How Design Degrees Help

Careers in design are some of the most creative and fascinating careers around. Web design, Interior design, photography and animation all call for individuals that specialize in unique solutions for personal and professional pursuits. Many of these design careers are built upon personal experience over instruction, as artists and designers hone skills through projects and trial and error. Careers in design can certainly be built through these efforts, but with the education provided in a design degree program, these careers can thrive.

Design degree programs, whether in advertising, graphic design or game design, are more than college-level instruction in those academic concentrations. These programs, available at many campus-based or online design schools, help student understand the concepts surrounding a design career, including business, marketing and logistics. In addition, a design degree can help with a design career through its general education requirements, assuring employers that the job candidate has an equal footing in terms of education.  But, perhaps the biggest draw to a design degree program is the ability to learn more about the art form, and the specialized tools, software and concepts that have been developed in those areas. The confidence gained through these programs can help during the job search and interview process, enabling graduates to communicate effectively with potential employers.

Beyond the personal marketability that a quality education can provide, a degree in any design skill can be a way to stand out from others seeking employment in competitive fields. In addition to the actual experience of designing websites, graphics, animated films or producing layouts for fashion or interior design, the benefits of a degree in design are vast.  From the instruction in general education areas, to the specific skills gained that related to fashion, photography, web or other design concentrations, a degree in design is a smart choice for the professional seeking a career in design.


2012 Animated Films

Animated films are a joy one of life’s great pleasures, no matter the age of the audience. Cartoons have come full circle, in many ways, and today’s animated films are entertaining for adults, children and everywhere in between. Professional animators bring these films, shorts and shows to life through various techniques, most of which are gained through personal experience and a quality education from a local college, university or online animation school. Whether hand-drawn or produced through computer-generated, 3-D technology, the world of animated films continues to mesmerize its wide fan base through awe-inspiring graphics and story lines with mass appeal.

2012 is expected to be a great year for animated films. Some of the most highly anticipated animated films are from large production companies like Pixar, Blue Sky Studios or Dreamworks, but many smaller companies are also expected to churn out some quality animated entertainment. The 2012 line up includes titles such as “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” “Ice Age: Continental Shift,” “Hotel Transylvania,” “Brave,” and many more. As more of these films are produced, the line between entertaining adults and children gets thinner, with many adults choosing animated movies over live actors. For parents, these movies are a delightful solution when faced with having to choose between kid-friendly entertainment and mature content.  

Animation and technology have increased the ability to reach a broad range of audiences through the timeless art of animated filmmaking. From CGI  and 3-D animation to restoring the classics of earlier eras, animated films are not only a testament to the world of computers and film production, but also a lasting form of art that will continue to entertain audiences for years to come. From pirates and princesses to Dr. Seuss and Akira, the animated films of 2012 promise to be engaging and entertaining, delighting audiences around the world.

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2012 Video Game Trends

Few things can create more fun, challenge and excitement than a brand new video game. No matter the age, gender or ability to play for hours on end, video games have mass appeal for people everywhere. Teams of video game design professionals are always on the lookout for new technologies and ideas that can be used to create games that include the latest trends in gaming. These games are the product of countless hours of programming, visual development, story writing and a myriad of other specialized schools.

For the professional video game designer, it is important to keep up with the technology available, and many turn to local colleges, universities or online game design schools in order to know and master the latest trends and skills needed.  2012 is predicted to be a year of growth for video games in several areas, each of which will require the most up-to-date skills from the video game designer. With the predominance of social networking websites that feature games, an eye for the integration of social aspects of gaming can increase the fun and value for games.

Cloud gaming is also expected to become more of a factor in the gaming lives of the young and old. Utilizing high-speed Internet connections and streaming technologies, more games are able to reach the public through gaming consoles, computers and mobile devices. Smaller, mobile devices like tablets and the iPad, as well as smart phones are expected to increase the demand for robust games that are engaging, but less taxing than many of the older style games that require large storage space.

For the video game design professional, the world of video games is getting a large push from mobile and socially-integrated technologies and trends. Bringing together a quality game that can be played anywhere while allowing for a certain level of competition between friends, neighbors or the outside world. In 2012, many games will be released with these concepts in mind, giving people the power to remain entertained through a quick swipe of a screen.


Web Design for the Disabled

Website design is a complex field that incorporates several different artistic, conceptual and technical methods that mingle together to create an informational, educational or entertaining online experience. For the majority of end-users, a website is a multi-media experience that can captivate the senses, but not every web surfer has the ability to enjoy a website on the same level. Making a website friendlier for those with disabilities increases the audience and can endear a brand or company within the minds of everyone.

Web design for the disabled takes into account several physical issues, including vision and hearing impairment and mobility issues, as well as comprehension and learning disabilities. Simple web design techniques that can be learned through a campus-based or online web design degree program include underlining links for those affected by color blindness, and using “alt text” tags on images that can be translated by software and verbalized to a visually-impaired web surfer.

Closed-captioned videos for the hearing impaired enable those users to enjoy many forms of multi-media content. Including the ability to resize images and text on a web page helps users with mobility concerns click larger images and text that can link to relevant content, and a website that is easy to navigate with a keyboard is especially useful when a person cannot manipulate a mouse.

These techniques, and others, are defined by Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) of the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C WAI). 508 Compliance is necessary when working within any website connected to a U.S. Government agency.

Designing websites for the disabled ensures that everyone has the ability to access information online with as little hassle as possible. Since one in five Americans suffers from a disability, these standards affect a large portion of the population. For the professional web design professional, designing these types of websites and learning compliance with federal regulations can easily be attained through a college, university or online web design degree program.

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Online Advertising Today

Online advertising continues to be one of the most evolutionary methods for businesses to promote products and services to consumers around the world. As technology and the Internet continue to grow and provide more ways to entertain, inform and engage web surfers, advertising professionals are using these same tools to reach audiences in all demographics. Regardless of the product or service being sold, the advertising professional is not only a participant in the advertising process, but is also strongly encouraged to keep skills fresh through institutions like online advertising degree programs.

The skills and education needed to succeed in online advertising are diverse. From computer and information technology insight and training to the creative use of audio, visual and written communication, an online advertising professional must understand more than a product or service. These individuals also need to know the trends of consumers online, the different ways to reach consumers through a website or mobile application, and techniques that drive people to buy. With the rapidly changing world of computers and technology, many advertising professionals turn to undergraduate and graduate programs in order to maintain a modern focus. Campus-based and online advertising degree programs are quickly becoming a method  to bridge the gap between basic advertising concepts and the new world of advertising online.

There are many ways to use the power of online advertising to reach consumers. Websites are developed with search engine optimization in mind, helping to increase presence in search engine results. Blogs, banner ads, rich media applications, social networking integration and e-mail marketing all serve to keep products and branding in the minds of the millions of people online. Keeping up with these advertising trends can be a challenging career, even for the seasoned professional. Colleges and universities that offer training and even online advertising degree programs help keep the latest trends and technologies fresh in the minds of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as professionals working to earn continuing education credits.

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