Careers in Arts and Design

There is an increasing overlap with the media and information technology sectors in relation to the use of digital technology to produce and deliver creative content. This is noticeable in roles such as web design, animation and games design.


For pursuing studies related to Art and Design , one has to clear the basic qualification i.e. passing of 10+2 from C.B.S.E or any of its equivalent boards or degrees.


As the title is specified, it covers two distinct fields Art and Design, which is largely painting and sculpture and is not career in the usual sense while design, which could be called applied art: it covers design for industrial and commercial application and industrial engineering. The terminology can be confusing. For example: industrial design is sometimes also called product design and comes under the broader heading 3-dimmensional design, Similarly, graphic design, with all its sub categories – illustrations, typography, photography etc. is also called visual communication or communication design.

In the Art and Design degree the areas of specialization are:

  1. Fine Arts
  2. Graphic Design
  3. 3-Dimmensional design
  4. Textile / Fashion


An extremely small number of artists are talented enough to make a living by painting and sculpting alone. Anyone determined to paint or sculpt must have a private income, a second script to their bow, or be prepared for a precautionary existence. Commissions for murals and sculptures for public building are extremely rare. The majority of painters and sculptors also teach, and for that they need art teacher training. Others combine fine arts with design in overlapping areas, for example studio – based craft, or such graphics specializations as a book illustration or advertising. A few artists do picture restoring or copying, but again there are few openings.


The function of the designer, who is broadly, a specialist combining artistic talent and training with sufficient technical and business knowledge to appreciate the requirements of an industry, is still evolving. Design careers tend not to be structured, although the last 20 years have shown that there are certain employment patterns that new entrants can aspire to. Many designers start as assistants and work first in the area of specialization in which they are trained. Later with experience and evolving interest, they can switch specializations. Recent courses started in India have reduced this long process and brought much more structured approach to the field, especially in terms of skill impartment to young designers and specific courses. Still, many industrial employers are not yet used to working with designers; the contribution the designer is expected to make varies from one job to another.

Usually, the visual appearance of the product is the most important aspect of the designer’s brief. Though the designer’s work varies from one field of designer to another, the end – product always has to fulfill at least 3 demands: it must look up to date, perform its function adequately, and be economically produced so that it is profitable. Designers must fully understand the purpose of the product they are designing and its marketing and manufacturing problems. They must know the limitations and potential of materials and machines available for production.


This is concerned with illustration, photography and logo design. It ranges from the design of books, book jackets, all kinds of advertisements, to the visually corporate identity symbol of organizations, i.e. presenting the image of that organization in visual, instant impact making terms. It also includes ‘visual aids’ for industrial and education application. This is an expanding area; instruction and/or information are put over in non-verbal language, with symbols taking the place of words. Symbols are used as teaching aids in industrial training; as user instructions in drug and textile labeling; as warning or information signs on machinery.

Visual communication also includes TV graphics: captions, programme titles, all non-verbal TV presentations of information, such as election results, trade figure trends etc. As far as newspapers are concerned it includes packaging, publicity, and advertising; stamp and letter head design. There is also some scope in the greeting card trade and in catalogue illustration. Much of this is considered hackwork by creative artists.

Now a day, there are few openings in general book and magazine illustration and design, but there is considerable scope in technical and medical graphics, which require meticulous accuracy rather than creative imagination.


3-Dimensional design is basically divided into product design and interior design.

So they are being described as follows.


This covers the design of all kinds of consumer goods and of machine tools, mechanical equipment, cars as well as pottery, furniture, etc. There is pressure on manufacturing industry to pay more attention to design than it has in the past. Many engineers and manufacturers still believe that with a bit more design training, engineers can cope up with aesthetics and ergonomics. The proportion of product input and engineering input varies from product to product. In new emerging trend Product Designers need such extensive knowledge of relevant engineering and manufacturing processes that they tend to stay within a particular manufacturing area.

Designers and engineers talk about a spectrum, for instance, in the manufacturing of a plastic cup the engineering input is very small, the design input large; at the other end of the spectrum is a gas turbine, where the design input may be confined to the lettering of the instructions and the colour.


Interior designers work in specialized or general design consultant’s studios, large stores, for a group of hotels or supermarkets, in private practice or local authority architects’ office. A considerable knowledge of architecture is required in order to know how to divert drains, move walls safely, or enlarge a shop window satisfactorily. The job of the interior designer, besides being responsible for such things as the management of contracts, is to specify the nature of an interior – how it is made, built and finished – as well as selecting the finishes and fixtures and fittings.

Planning interiors for a hotel, shop, aircraft etc. needs research before designing starts. Beginners often spend all their time on fact finding: the number of assistants required in a new shop, the kind of materials suitable and safe for furnishing a plane.


It combines some of the work of interior and set designer with model making and graphic design. Exhibition design is usually done by specialist firms. Exhibitions are often rush jobs , and designers may help put up stands and work through the night before opening.

Closely allied to exhibition design, but can be specialization on its own. The essence of window and ‘point of sale’ design is communication: the display designer must present the store’s or shop’s image, attract attention and persuade the passer by to buy. The window display can consist of merely putting a few goods in the window or a show case, or it can be a highly sophisticated exercise in marketing, using specially designed models and specially chosen merchandise to convey a ‘ theme ‘ and marketing policy.


Textile design includes printed and woven textiles, carpets, and other floor covering, wallpaper and plastic surface coverings and decoration. There are few openings in manufacturing firms. One of the difficulties is that thorough knowledge of manufacturing methods is essential, but it is difficult to get a job with suitable firms.



  • Sir J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai
  • Loyola college, Chennai
  • Stephen’s College, Delhi
  • Xavier’s College, Mumbai
  • Miranda House, Delhi
  • Christ University, Bangalore
  • Madras College, Chennai
  • Hindu College, Delhi
  • Fergusson College, Pune
  • Stella Maria’s College, Chennai


  • National Institute Design, Ahmedabad
  • National Institute of Fashion Design
  • Pearl Academy of Fashion
  • Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay
  • IDDC, IIT Delhi
  • Design Program, IIT Kanpur
  • Department of Deisgn, IIT Guwahati
  • MIT Institute of Design


Freshers get an average salary of about INR 3.5 Lakhs per year*. Experience strongly influences pay for this type of jobs.

*Salary is indicative from our survey. It should not be used as any specific standard in industry. It also may vary on case to case basis.

At Career Care we help you to find you right career through our Career Counselling services. These services include rigorous testing and counselling sessions.

Leave a Reply