Would You Get a Degree in Graphic Design or Game Design?

A career in design is quite exciting, given the challenges and perks that come with it. Students, however, might find themselves in a pickle when deciding whether to pursue a degree in graphic design or game design. To help you through the process of choosing between the two, here’s an article to help you understand more details about the two areas.

What is graphic design?

Graphic design can be defined as using typography, illustrations and photography to create a medium of visual communication. These are some of the components that contribute to effective graphic designing:

  • Colour: The colours you use in graphic design can convey emotions, emphasise certain aspects of the design and make it more visually appealing.
  • Size: The size of the text and images in your design must correspond with their importance. It helps attract the viewer’s attention to what you want them to focus on.
  • Texture: Texture plays an important role when it comes to piquing viewers’ interest in the visual you have created, giving it depth and making it more attractive.
  • Blank spaces: Crowding the design with too many elements can make it look too busy and chaotic, so blank spaces should be used wisely to make the design look more harmonious.
  • Shapes: Geometric shapes, natural shapes and abstract shapes can optimise the overall design and make it eye-catching when used right.

 Game design

Skills required to become a graphic designer

  • Master graphic design programmes: Knowing your way around the most widely used graphic design platforms, such as Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign, is one of the most common requirements for a graphic designer.
  • Problem-solving skills: While working on a design or liaising with clients and colleagues, it is natural to come across challenges, so you must be able to devise efficient solutions to problems.
  • Print design: While the digital storm has taken over the world, there is still a huge demand for print design, which can include resources such as magazines, brochures, book covers and others. However, new designers may find that their expertise is focused more on digital design, so you should ensure that you are skilled in designing for both print and digital media.
  • Networking: This skill significantly contributes to your career progression. It helps you find the right people to collaborate with and access more professional opportunities.
  • Time management: Graphic designers must be able to manage time efficiently as they constantly have to work around deadlines and handle several projects at the same time.

What is game design?

Game design is the process of creating concepts, mechanisms, rules and storylines for games. These are some of the vital elements to effective game design:

  • Interactivity: The gaming experience can be optimised if the game uses interactivity to keep users invested in the game. Interactivity could be between characters in the game, with the player or between users.
  • Challenges: The idea of games is to present users with new challenges and experiences at regular intervals, giving the player a sense of purpose and achievement throughout the game.
  • Pace: The game should have a steady pace, which helps players achieve new levels in the game at regular intervals. This will help retain users’ interest in the game.
  • Authenticity: It is essential that the game you are designing is unique. If your game is too similar to others in the same genre, users would not stick to it for long.

BA Graphic design

Skills required to become a game designer

While some of the skills required to become a game designer are the same as that of graphic designer (such as networking, time management and problem-solving skills), there are some which are pertinent to game designing, including:

  • Logical thinking: Game designers must be able to come up with logical, cohesive concepts and storylines for games, ensuring its continuity and flow.
  • Computer programming: This skill is essential to video game design, so if you plan to work with video games, knowledge of programming languages and software technologies is vital.
  • Storytelling: Every game has a story or concept behind it, and its story must be told the right way to resonate with users. Hence, a game designer must have a knack for storytelling and the ability to translate it into graphic, moving visuals.
  • Brainstorming: Taking in your colleagues’ ideas and feedback can help you improve the game’s concepts and implement new, creative elements.

Graphic design degree vs. game design degree

A degree in graphic design concentrates on aspects such as branding, publishing and designing of magazines, adverts, art direction, web design and research techniques related to the field. On the other hand, a game design degree focuses on helping students acquire skills related to computer game animation, 3D game engines, art drawing and 2D graphics software.

 

 

Graphic Design degree

Game Design degree

Course focus

Developing higher-level skills in graphic designing

Creative media production and understanding its influence on production

Area of work

Digital design practices

Creative media industry

Job responsibilities

Logos, promotional campaigns, advertisements, branding

Concept designing, level designing, gaming environment, game characters

HTML skills required

Yes

Yes

 

Career paths after a graphic design course

Some of your career options after a graphic design course include:

  • Web designer
  • Art director
  • Logo designer
  • UX designer
  • Fashion graphic designer 

Career paths after a game design course

Some of your career options after a graphic design course include:

  • Animator
  • Game designer
  • Digital media specialist
  • Flash designer

Before you decide to take up either of these courses, ensure that your skillset and interests resonate with what the profession demands.

London School of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) offers courses like HNC/D Graphic Design, HNC/D Computer Game Development and BA (Hons) Graphic Design for students with a knack for designing to realise their dream of breaking ground in the industry. LCCA is located in Central London and offers a global environment for students to pursue creative courses. If you want to pursue a degree in game design or graphic design, sign up for the course now! 

Read more: How to get a graphic designer job after graduation 

This article was written by Meghdeep Patnaik and edited by Luna Campos.

Image 1:  Instagram Handle, BA Graphics LCCA

Image 3: Guilia Conti, BA Graphics Y3