacturing, Bangalore ( Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune Institute of Design, Pune Pearl Academy of Design, Delhi Wigan & Leigh College, New Delhi Apeejay Institute of Design, Delhi Loyola College, Chennai D J Academy of Design, Coimbatore IILM School of Design, Gurgaon Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, Karnataka

Graphic Design Various institutes have programs in multimedia, graphic design, visual communication, advertising, animation, web development, and so on. They share almost similar principles and course structure, but the approach and perspective differ. Good academic programs generally offer internship programs into related industries and eventually, a full-time work opportunity CAREERS IN DESIGN| 7

with the specific organization. Some of these institutes even offer campus placements. A few renowned institutes are:  NID, Ahmedabad (  Srishti School of Design, Bangalore (  Sophiya College, B.K Somani Polytechnic, Mumbai  Maeer's MIT Institute Of Design, Rajbaug, Loni-Kalbhor, Pune (  Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune (  Institute of Design, Pune  Indian School of Design and Innovation, Mumbai (with a tie up with Parsons, New York) (  Miami Ad School, Mumbai ( part of the MAS network) (  Loyola College, Chennai  Apeejay Institute of Design, Delhi  Creative-i College of Arts, Pune  Department of Design, Guwahati (  Wigan & Leigh College, New Delhi  Raffles Design International, Mumbai  D J Academy of Design, Coimbatore  IILM School of Design, Gurgaon  Pearl Academy, Delhi  Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, Karnataka