Train Your Brain to Identify Good Design - Vivek Choudhary

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1. When and how did you choose to be a graphic designer?

As a kid, I used to watch cartoons. Not just watch, I adored them — I still do. The love for animation and graphics kept me glued for years in such a way that one day (when I was in 8th standard) found out that people get money to make those cartoons, I jumped with joy. 

I cannot explain that moment but it was like - this, right here. This is for me. I want to do this. Nothing else, but this. I think I disappointed some of my school teachers and relatives, but I went on to join BIT's Animation and Filmmaking College (Noida) after finishing high school.

2. What is the role and scope of work for a graphic designer?

It's competitive but not bad. The need for graphic designers is booming right now. Companies are actively looking out for good creative designers who can make their brand name/ ad stand out. 

Although, getting a degree does accelerate your career, but do get to work extra hard. Reading, experimenting with different creative styles, following pop culture would help you become better. 

A little free advice would be to have patience, the first few years are going to be difficult.

3. Which are some of the tools & software that a graphic designer must be aware of?

There was a time when there were fewer tools. It was easy to understand them within a short period of time. But, to get started, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are the two softwares I would recommend. You can do almost all the work a professional graphic designer is doing right now. 

Having said that, the tools and softwares change every day. What you need are skills. A good imagination, emotional intelligence, creativity, passion, critical thinking are some great skills you should have in addition to the basic - sketching.

4. How in your opinion has this profession changed over the years?

Over the last couple of years, UI/UX has hogged the big picture. UI/UX peeps design apps and websites. They are not graphic designers specifically. For example, think of specialists for each body part. 

But companies fail to understand the difference. The trend is that companies (mostly startups) seek Graphic Designers with UX/UI skills on top of knowing everything from print design, animation, motion graphics, video editing, photography. 

However, bigger companies do understand this trend. They let the designers be designers and UI designers stay UI designers.

5. Do you often have to keep updating yourself with regard toTechnology?

Graphic Design is an ever-learning field. For instance, I have been learning Figma for the past couple of months. It's a free online design tool – super neat and collaborative. 

You should also keep looking at other designers. What they are working on and what all work they have been producing. Maybe there was a better way to make that logo or maybe, procreate is your answer to being more productive. Also, there's a trend change, which happens every year. 

Sometimes they are really good but sometimes, they are quite stupid. Keep an eye on those trends but don't take them too seriously.

6. What's your favorite book and why?

My all-time favorite book has been - I'll Go Home Then, It's Warm and Has Chairs: The Unpublished Emails by David Thorne. 

I literally rolled on the floor laughing. David Thorne is a genius when it comes to writing emails.

7. How can one develop a keen sense of design and aesthetics?
  1. First of all, go study design theories and principles.
  2. Train your brain to identify good design. You need to understand what bad design looks like.
  3. Look at the work of other great designers for inspiration.
  4. Make stuff and put it out on Behance, Dribbble etc. for other designers to see. Ask for feedback and take them positively.
  5. Read lots of books.
- Vivek Choudhary

- Interviewed By: Pallavi Surana

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