With the increasing complexity of today's society, the design job has evolved from graphic design to an all encompassing multimedia designer, including designing materials for various media platforms from print to web.

The world have progressed with technology. This has in turn change the way that people work and the types of jobs that are in demand. Moving forward, the labour force need to possess the skills to capitalise on Singapore's position as a creative global hub. People are  moving with the trend and increasingly, more creative work are done using technology.

With over 20 years of experience under his belt, Andrew Tan, lecturer-at-large and Chief Creative Director of Grafichaus Intermedia commented that it's saddening to see that design has lost its feel. The design is cold and may not represent the message that the brand is trying to bring out. In the past, there's a need to look at colour proof and calibrate to get the correct colours, be it pantone or CMYK. There's precision and attention to detail in the way designers work and seeing the completed product gives a whopping sensation of achievement. Nowadays, the machine is doing all the work. An artwork is submitted via email and sent directly to print. A website can be build easily from software and the finer details are often neglected.

While it has bring about much ease and convenience, Andrew advises that it is important to have a strong foundation. The basics like typograpy, space, image and colour all play a part in the creation. Design is a skill that has to be acquired through experience and fine tune with learning. Be it the latest software, like Adobe MUSE or the latest concept, like design thinking, the designer should control the machine and make it work in their favour to create works of art.

While the new generation of designers should have the tenacity to bring about innovation, it is increasing important to note that a user centric approach is the core. Understanding the customer, how to connect and resonate with them, what they value and what motivates them is all part of the design job.

No matter if you are part of a design team, a freelance designer or designing for clients, you should provide your expertise and offer a solution as to how to lend a voice to the marketing campaign, the user experience on the website and the customer journey. With an increasing emphasis on design thinking, the designer will have to communicate the design process to all stakeholders involved.

Being in the web design business for 20 years, Daniel Wang, Web Creative Lead, Singapore Press Holdings Ltd shares that it is increasing challenging for designers in today's world. The skills you graduated with may not be relevant a few years down the road. There are also considerations on new software, latest trends, browsers compatibility and increasing adoption of mobile. The designer will have to be nimble to stay ahead in the fast-paced creative industry.

So aspiring designers take heed. Rethink the way you work and adapt with the disruptors in today's landscape. The thought process makes a difference in the conceptualisation and the skills helps to bring the ideas to life. It is not just about the certificates you have accumulated but the practical experience you have gained along the way by putting what you have learnt into practice. Keep the passion burning and constantly upgrade yourself to stay in the game.

We take a look at the differences among the job scope of designers:

Graphic Designer

Graphic design is a form of visual communication and leverages on visual elements to convey ideas. The graphic designer will have to bring concepts to life using typography, colour and images across print materials (billboards, brochures, etc)  and packaging to educate and inspire customers on their purchase journey. They use software such as Photoshop and InDesign to create static images and lay out pages.

UI/ UX/ Web Designer

With the complexity of the web, there is a need to understand the technology used to build websites and turn designs into actual online experiences. Dabbling with interactive elements from websites to mobile apps, most designers will be familiar with content management systems, such as WordPress. Some may have a better understanding of front-end web development and might know programming languages such as JavaScript. Software like Dreamweaver and MUSE are used in the scope of work.

Multimedia Designer

Multimedia typically involves animation and video production. Integrating multiple forms of media, the role of a multimedia designer encompasses graphic design, web design as well as motion graphics.