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Old 12-07-2009, 12:36 AM   #1
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AI Graphic design

So I have heard good things and lots of bad things about the Art Institutes. I Looked into the school myself and I know its pricey but it looked worth the money if they are all that they say they are. Most of the bad things I have heard come from ppl in other programs like animation and culinary. Is AI's graphic design program bad, or is it a a good program? I am worried to go to AI and end up wasting all my money. I also heard that some places wont consider hiring ppl who have graduated from AI because their skills are not well rounded enough. Is that true? Any info is greatly appreciated
 
Old 12-07-2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:05 PM   #4
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This is a mixed bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sphinxthelion
i would Highly reccomend not getting into graphic design. Most jobs only pay about 12$/hr and I used to make that stocking shelves at a grocery store when I was 17. Also I attended an AI for 5 years and I currently think it was the biggest mistake of my life.


Response: yes and no. It is true that generally graphic designers aren't well paid although they can make over $12/hr. Moreover, there are more graphic design jobs available than that of most other art majors. Finally, if you can get some web design training, you can make good money and have good job security.

However, many art and 3d jobs have their pros and cons. For example, I have a friend who is a good game designer with the company that made "Grand Theft Auto." He was with them for several years. He just got laid off, and he is very qualified. If you work on movies, you will always be looking for a new job when your job is finished with the movie.

Bottom Line: Every job has its pros and cons.
 
Old 12-07-2009, 04:47 PM   #5
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Like any industry or career, in graphic design there are crap jobs. However, I make a whole more than $12 an hour and actually live quite comfortably.

The AIs are very hit or miss, but I have in fact had bosses (on the graphic/web design side) who wouldn't even look at AI grads. I've also worked with a few AI grads who had some talent and were great to work with, so that of course varies by individual.

Is there any reason not to go to a regular college with a good graphic design program?
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #6
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Truth is as in any profession, if you are good at what you do, you will do well. If you fall into that middle to low end side of the spectrum, you may not do so well. In the graphics design industry, if you are good, than most eventually venture off into their own businesses. It's much easier to operate in the graphic design industry as a small business or freelance, because projects are of a more manageable scale. And as a business, if you have strong business savvy, you can do really well.
 
Old 12-08-2009, 12:21 AM   #7
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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My search on monster turned up a 55-75k a year job as the second choice...go figure I'm also a bit confused by the fact that you "work with graphic designers all day at my work" but they don't have jobs? Or don't have good paying jobs?

Here's the thing: it's tough to get a good job as a business major, a computer science major, or a graphic design major right now, there's not a lot of great opportunities out there at the moment. But the really talented people in their fields will find work as they always do. There will always be job listing where people just want to take advantage of you ("seeking graphic designer who knows photoshop, HTML, ASP, mySQL, MCSC certified, BMW mechanic, etc.") but those are the ones you just avoid.

As I said in my earlier post, I make a good living as a designer and have a nice apartment, car, pay my bills, etc., and I have friends both at my company and other places who also do well. I also freelance, doing a lot of work for small businesses in particular, and I guarantee you they're not outsourcing their graphic or web design to other countries as they need someone to help them determine their needs and walk them through the process. And, as PerryDS mentioned, I'm most likely going to go off on my own fulltime at some point because there's more opportunity for me that way. I've also never been asked by a regular job to do pro bono work, although I have helped out organizations or young businesses by dontating my time or working at a reduced rate. There are cheap people who want you to work for them for free; the easy response there is "no". Oh, and I do work some evenings/nights as my freelance work has to happen outside of regular hours, but I definitely don't work insane hours (though a design job will run into crazy deadlines on occasion).

If you're only finding jobs for $20 an hour on craigslist, monster, etc., part of the problem is where you're looking. If you want a non-corporate gig (design firm, ad agency, marketing firm) you're almost never going to find them on sites like that. Check out your local art director's club or AIGA website, talk to creative placement agencies like Aquent, go to networking events, get involved in design community message boards, and get to know people who are doing what you want to do. The best jobs never make it onto monster.com, they're filled by someone who knew someone who would be great for the job.
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:49 PM   #9
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I have never seen anyone turn down someone because of the school they went to. It all depends on the quality of your work. Yes, AI can be a bit of a factory school, churning out students and crazy rates but if you work hard and are driven you should be fine.

I know many people that went to AI for graphic design and are living and working quite comfortably.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:10 AM   #10
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sphinxthelion
good luck with that. I would suggest being an electrician. People will always need electricians.


Oi Oi, what a troublesome advice is this.

You just need to do what you like and be the best in it. That is all there to it. It is the same even you become an electrician or a scientist.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:00 PM   #12
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man dude, I know AI didn't work out for you but you gotta loose the defeatist attitude. Thousands of people make this career work.

Don't listen to the naysayers. If you want to do this for a living go for it.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:14 PM   #13
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I don't know what every other Ai is like, but the graphic design graduates at AiPX usually had higher quality portfolios compared to other programs.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JYoung
I don't know what every other Ai is like, but the graphic design graduates at AiPX usually had higher quality portfolios compared to other programs.


One I thing I've noticed is that the different AIs seem to be very hit or miss, some have solid programs and others have terrible programs (I don't think our local one has a great reputation). That's definitely something to look into, do some research and find people who have graduated from your local AI, see if their work is any good and find out what they're doing now.

And don't listen to placement office numbers, they tend to be rather skewed to the positive. 90% employed doesn't count if working at Kinko's counts as "employed in the graphic design field"
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sphinxthelion
Web design is a better choice but even that is outsourced now-days.


I'm not a graphic designer, but I'm assuming you haven't done much web design lately if you think its not a very competitive field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fig
If you're only finding jobs for $20 an hour on craigslist, monster, etc., part of the problem is where you're looking.


Gotta agree with this. I can't imagine any serious work would be found on Craigslist.
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