Nadia is Graphic Designer

 What are your favourite and your least parts of your day-to-day job?

My favourite part of my job is that it is creative and each project is different. Even though you might approach each project in the same way, it’s always interesting and challenging.

I love that it’s easy to freelance and work from anywhere in the world.

How is the pay in your job/industry? 

Junior: R6000-R10 000

Mid-weight: R10 000-15 000

Senior: R15 000-R25 000

How are the hours in your job/industry? 

There are many times when you have to work overtime if deadlines are tight. A lot of the time clients are late with the content you need to place in the design and the creative briefing from their side and then they still expect you to meet the original deadline.

What type of personality would love doing your job? And what type of person would hate doing what you do?

This job is great for creative person who likes solving problems visually. You’re totally a designer if you looks at your menu and think, ‘geez the fonts or graphics are ugggllly’, instead of deciding what to eat.

This job will suck for people who find it draining to come up with creative solutions everyday, people who don’t think Comic Sans is ugly and people who like doing the same things over and over again.

How is your day-to-day work different to what you expected?

It has more routine to it than I expected. But routine isn’t necessarily a bad thing in design. You need it to plan, organise and meet deadlines.

What a) skills b) qualifications c) experience do employers look for in people who want to land your job? 

A good portfolio is key. Clients want to see what type of work you’ve done and the style that you work in. This is almost more important than qualifications. Studios and Companies employ both students from Universities with four-year Design degrees and students from Colleges with a two-year degree. So it really comes down to your portfolio. Qualifications obviously help with the ability to have a better portfolio.

It is important to be proficient in Adobe software. The types of programs will depend on the direction you specialise in. I specialise in print design so being proficient in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop is important.

Knowing fonts and how to design using typography is also very important in all directions of design, be it print or web. Good typography design sets professionals apart from amateurs.

If you are specialise in print design, it’s important to understand the printing process and how to create and save files for print. This includes understanding colour and how colour in print differs from colour in web.

Are there any changes you foresee in your industry that might influence the way teens should approach a career in your field?

Design is leaning towards being more digital than print. Print will never be substituted completely, but it’s important to keep up with digital design like social media pages.

Mobile design is getting bigger and bigger by the day. Everyone does everything from their phones everyday. This lead to the big boom in minimal flat vector icon design. This also influences the way logos are designed because they are viewed at a small scale.

I think trends will come and go and be recycled over and over again. Nothing is new, it’s just the approach to it that’s different.

Is there anything you wish you had known when you were a teen, career-wise?

I wish we were taught more on how to be entrepreneurs and run our own businesses rather than so much on being a good employee. With high unemployment rates in our country and across the world, it is very important to create new opportunities. With globalisation, the world got as small as your computer screen and that opens up the possibility to work for clients across the world.

Deciding to make your passion your career is difficult. It definitely drives you, but always know that work is work and it might kill your passion or it might grow it. It isn’t about drawing pretty pictures anymore; it’s about getting food on the table.