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Graphic Design Degree...

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supesfan    233

Hello world,


I was wondering if someone could shed some light on what graphic design is like...


I want to become a 3d artist so I can work in the game design industry. Plus I would like to be able to create my own projects, but I don't posses the abilities or knowledge to create any kind of 3d assets outside of a cube :). I don't have the patience or discipline to teach myself so I want to go to college to learn how to do it.


The only thing I have an issue with is that I can't draw to save my life. How will this impede my desire to get a degree in graphic design? Is it a good idea for someone who isn't artsy and able to draw well to go for a graphic design degree?


Also, do you think an associates degree would  be sufficient?

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MSW    151

Typicality a graphic designer works in the publishing (books and uncommonly video games) and/or advertisement industries. Designing things like the packaging a video game comes in, corporate and game logos, can even mean the menu screens (games, DVDs and BluRays), as well anything graphic used in advertising (billboards, flyers, web ads, etc.). All Graphic Design degrees I'm aware of focus on this, and a typical college assignment would be something like "design the brochure for the upcoming theater guild projections".


You don't have to be good at drawing for this degree, but it can definitely help (a lot of graphic designer majors end up as illustrators). And any Graphic Design degree will be focused on getting your design portfolio to be the best it can be. Because a GREAT portfolio will open more doors for you than any level of degree you obtain.


Hope this helps.       

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ItamarReiner    1695

I would not recommend a graphic design degree if you want a job in games, unless you want to work for a publisher creating promotional material.


Look for a degree in animation, media design, multimedia arts, which are basically different names for the same thing.

Drawing is going to be a helpful skill to learn in any case, though you wouldn't have to be really great at it to be a graphic designer, where your job is to put together various visual elements, such as shape, text, photographs and illustrations in appealing ways.

3D is often compared more to sculpting than drawing, so you might get away with you lack of drawing skills.


A good art school will make you take drawing lessons no matter which major you choose, and by forcing you to work on these skills it is inevitable you will learn and improve.


At the end of the day, your portfolio, networking skills and attitude will take you further than a fancy piece of paper a school's name on it, and no one will ask for your grades.

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Kryzon    4629


I don't have the patience or discipline to teach myself so I want to go to college to learn how to do it.

This didn't sound good. Especially because it's not entirely true. It's the students that make the institution, not the other way around.

In college you will have briefs to do, and books that you'll have to read, and this is all yourself doing it; If you're not passionate about the area you will have a tough time going through this. You will have art and lab classes where the teacher may go around giving feedback on your work, but given your background in art I don't think that's enough.

It would be a very good choice to take practical classes in any independent artschool - you can find classes on basic 3D, drawing, sculpting, painting etc.

You need to improve your skills if you're choosing this craft as your profession. And as others have said it, your portfolio is the most important part when seeking jobs. You need to invest part of your time in college preparing material for it.


If you're not entirely confident on your course choice or how to go about it, there's a good place for you with information on this: Tom Sloper's Game Industry Guide (I linked to a specific page but you may want to read from the beginning).

There are more "game art" professions than he lists there (he uses the broad term "graphics"); you should go through game employment websites (such as Gamasutra and career pages on game companies such as Blizzard, Valve, Ubisoft etc.) and see what kind of positions there are. In game graphics you have Character art, Environment art, Special-Effects, UI Design, Level Design and Scripting etc.

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lemenhatt    118

A good advice to get motivated is to get very active on forums. There's tons of free help from industry professionals and hobbyists all over. If you haven't already, check out . You can also find challenges and other fun things to do in the industry, where people from all levels of skill and experience participate. 


That said, like other people on here has said before me, if you're unable to work on this on your free time, without anyone giving you specific deadlines, you probably won't get very far. After I finished my degree, a lot of my class mates had only done the briefs given to us through the course, and tried getting jobs with a showreel consisting only of those, without any luck. That level of work is usually far below the industry standard. So even if you do a course in it, you'll have to work a lot on your own, do other projects, and get into the community, to have a solid showreel when it's time to apply for jobs. I started doing freelance work during my 2nd year, to get more projects in, and a little bit of extra cash of course. Unlike other professions, your degree usually doesn't count for very much. Like Kryzon said, your portfolio is everything.

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Hodgman    51234

Professions by google image search:

Graphic design



3D modelling

Multimedia design


In the games industry, being a great graphic designer will make you suitable to work as part of the user-interface team.

Being a great illustrator or painter will make you suitable to work as a concept artist or texture artist.

3D modelling skills will make you suitable to work as an environment, prop or character artist.

Often, game artists will be skilled in multiple of these areas so that for example, they can do sketches of a character's anatomy (drawing on their classical education), make a rough model of it (using 3D modelling), do a "paint over" concept (using digital painting), refine the 3D modelling, and then paint the textures.


If you want to make the art in the actual game itself, then a classic art degree and/or a multimedia art degree will be more useful than a graphic design degree.

Edited by Hodgman

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silkroadgame    211

Well,I think you have no need to get a degree,as this is not an essential thing for game industry.

You should try to be patient and discipline to teach yourself,we all know these qualities are so important for learning or even ones' development.You need them to get better skills.

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