In spite of the boom in the television industry the print media continues to be a prime source of news for the common man. And while the content of most newspapers and magazines is not radically different, one aspect that they certainly differ in is the layout. This is because in today’s age of cut throat competition it is often the design that helps to get the readers’ attention. This fact opens up an extremely interesting career choice that of layout designing.
A layout designer works on the layout and structure of images and text in a visual communication and appealing format for print media. The print media includes newspapers, magazines, brochures, flyers, books, CD booklets and posters. Color, typeface, text, formatting and graphics layout are some of the many parameters a layout designer works with. Many designers have expertise in various other areas of graphic designing as well. A layout designer has to work on various aspects like drawing layout, typography, lettering, diagramming and photography. Each of these aspects contributes greatly to the field of layout design. Also there is no limit to the areas you can explore.
Today various colleges offer courses in graphic designing and layout designing. While an academic background is not essential pursuing a related course definitely helps. You not only build your network and learn from your peers but also develop team spirit and begin to understand various creative needs and approaches. Moreover the able guidance of a teacher will surely hold you in good stead. Experience in the filed is more desirable than a degree. Having said that one can pursue any of the four year degree courses available in fields such as commercial advertising, publication post class 12. Some colleges also offer diploma courses of shorter duration.
Layouts and design need to be made in keeping with the changing tends. All awareness of the various possibilities that exist in terms of layout choices is critical. Developing different perspectives and an astute sense of observation in order to identify the pulse of the reader is another key to making an appealing layout. A layout designer must possess an innovative mind, a creative sense of design and colors and an ability to understand what the reader wants. He /she must understand that people like to read less and appreciate a visually appealing paper / magazine.
Judgment of technical aspects like font is critical. At the same time, it is highly subjective. One must therefore, be absolutely dedicated towards the professionals and have a desire to improve upon every prior attempt. A layout designer’s time is seldom dictated by fixed working hours. No one usually works from ten to five. Creative ideas take their own time to strike and a layout designer must be willing to commit to the task. Sometimes it may take the entire day. After all, the ultimate aim of any layout designer is to attract the readers and consequently improve the newspaper or magazine sales.
In addition, layout designers need to be proficient in various softwares like Quark, XPress, Adobe Page Maker , Adobe Photoshop , MS, publisher, and Corel Draw.
Salaries can range go up to Rs 6,00,000 per annum depending on the skills and experience of the person.
The following reputed institutes offer courses in graphic designing in India:
1) J J School Arts , Mumbai
2) National Institutes of Design, Gujarat
3) Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay, Maharasthra
4) Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune.
5) Rachna Sansad College of Applied Art and Craft , Mumbai.
Excerpts from Education Times