In which creative companies do specialists work?
In this article, we will try to figure out which creative companies employ specialists, as well as separately consider what which tasks are assigned to designers according to their profile, and which creative companies are most likely to do so there are similar specialists.
We should immediately make two caveats.
First of all, there is no universally applicable system of classification of creative specialists in Ukraine. So in many companies their roles are interpreted at their own discretion. Forming our own description, we studied job descriptions and individual results interviews of representatives of creative industries.
Secondly, in the material we rather describe certain roles than the actual characteristics of specialists. In real practice, experts have individual characteristics and skills. And accordingly, a situation is common when a designer can perform tasks at the same time interaction designer and interface designer or graphic designer and illustrator. So don’t try to narrow it down own creative range to a formal position in the company.
Graphic design is a branch of design in which design products are created using graphic means (typography, illustrations, color palettes, etc.). Accordingly, the concept of graphic design includes several fields at once: print design, advertising design, editorial design, navigation design, web design, etc.
Formally, we could understand the concept of “graphic designer” as a designer working in any of these directions. But in practice, such a generalization is inappropriate.
Today, when companies are looking for graphic designers, they want to find a specialist who knows how to work with a range of graphics editors and understands the specifics of working with both digital layouts and printed products.
Graphic designers can work in different types of companies, but are most often found in design studios, advertising and branding agencies.
A special case of a graphic designer is digital designers (digital designers). These are specialists who work exclusively with design products, the distribution of which occurs only in digital form and, accordingly, is not being prepared for printing. Such designers often work in digital agencies (digital agencies).
What tasks do graphic designers perform?
They develop corporate styles, layouts of corporate style media (business cards, letterheads, envelopes, presentations, etc.), presentations, posters, advertising layouts, etc.
What tools do graphic designers work with?
Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign, CorelDraw, PowerPoint.
Web designers work on design products created for use on the Internet. But it would be a certain simplification to say that they create design for websites, because there are many types of design products on the Internet. It can be landing pages, corporate sites, online stores, online services, etc.
Web design today is a whole direction in design that has many branches. The process of designing various online products is very different. So, in landing pages, designers have to think about the project from a marketing point of view. But in online services more appreciated is the convenience of the interface, its thoughtfulness and technology.
Most often, the positions of web designers are found in web studios and web productions. Less often — in digital and advertising agencies.
What tasks do web designers perform?
They develop website layouts, design online interfaces, create simple landing pages.
What tools do web designers work with?
Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, Figma, Principle, Zeplin, Tilda (або WebFlow).
Interaction designer (UX designer)
Interaction designers (they are also often called UX designers from the English phrase user experience, that is, experience user) is a category of designers engaged in designing user interaction with the product.
Most often, such designers are associated with the development of mobile applications and online products, but in fact they are capable apply their skills to develop systems of interaction with customers and outside the digital environment. For example, to design customer service algorithms in banks, supermarkets or gas stations.
One of the key criteria for the quality of the work of such designers is the convenience of the product (it is also called in professional jargon usability).
Most often, such designers are found in product companies and web studios. Less often — in advertising and digital studios.
What tasks do interaction designers perform?
Describe user scenarios, create interface prototypes, analyze existing interfaces and look for ways increasing the convenience of the product.
What tools do interaction designers work with?
InVision, Axure, Xmind, Miro, Figma.
Interface designer (UI designer)
There is a common misconception that interaction designers and interface designers are the same people.
In fact, although these specialists try to develop these skills in parallel, they should still be separated.
Interaction designers develop user scenarios, prototypes of the future system, and interface designers work over its specific embodiment, create a visual representation of the system — actually, graphic interfaces.
Most often, such designers are found in product companies, web studios and digital agencies.
What tasks do interface designers perform?
They develop graphical interfaces for online products, mobile and computer applications.
What tools do interface designers work with
Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, Figma, Principle, Zeplin.
Motion designers create videos.
There are many different types of videos. Take at least the opening credits of James Bond films - a great example of work motion designer. Another great example is all the educational videos in the Design Fundamentals course. A talented person helped us create them motion designer — Nastya Devyatova.
