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What are some classes I should take if I am considering a career in graphic design or illustration?

Im not sure what I wanna do career-wise, but I know I want to do something #art related. However, this past year as a freshman, I took a whole bunch of other prerequisite classes unrelated to my future art career. That said, what kinds of #classes should I enroll in for #graphic-design?

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Marissa’s Answer

Hi Rosie G,


Illustration Design Alumni here, with a 10 year career in Design. For both, take a bunch of basics that focus on a well rounded development of your hand, but also your eye. Classes like typography, color theory, graphic design, figure drawing - even digital classes that teach you tools like photoshop, illustrator, Indesign, and SketchUp. In this day and age, take classes on UX/UI, if you're interested in where design meets the tech world. This is very important!


To be honest, you'll probably have to chose a major when you enroll, but for the first 2-3 terms (depending on the school) graphic design and illustration are learning a ton of the same classes. Take that time to learn both sides; you'll find you're more drawn to one or the other and then pursue that one when you start to figure it out.


At the beginning of school, take all the basics seriously, it will build a great foundation for you and allow you to be more versatile in the industry - which is a big deal - trust. Experiment, play, create, and then commit to something that you're excited about, 100%.


As you get more advanced, see if you can take some intradisciplinary classes that are in the design field, but are a bit adjacent - like advertising, entertainment design, printmaking, industrial design, (if possible), etc. Give yourself some windows into other worlds too. Also, and this is just my personal opinion…Fine Art is a bit risky. I've seen people do well from all kinds of backgrounds, but for me, it's is not the strongest choice!


Hope that helps!

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Roger’s Answer

PhotoShop should be your primer. This will help you embrace the technology that you will be surrounded in as you move forward. Beyond that, consider most sophisticated programs like Cinema 4D.

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