Design work experience student workbook

A 20 page workbook to help students complete work experience in a design studio.

Contents

How work experience works
How to organise your studio contacts
Suggested interview questions
Worksheets
Timesheets/diary
Help write a design brief
Achievements checklist to record outcomes

Read more about the workbook.

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What is graphic design

Practicing graphic designers are interdisciplinary problem-solvers using communication, technology and business management skills to organise and structure information.

The graphic designer must have a thorough understanding of their client’s product or service and goals. They must be able to analyse their client’s target audience and competitors. Design is the process of translating this knowledge into a visual solution through the application of shape, color, imagery, typography and space using printed or on-screen technology. There is a growth in digital design agencies where graphic designers specialise in online delivery of their solutions.

Graphic designers tend to offer services in a number of sub sets of graphic design.

Visual communication design

Visual communication typically is used to describe two dimensional design including; typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, web design. 

The term is most commonly used by TAFE and Universities to describe broad discipline qualifications. Graduates from these courses could work in a variety of design practices.

Communication design

This is often used interchangeably with visual communication design. The communication designer will use graphic design, illustration, typography, surface design for packaging; or the design of books, advertising and publicity material.

See an example of a design studio that specialises in communication design.

Information design

This is a specific area of graphic design that is rapidly growing. It transforms data into information, making the complex easier to understand and to use. It uses skills such as typography, graphic design, linguistics, psychology of reading and learning, human-computer interaction, usability research and clear writing. The information designer also has an understanding of the potential and limitations of different media. It is commonly used where there is a need to understand and use such things as forms, legal documents, computer interfaces and technical information.

See an example of a design studio that specialises in information design.

Service design

A relatively new service offered by graphic designers that covers designing for user experience usually in the public sector such as designing an admissions system for a hospital.

Meld Studios
in Sydney is a service design company that "uses research, strategy and design to help organisations innovate: turning ideas into tangible realities that deliver value to businesses and delight customers."

Design strategy

An area that is increasingly being offered as part of all design areas. This area integrates design with the client’s business strategy. In this field designers help clients create innovation throughout their business rather than in one individually designed object or communication.

Smart Works, a Melbourne based studio takes a strategy approach with branding, it "offers a range of smart 'brand tools', including Brand Strategy, Workshops, Marketplace Reviews, Brand Naming and
Brand Guidelines."

Design management

Design management as a service is usually practiced in large corporates where inhouse designers manage the process of integrating design into the business practice. Increasingly studios are employing design managers who handle all of the non-design functions in a studio.

See more information about design management.

Packaging design

Package designers tend to have a strong background in three-dimensional design, design and product management, and design systems.

With increased environmental concern and waste-recycling needs, packaging designers now need to practice environmentally responsive design.

See an example of a design studio that specialises in packaging design.