ID vs. Graphic Design

It seems that there are many more jobs available for ID than for Graphic Design, especially for non-freelance work. Is this actually the case? I am going back to school to major in design and am torn between the two. :unamused:

are you kidding!!! there are less ID jobs out there for sure, and tons more Graphics work,but, there are tons more ppl doing graphics. Perhaps your judging by the coroflots job post, which is primarily ID…if you want to see GD jobs, …google, AIGA or creativehotlist, or even craiglist…

I totally agree with orbital. Id does pay better than GD.

You may want to do more research about each field. They are not the same thing. Choose the one you are more interested in.

i agree w/ them both…def more GD jobs…but go for what you are intereseted/passionate about…be ready to bite the bullet anyways, designers aren’t paid well in general…

The two fields are different in many ways, I think you will natually pick one that will suit you after taking few fundemental courses.

Even within each field, the work experience can be very diverse. An ID person designing furniture will go through different process than an ID person designing hand held PDAs. Same goes for graphic design, print vs web, etc.

As for job opportunities, I think graphic design market is much larger than ID market.

Good luck.

Even within each field, the work experience can be very diverse. An ID person designing furniture will go through different process than an ID person designing hand held PDAs.


I will have to disagree with you on this matter. I work for a consulting firm and have worked on everything from furniture, toys, commercial equipment, medical devices, sporting goods, jewelry, and even a rugedized pocket pc for frontline soldiers. The overall process is always the same, set preliminary project objectives, conduct initial consumer research, set project specifications, initial concepts, consumer validation, refined concepts, consumer validation, engineering development, prototyping, testing, final consumer validation, final refinements, final agency compliance testing, tooling, production.

Though the individual steps in each phase are slightly different to meet the specific design objectives of each project, the overall process is always the same. It is the Industrial Design process; research-user centric design-engineering-manufacture.

Maybe “process” wasn’t the word I was looking for.

The original poster is torn between ID and GD field, so I was trying to describe how even within each field, a designer can go through different experiences depending on the type of project he/she is working on in hand.

I guess what I’m saying is, that you might not enjoy designing PDAs, but that doesn’t mean you will not enjoy a career in ID. I believe ID vs GD career choice will resolve itself naturally in short time, but it might take a little longer to find something you really like to design for a long time.

Matt…I apologies for coming off the way I think I might have. I was simply trying to make the point that ID is ID no mater what you design.

As for choosing ID over GD you have to discover where it is that your passion lies. If you like creating comic book sketches, illustrations, and posters then GD. But if you want to fix the problems of the world through the products of everyday life, using your artistic ability to “think visually” through complicated problems then ID.

As for the job market, yes ID has taken a major blow in the last two years. Not to mention that the value of design has been greatly reduced in the eyes of CFO’s as China begins to pump out quality designers, and manufacturing companies are offering their services for free with a manufacturing contract. But there is work, and plenty of it for those who are truly talented, passionate, and persistent. Just keep in mind ID is by no means a 9-5 job.

Just thought of a simple self check that an instructor of mine used on the first day of class to predict which students would be in the 2/3 that would drop the major. “How many of you walk through a store and stop to look at a new product, then as you are looking you realize how to improve it to perform, function, and feel better?”

Matt —

on a side note on the ID Process; a friend of mine sent me a 5 page article on Harvard business school hiring an ex-IDEO design head to teach ID Theory and Process to MBA and higher business students. They said that the “systematic, visual thinking methods” forced the participants to set aside “preconceived prejudices” and focus on a solution to the “true problem” and not what may be the obvious problem.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• This sounds a lot like Edward De bono and his theories on Lateral Thinking.•
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Thanks for everyone’s responses.

Do you mean that staff positions are rare or that you won’t be going home at 5pm and only working weekdays?

staff positions are not rare…but working 9-5 is…ID is not a job you do to just pay the bills…you do it because you love it, are dedicated to it, and do what needs to be done…ID is a very broad major, therefore, you have to do alot…it’s a great field if you love, sweat, and bleed, it…but if your craving to get out of work at 5-6pm everyday without coming in on weekends some times…think about another major… down the road, the hours get shorter, only cause you get smarter about choices, but…if you have time, take a summer class, in ID vs, GD…see what you crave more…all design fields have their negatives and positives… The great thing about a job yu like is the hours fly by and your dont realize its late cause you crave to work more…

I’m a graphic designer and I can say from my memory of ariving at school, the entry courses for graphics and ID are mostly the same (art fundamentals). You will have a chance to investigate at school before you have to commit to one or the other. Talk to a counselor to compare the majors at your school. You may even decide that you are not good at either one, change yur major and go into poli sci. :stuck_out_tongue: