In an attempt to move up the value chain, many Indian companies are now putting maximum focus on design. Consequently, most of them are lapping up young talents directly from the country’s top design institutes like National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and National Institute of Design (NID), with lucrative salaries - up to 50 percent higher than the average salary of an entry-level engineer, according to a recent report by The Economic Times.
Although typically an urban-centric profession, designing now attracts students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Aspiring designers first need to decide which area of designing they want to focus on. Some popular options include fashion designing, interior designing, graphic designing, game designing, product designing and visual merchandising. If you are planning to become a designer, start by knowing a few things about the specific of this profession.
Job DescriptionRoles and responsibilities vary depending on your area of specialization and the company you’re working for. If you work in the fashion industry, you’ll be mainly responsible for designing apparels. But not all fashion designers specialize in similar types of clothes. Depending on your interest, you could try to be an expert in high street fashion, haute couture or ready-to-wear clothing. As a graphic designer, you can choose to specialize in computer games, websites, fliers, brochures or animation films. An interior designer’s job, on the other hand, is to design or refurbish internal spaces in commercial or domestic settings. They often plan indoor lighting, structural alterations and color schemes for the interior of a building. Most designers are also responsible for executing their plans. They often need to tackle multiple tasks - starting from purchasing raw materials to collaborating with teammates and monitoring the progress of a project. Duties of a designer may vary, but almost always include;
Meeting clients and understating the objective of the projectSetting project timelineDeveloping ideas and creating designs in accordance to the client’s requirementFinalizing the concept, budget and schedule for a product with the clientWorking closely with associates and juniors to execute the plansSupervising productionKeeping up-to-date with industry trends
Educational QualificationYou need some formal qualification and training to enter into this profession. Ideally, you should join a design institute after 10+2. Make sure that you choose the right course, depending on your area of interest. For instance, aspiring fashion designers should enroll in a bachelor’s program in fashion design/accessory design/fashion communication, offered by acclaimed institutes, such as, NIFT, IEC School of Art and Fashion, International Institute of Fashion Technology (IIFT) and Indian Institute of Art and Fashion Technology (IIAFT). The National Institute of Design (NID) offers four-year undergraduate courses on a number of disciplines, including textile design, industrial design and communication design. You can also do a post graduate course in graphic design, product design or animation film design from NID. Most of the design institutes in India select candidates through an entrance exam – which usually includes a written test, a group discussion and an interview round. You need to secure at least 50 percent marks in 10+2 to be eligible to appear for most of the entrance exams.
Skills RequiredIrrespective of your area of specialization, you need a high level of technical knowledge, a diverse range of skills and some personal qualities to be successful as a designer. Some knowledge and skills required are specific to your field of study. For instance, interior designers should have good model-making skills, while fashion designers need excellent CAD skills and graphic designers should know design software inside out. In addition to technical knowledge, all designers should have the following skills and qualities.
Excellent drawing skillsAttention to detailCreativity and innovationGood color senseExcellent communication skillsProject management and time managementProactive attitudePresentation skills
Career Opportunity and SalaryAround 80 percent of the NID and NIFT graduates get direct placement through campus interview. There is a growing demand for skilled and qualified designers across multiple industries, including the IT, fashion, ecommerce, automobile and engineering industries. Designers in India get good salary package from the very beginning of their career. Average annual salary of fashion designers ranges between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 25 lakh; while interior designers and graphic designers get an annual salary of between Rs 3-to-20 lakh and Rs 2-to-15 lakh, respectively.
If you are planning a career in design, start early. In India, there is an ample opportunity for talented designers. All you need is to prepare yourself for a rewarding career in designing.