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“A picture is worth a thousand words”, a well-known adage that stands true through time. Even before we could speak, we used graphics to communicate. Today, we are surrounded by designs of all kinds- from the home screen on our mobile phones to the big billboards out on the streets, graphics are a timeless medium to communicate. As a school boy, I had always loved to sketch cartoon characters. A Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering gave me exposure to machines of different shapes and sizes. I was intrigued by how design made even the most complex machines easy to use. These experiences gave me the initial push towards graphics and designing which later drove me to the point where I aspire to attain a Masters in Design.

During my final year at college, I was introduced to Adobe Photoshop. Impressed by how all-encompassing a software could be, I marveled at how it gave a person the freedom to design what they imagined, without inhibitions. I was eager to start using Photoshop, and started taking tutorials online. Initially, I learnt image retouching and color corrections. As I progressed, I started taking advanced tutorials on compositing, matching lighting and coloring desaturated images. Gradually, I learnt the software in and out. I began by designing as per the tutorials, but after spending hours on reading blogs and looking at designs and compositions for inspiration, I started applying my knowledge to make designs from scratch.

During my final semester I got placed as an intern at Skrilo, a firm wherein I had to work on design templates for their mobile application using Photoshop. However, after my internship I graduated and got placed at a firm called Aptara where I had to re-write user manuals for trucks and cars. My interest towards design kept me from continuing at this job. Within 8 months, I quit my job at Aptara and started working for Skrilo again.

I now had greater opportunities to learn and work on designs and embraced them. I took a course online - “Introduction to Graphic Design” at Lynda.com. This course made me see how vast the field of Graphic Designing was and taught me the significance of planning my designs on paper before taking it to the machine. I also recognized the importance of feedbacks for designers. Sharing my work with different designers around the world on social media has really helped me grow as a designer and made me realize that the final design evolves with criticism. My job required me to design mobile ad banners for the company’s mobile application. I learnt about the specifications of designing for android devices. This included choosing the right fonts, colors and the specified sizes of the different components on the screens. Though most of my job was done using Photoshop, working with different teams also taught me to study design briefs and make designs tailored to meet specific needs.

Enjoying every aspect of being a graphic designer, I started taking tutorials more often, learning about the latest features of Photoshop and studying design in general. After having worked on 4 different versions of Photoshop, I decided to take the Graphic Designing Specialization course by CalArts on Coursera. During this course, I got to work on almost every aspect of designing, including hand drawn sketches, icons, design briefs, color theory and typography. With an insight to the German Art School Bauhaus, I also learnt about the history and origin of design along with the different designers and typographers whose designs are popular till date. The final Capstone Project gave me the opportunity to test all the skills I had learnt so far. For this I got to build a complete Brand Identity from scratch, including its logo, logotype and color scheme. After this course I had gained a much better understanding of how brands work in the real world. I had now worked on it all, except for illustrations. Drawing sketches on a computer is lot more challenging than doing it on paper. Therefore, I have been taking online courses to learn Adobe Illustrator for more than a year now.

I have gradually grown into a designer and I feel that with the blend of the creative and analytical mindset that I have developed over the years, I can contribute a lot to the design community. With the field of Graphic Design growing leaps and bounds, the Graphic Design Masters program at the Rhode Island School of Design is well equipped to help me drive my efforts in the right direction. The curriculum at RISD is balanced to prepare aspiring designers like me for the future while at the same time giving us a strong hold of the traditional practices. I believe that having done a bunch of courses online, an opportunity to study design at a campus like RISD will help me get better at what I like doing best and open an ocean of opportunities that the field of design has to offer.

 

 

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