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2D Design Training Programs and Requirements

Majors Overview February 18, 2013

Those seeking careers as multimedia specialists, illustrators, artists or 2D specialists should look no further than programs in 2D design for preparation in these professional career paths. Students enrolled in such programs can become proficient in creating graphic design documents, storyboards, digital drawings and animations, video games and technical diagrams, video games, digital drawings and animations, storyboards and graphic design document. Applicants to 2D design programs are expected to hold bachelor or associate degrees in graphic design or a related field.

Training Recommendations and Requirements

Employers expect 2D designers to have many years of experience in art and design and a graphic design degree; in addition to a high school diploma. While some employers are satisfied with candidates who have completed two years of post-secondary education, many insist on a bachelor degree. However, candidates who have several years of 2D design experience could expect employers to waive educational requirements. Apart from having drawing and sketching experience, designers are also expected to have the ability to use industry-standard computer software in creating and presenting 2D animations, documents and drawings. Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW, and Illustrator are among the programs that 2D designers routinely use. Some companies may require 2D designers to have experience in basic computer programming, flash animation, or web design. Manufacturers of interactive products such as video games may also require candidates to be adept in 3D design techniques. The ability to present concepts and ideas clearly to other creative professionals is also sought by employers. As there is extensive use of computers in 2D design work, designers are required to stay abreast with current developments in graphic design software, with knowledge of the latest updates and versions.

Formal Education

Most 2D designers are required by employers to hold an associate or bachelor degree in graphic design or a related artistic subject. Candidates with bachelor degrees are likely to enjoy the best employment opportunities, though many 2D design positions require no more than an associate degree.

Graphic Design – Associate of Arts

It takes two years to complete an associate of arts degree program in graphic design. The programs prepare students for careers with creative consulting, engineering, animation and design companies. Coursework is a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on computer experience where students can become adept at creating, editing and manipulating multimedia and digital graphics products. Coursework often include:

•Theories of design and aesthetics
•Digital Image Manipulation
•Computer-aided Drafting (CAD)
•Web Design
•Print Mediums
•Digital Media

Graphic Design – Bachelor of Arts

Students who want to improve their job opportunities should complete a four-year undergraduate degree program in graphic design where they are taught how to use images, graphics and fonts in creating cohesive artistic products while learning advanced methods of digital layout and presentation. Analysis of colors and creation of visual appeal is taught through psychology-based courses in mass communications and visual communication. Coursework typically include:

•Desktop Publishing
•Creative Presentation, Sketching, and Drawing
•Computer-aided Drafting and Design (CADD)
•Commercial Graphic Production
•Visual Communication

Job Experience

2D designers are required by many employers to have one to three years of experience in graphic design. 2D designers who lack significant work experience can expect entry-level job opportunities, but candidates need to display proficiency with a graphic design portfolio. Internship opportunities with advertising, web design, animation or graphic design agencies provide designers an opportunity to gain hands on experience.

Certifications and Licenses

2D designers are not required to meet certification or licensure requirements. Employers seek candidates who are familiar with industry-standard computer programs, such as CAD tools, Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop; in addition to a portfolio that demonstrates proficiency in art and design and a degree in graphic design.

Workshops and Seminars

Graphic design workshops are offered by many universities and community colleges through their art and design departments. These typically last one to two days and concentrate on specific graphic design focus areas; these include industrial graphic design, web design, flash animation, and computer-aided drafting (CAD). Some workshops focus on commonly used design software programs such as Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

American Institute of Graphic Arts Events

Members of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA –, which was found in 1914, can attend annual conferences, summits and seminars that they host. AIGA holds over one hundred country-wide events annually; these include leadership seminars and training sessions for directors and managers in graphic design. Changes in the design industry, standard business practices and ethics in graphic design are discussed in workshops and conferences.

Additional Professional Development

Additional development and career opportunities are available to members of AIGA, the largest association for graphic design professionals. Information on graphic design jobs, professional networking and continuing education is also provided by AIGA, apart from career information and advice on trends in graphic design through newsletters. Beginning graphic designers are provided by AIGA with educational opportunities, such as guidebooks and scholarships.

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