Media Studies ChicagoThe Designer in the Media and How to Get There. . . The publishing industry - along with the vast media industry of television and interactive communication - encompasses a huge array of talent. intellectual and artistic, providing more occupations for the majority of working artists than any other profession in the arts. The singular need for graphic design professionals is rapidly increasing. The publishing and media industry consists of three separate, but very distinct areas
of expertise: editorial, art and advertising. Advertising is the fuel that propels and pays for the editorial, which subsequently becomes a vehicle for commissioning the imagery. Specific
publications, newspapers, magazines, websites, books, television and movies contain the material designed to inform, entice, encourage and ultimately, sell product. Without these elements working in collaboration, there is no publication or any other form of visual media. Only two other employers with a larger reach - the United States Government and the automobile and related transport industries - rival the larger media, particularly publishing. To become a part of this industry one needs to have a working knowledge
of the vocabulary specific to this area, and the of the creative teams which form an integral part of all other industries.
Specifically, the publication designer, often referred to as a graphic designer or art director, needs to be the visual journalist of the magazine. However, the same skills can be applied to any of the other visual media. Other visual studies by their dependence on the designer, give visual credibility through photography, illustration or typography to the written or spoken word.
Designers read. The stories, articles, instructions of any industry, need familiar nuance. The graphic professional must understand the demographic viewer and the readership of a specific entity. To assign or find the appropriate imagery to accompany the editorial thrust in any industry, can be a daunting task. . . and that is only the beginning of the job description. We are often enticed to read or buy by what we see, rather than what we hear or say. Our interest in a story, an article, or a description, is piqued to associate the pictures with words. The imagery chosen by designers to illustrate editorial is both targeted and explicit and needs directed visual research to find the most fitting artistic statement.
The publication designer is the person to whom the ultimate "look" of the magazine is entrusted. The format for a publication icon such as Rolling Stone will be far different from that which is used by Vogue or Harper's Bazaar. The readership will be different, the color will be unique to the magazine, the stories will be directed to the reader. . . rock and roll and fashion are not always going to have
the same readership. The page layout and typography will also have a unique style. . . this attention to the detail of the magazine will ultimately result in more sales and more advertising to propel the publication to add more interest to its stories and thereby insure a larger audience of readers. Editorial excellence plays an integral role in this scenario, and often, the publishing company needs to revamp its original style. This is called a redesign. The logo or headline may adapt to a more youthful, hip, contemporary image. Also, dictated by the ski II of the art director, but more often than not credited to the Editor.
Study programs in graphic design are offered at every major art school and college and university art department in the United States, and provide incoming students with enormous potential and employment opportunities upon completion of studies. With baccalaureate, masters or associate degrees, professional opportunities can translate into creative working positions in one's native country. The United States and now the European Union will continue and begin to offer opportunities for growth and commerce previously thought to be limited.
The level of education in these fields is of the highest calibre. Adjunct faculties, consist of working professional artists, teach on the university level, assuring foreign students a true and reliable reflection of the creative skill needed to pursue this kind of career as a profession with long lasting opportunities.
Since the need for well-designed and understandable graphics grows ever larger, this educational opportunity must meet the demands of every industry. Outlets for artistic talent include studies in computer technology specific to the media. The majority of programs are also geared to provide the student with an overriding study in concepts and take the students previous academic background into the mix. The goal is to consolidate the understanding of how to make information clear, concise and accurate. In other words, "how to make it happen" in the most exciting and definitive way possible. The creative skill of the designer makes "information" understandable in a variety of media.
The advent of new media has not lessened the amount or the impact of the publishing industry. It has only gotten bigger
- bolder - more direct. We are information junkies. Reading, assessing, and understanding the role of product in our society. Through understandable graphic design excellence, we enable others to understand.
Graphic excellence is interpreted by a brilliant photographer and contributes as much, if not more, to the product, than the recipe.
To study abroad is a unique and unequalled opportunity to learn and share and store up those intellectual images that someday will be of special use to the designer. The form and function of image is incredibly important to understanding the word.
The role of the designer of work on paper has often been neglected and thought to be of little importance. That attitude is finally eroding. We now have an ongoing circle which can develop a never-ending cycle of product need. . . enabling the consumer to continue to want
and need the materials produced and enhanced by visual imagery. Graphic Design brings international commerce to the highest level.
All consumers look for truth or a fair assessment in advertising, newspaper and magazine editorials, books and websites. Areas of other industries that can support fantasy or fiction also need great graph ics to make them meaningful in our lives - take the Harry Potter phenomena for instance. These visual escapes are just as val id as the beautiful photograph from Martha Stewart Living offering a beautifully prepared birthday cake or evening dinner.
Design skills are orderly, intelligent and real. They can be
taught. The skills that design a fashionable dress; that enhance a room with specially designed chairs and carpets; that design a skyscraper or a bridge or chair or a pencil. These designed products are the elements of our lives. They can be successfully taught and successfully learned. They are a singularly important study, often overriding our verbal and written skills.
We look, we see, we remember and we plan. We share
ideas. We are designers. FOR AN INTERNATIONAL UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS PACKET, CALL 312. 344. 7458, OR WRITE:
COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO
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