IDS Essay:

Digital Design and Advertisement

The proposed title for my interdisciplinary studies major is: Digital Design and Advertisement.  This program is intended to mix courses from the Graphic Design department and the Marketing department. Essentially, this program will take the core of Graphic Design and pick and choose from the different marketing options in order to put together a major that is geared towards digital marketing. The graphic design courses chosen will give me the needed education in creating graphics, art and the knowledge of the software the majority of graphic design business’ use in their day-to-day life. The marketing courses will be geared towards communication, and digital marketing along with the basics of global marketing and branding, which will all be useful in the fields of graphic design and advertisement. 

My ultimate goal, educationally and professionally, is to work as a graphic designer. This major will better suit my goals than a major or minor in either graphic design or marketing, as the ability to be flexible with courses is not present in a strict major or minor. I have chosen marketing courses specifically to aid me with digital marketing and communication, which will aid me in presenting my designs and concepts to companies and clients, along with allowing me to have the knowledge needed to understand the modern consumer. As a graphic designer, there is much more to know than just how to create great visuals. You must have the knowledge of how a company works, and what a buyer wants, and how to best provide them access to what they want. Just learning graphic design can teach how to create the types of advertisements, logos and informational agendas on the technical level, however to truly be successful I feel it is important to know how to succeed within a business, how to target your audience, and how to successfully transform your designs from Illustrator to the global stage. There is no current program specifically geared towards my needs. If I were to double major in graphic design and marketing, I would no doubt receive a great education, however, after speaking with my advisor, it was clear I would have to be in school for at least and extra year, and both financially and life-goal wise, that is not something I want to aim for. Again, if I were to do a graphic design major and minor, I would be unable to blend the exact courses I want to. For example, Organizational Communications and Digital Marketing are not directly within the marketing minor, and are two courses I feel strongly about taking in order to increase my marketability in the workforce. By doing IDS, I am able to take the exact marketing courses to support my graphic design courses, and prepare me to work for an advertising company in which I will be able to make decisions based both on consumer needs and what is aesthetically pleasing in the design process. My end-all career goal of being a creative director will require excellent communication skills, knowledge of the world of marketing, as well as impeccable design skills. All of which will be gained as an Interdisciplinary Studies major at Plymouth State University. 

Introduction To Graphic Design Software: This course will aid me in the very fundamentals of graphic design. Within this course we learn the in’s and outs of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. These three programs are the top choices for most graphic designers. This course will be the foundation of my interdisciplinary education here at Plymouth State. This will allow me to become proficient in theses programs, which I will use for the rest of my graphic design courses. 

Graphic Design 1, 2 3 and 4: As the first official graphic design course,Graphic Design 1will introduce me to the process of creating designs, as well as the basics of Typography and other fundamentals of Graphic Design. It will utilize Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. This course will be the first real working experience with these design softwares, and will begin to establish projects that will be in my final portfolio my senior year, in which I hope to incorporate into my senior seminar in some way, whether that will be creating a professional portfolio, or developing some type of website displaying the work I have done at Plymouth State University. Graphic design 2 will build upon what has been learned in graphic design 1. More rigorous projects will be done displaying design skills, along with refining the ability to use software learned in the introduction systems course. This course, like all of the graphic design courses I intend to take, is necessary to build the skill set I will need to work in advertisement. Graphic Design 3will refine the skills taught in graphic design 1 and 2. Within this, the digital portfolio will be worked on as well as beginning to look at the ways of production. This course will allow me to use graphic design skills to begin the process of creating brochures, advertisements and other physical print media. Graphic Design 4,the final formal graphic design course without being admitted to the BFA program. This course will allow me to create a fake corporate identity, including a logo and all else that falls within designing for a company. This will tie wonderfully in with my marketing courses, as I will not only be using the skills learned in graphic design 1, 2 and 3, but will also be integrating skills and resources learned within my marketing courses to create designs for a company that not only look good, but are what the consumer wants to see. 

Digital Multimedia Design: This course focuses on one of the largest points of design, and advertisement: the internet. Basics of HTML and flash will be learned, along with employing the design fundamentals learned previously. This course will allow me to learn how to create an aesthetically pleasing website, for a company or even just to grow my own personal brand. 

Advanced Photoshop and Illustrator Techniques: This course will go further into two of the most used software platforms in graphic design: Photoshop and Illustrator. This will aid my ability to create logos and other designs for companies. 

Advanced Web And Multimedia Design: Similar to digital multimedia design, this course will further explore the creation of an aesthetic website. All companies need good looking marketing, and designers that not only know how to create a design, but understand what goes into reaching a consumer. This course will further both my marketing and graphic design skills. 