Motion designers are most often found in advertising and digital agencies, and many more professionals work in an independent format, or in video productions (we will talk about them in the next courses).
What tasks do motion designers perform?
If two decades ago motion designers mostly worked for film and television, with the development of Internet technologies the scope of application of their talents has significantly expanded. They are often involved in creating small videos for publication in social networks, for creating video cases, developing video presentations and video visualizations of interfaces.
What tools do motion designers work with?
Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe AfterEffects, Cinema 4D, Adobe Premiere.
Illustrators create illustrations for various design projects.
In most creative companies, such specialists work outside the staff, and projects are performed on a contract basis, because in many illustrators have their own, quite unique style, by which they are quite easy to recognize.
In some companies, illustrators work on a permanent basis. For example, game studios often have a full-time illustrator on staff.
What tasks do illustrators perform?
In the case of books, it can be cover design and story illustrations. The interfaces have thematic illustrations and icons. But at the same time, the range of application of their skills is much wider. Illustrators can create posters, designs for billboards, paint walls, make T-shirt prints, etc.
What tools do illustrators work with?
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Procreate, Adobe Fresco.
Many designers dream of becoming art directors at some point. In fact, this position literally means “artistic director”, and therefore, the key task of an art director is to find the right creative solution for a design product.
In design studios, the art director manages the creative search directly, and in digital and advertising agencies he often does this together with the creative director.
Often, in small teams, the art director also performs a managerial function in the work of designers — he monitors compliance terms of project implementation, distribution of workloads between individual specialists. But still, its main task is compliance the quality of the visual component of the product design. Sometimes art directors participate in the project as a designer.
Design director (or design director)
The functions of a design director are mostly similar to those of an art director, and in many small companies this position is essentially is similar to the position of art director.
But in general, the position of the design director is more characteristic of corporations whose activities are closely related to the design component. For example, such a position exists in the Apple company. There, this position was held by the famous designer Jony Ive until 2019.
The area of responsibility of the design director often includes all tasks related to the visual presentation of products — from direct control of design to visual communications of the brand in any form.
In advertising and digital agencies, creative directors are engaged in the development of marketing and communication strategies, and as well as concepts for advertising and generating creative ideas.
Copywriters report directly to creative directors. Together they create commercial texts, slogans, advertising scripts, etc.
As a rule, in the hierarchy of the agency, the position of creative director is higher than the position of art director, because within the project the responsibility of the creative director is somewhat broader.
The word copywriter comes from the English word copywriter, which in turn consists of two words — copy (that is “advertising text” or “commercial text”) and writer (i.e. “writer”). So we can say that another name of this type specialists — commercial writers.
It is they, together with creative directors, who invent slogans and bizarre inscriptions on billboards, write posts for social networks, texts for websites and landing pages.
Since texts are an integral part of almost any layout, interaction with copywriters is extremely common for designers.
Account managers are specialists whose task is to establish relationships with clients and make sales company services. They are also called customer service managers.
It is because of them that new orders appear in the company. But account managers don’t just sell services to clients. They are too monitor how satisfied the client is with the company’s services.
After all, they strive to make customers return to the company with new orders again. And again And again
Project manager (project manager)
In technical companies, digital agencies and web studios, the position of project manager (project manager) is common.
Unlike a creative director, art director or design director, a project manager is usually more focused precisely on the planning of processes in the project. He should formulate the task as clearly as possible, make sure that everything was ordered by the client, was completed by the team in full, at the appropriate level and at the appropriate time.
In small companies, the role of account manager is combined with the position of project manager.
This, of course, is only a small part of the specialists with whom a designer who starts working in a creative company has to deal.
In fact, as we have already written in this article, the division into separate roles is somewhat conditional. It is quite typical for small companies a situation when the designer directly communicates with the client (ie, performs the function of an account manager) or writes texts (that is, he becomes a copywriter for a short time).
This does not narrow its design qualities, but on the contrary adds even more value. After all, any additional skill is valuable addition to your portfolio. Well, we will talk about the portfolio in detail in the final material of the cycle.