Digital Designer


Digital designer’s combine creativity with technical skills to produce visual material for various electronic media, such as websites, computer games, movies and virtual reality programmes. Digital designers create, illustrate and manipulate digital images using special software. In addition, and depending on their skill level, they create 2- or 3-D graphics that in most instances include animations.

Digital media designers create digital graphics for websites, create email marketing materials, or produce digital magazines and e-books. Digital designers work with web designers and web developers to ensure that the users are easily able to navigate media interfaces. Their designs must be easy to understand, simple to use and usable across a variety of screen sizes. Digital designers need to consider many factors in the design process including, the human factor, accessibility to the technology and as well as systems performance.

Digital media designers should have a good knowledge of design programmes of such as Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop). They should also have knowledge of basic web development tools such as WordPress and basic computer programming skills, including languages such as HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.

Digital designers interested in 2 and 3-dimensional design may develop skills in Computer Assister Drawing (CAD) and 3D design and modelling.  3D modelling is a technique used to produce a digital representation of an object on screen which can be fully animated. 3D modelling techniques are used in video games as well as movies. The advent of 3D printing has further increased the potential work opportunities for digital designers as Computer Assister Drawing (CAD) becomes a highly sought-after skill.

Digital designers may do the following tasks:  

  • Design graphics for online brochures or fliers
  • Create websites, web pages, landing pages and blog templates
  • Create 2- or 3D models
  • Create animated graphics
  • Create mobile apps
  • Create banner ads and online marketing material for websites and social media platforms


Personal Requirements

  • imaginative, creative and artistic
  • interest in drawing and design
  • interest and passion for new technology
  • colour sense, depth perception and balance
  • good eye-hand coordination and finger dexterity
  • ability to advise people persuasively without offending them
  • good reasoning and communication ability
  • knowledge of business and products
  • good eyesight and normal colour vision
  • ability to comprehend abstract ideas and translate them into tangible products


How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Compulsory Subjects: Art or a related subjects is highly recommended
Recommended subjects: Art, Design Studies, Engineering and Graphic Design

Additional: 

  • An art portfolio is required to demonstrate your creativity, abilities and commitment.
  • If you intend studying towards a degree in Fine Art at university, you will need to a Bachelor's pass in matric. If you intend studying a diploma in an art-related field, then you will need a Diploma pass in matric.
  • Meet the admission requirements (APS) set by the university or requirements set by the college.


What to Study

Degree: The BA (Fine Arts) is offered at most universities. The duration of the course is 4 years of full-time study. 

The University of the Witwatersrand offer a BA Digital Arts degree for students interested in game graphics and animation, narrative, and character design. This is a 4-year professional degree.  

Diploma: N.Dip: Graphic Design. The duration of the course is 3 years, and it includes specific training in advertising campaigns and design for corporate image - CUT, CPUT, DUT, TUT, NMMU, VUT. 

Various private colleges, also offer Graphic Design Diplomas. 


Employment

  • computer software companies
  • advertising agencies
  • game developing companies
  • self-employment on a freelance basis, with appropriate experience
  • in-house studios of large firms 
  • graphic design firms 
  • educational institutions
  • enginering firms


Further Information

  • develop your computer skills
  • speak to game designers about this career and ask permission to observe them at work


Getting Started

  • develop your computer skills
  • speak to a digital designer a graphic designer or a game designer about this career and ask permission to observe them at work


Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations


Digital Design at Wits

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