Production for Graphic Design (QRCO): This is my QRCO course. This course goes through the steps of the design process, utilizing printing technology and terminology. This class will prepare me to produce physical designs in a tidy, timely manner. When working in advertising, knowing how to promptly finish a project as clear and neat as possible will be essential. Learning the current technology and practices for graphic design production will allow me to graduate and work for a design or advertising agency. 

Organizational Communications: The key to any good business is creating a strong working relationship. This course will allow me to learn the ins and outs of business communication. As a graphic designer, there most certainly will be times where I am not working steadily in an office, but instead freelancing with bigger companies on one-off jobs. Understanding how to properly communicate with clients, including presenting my ideas, will allow me to show exactly how clear I am able to communicate my ideas to other people. Communicating through writing and verbally go hand in hand with the ability to communicate through graphics.

Digital Marketing:  This course will teach me the ins and outs of digital marketing. Every company in the modern world needs a good website, not just a digital jumbled mess of information. Using my graphic design knowledge, as well as the knowledge of what a consumer wants will allow me to create successful future websites, weather for my own personal promotion, or upon being hired by a client. 

Consumer Behavior: If you want to sell a product, you must understand the buyer. This course will allow me to learn the way to best suit a product for a consumer, but understanding the trends of wants and needs through the eyes of a business. In order to design a product, website, logo or advertisement that will speak to a consumer, it is necessary to know what the consumer wants. 

Principles of Marketing: This course will act as a prerequisite for the vast majority of the marketing classes I will take. It also will teach me the fundamentals of marketing on a broad scale, allowing me to progress with my more specialized digital marketing. 

Branding and Marketing Communication: This course explores the best way to reach a modern consumer. Everyday, people are exposed to thousands of ads. So, only the most notable of advertisements will actually draw the attention of the consumer. In order for me to be a successful graphic designer, I will not only need to know how to create visuals, but how to do so in a manner that consumers will be drawn to. This course will teach me how to do so. 

Global Marketing: This course will explore the way of breaking into the global market. Digital Advertising is not something that is restrained to your local market. As a designer, I will be creating designs that hopefully will reach a global audience. Understanding the way other markets across the world work will allow me to better create designs geared towards markets across the world.  

Advanced Web and Multimedia Design: This course further elaborates on what was learned in web and multimedia design. As someone wanting to work in advertisement, this will allow me to know how to design web pages, which will work to my advantage in graphic design fields, or even if I was working for a marketing agency. 

Social Psychology: This is the only psychology course I will be putting into my contract. Social psychology goes in depth on the reasons why people behave the way they do. As someone wanting to create, and target ads to people, understanding why someone acts the way they do will aid me in creating the best, and most successful, ads that I can.

Within the open sessions in the IDS office, I was able to meet with two experts. One from the marketing department, and one from the graphic design department. George Pittlnico, the expert from the marketing department, explained that I would need to add principles of marketing to my contract, as it is a prerequisite for most of the courses I want to take. He also informed me to take marketing research out of my contact, as it will not help me with what I want to do educationally and job-wise. From the graphic design department, I was able to speak with Jong-Yoon Kim. He was able to give me in dept information on graphic design courses. He explained when I should be signing up for certain courses over the next few semesters. I originally had history of graphic design worked into my contract, and Jong-Yoon Kim informed me that I could take history of graphic design as a general education course, which allowed me to free up credits to add in the psychology course I wanted. I added the psychology course recently, and was unable to get expert advice on that, however I plan to work with my advisor and make sure I’m on track. I also checked, and social psychology did not list any prerequisites, and so I should be able to just go ahead and take it. For the future, I will work closely with my advisor, and the professors within the disciplines I am merging together in order to be sure I am on track to graduate on time, and see if any contract changes every need to be made. 

My program is a mixture of graphic design and marketing, with one relevant psychology course. This program is going to be called: “digital design and advertisement” and will allow me to work in many fields. With this degree, I will gain the skills that allow me to work as an independent graphic designer, working directly for clients. It will allow to work for advertising agencies, as I will understand the way marketing works, along with being able to actually creating the designs, and when I am creating those designs, I will know what a consumer wants to see that will make them gravitate towards my work over someone else’s. The marketing classes I am taking with strongly aid my ability as a designer, as I will spend a lot of time pitching to clients, and businesses, on why they should choose my design over a different designers. This program is interdisciplinary, not multidisciplinary. Every single course I have chosen is specifically geared towards my ultimate career and educational goals of being the best designer I can possibly be, while allowing me to break into the marketing world. Within my senior seminar, I plan to bring all of my courses together by designing a company, creating all of the branding myself, such a logo, website, and potentially a fake product. From there I will use my knowledge of marketing to decide which audiences my company will most profit from targeting, and will tailor my designs and offerings to which groups of people are most likely to be drawn to them. Graphic design, in itself, is a type of marketing, not just art. Having the ability to work on the same level of those who majored or minored in marketing will give me an edge in the job fields that I am passionate about. 

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