Defining Multimedia Design
What is multimedia design and could it be the career field for you?
One of the most exciting areas of graphic and web design, and one of the fastest-growing occupations in visual arts, is multimedia design.
Multimedia designers have the enviable job of combining various types of media, including text, images, audio and video, in order to communicate information to an audience. Their jobs allow them to bridge the gap between multiple disciplines, making multimedia designers an attractive choice for clients.
From websites to television and movies, and video games to interactive learning software, multimedia designers use their skills in graphic design, animation and technology to create products that entertain and inform.
Multimedia Design Careers
There's a diversity of careers in the multimedia design field. You can expect to utilize different visual and technical skills, such as imaging programs or animation software, depending on your specialty within multimedia design:
- Multimedia Art and Animation: Multimedia artists and animators use computer software as well as traditional media to create animation, special effects and other graphics used in film, television, video games and websites.
- Multimedia Design: Multimedia designers synthesize different media sources such as images, animation, sound, text and data to create a complete and integrated media product, whether it be a CD-ROM, a website or even an interactive kiosk.
- Multimedia Web Design and Development: Professionals in multimedia design for the web use their skills in manipulating graphics, video, animation and layout to create interactive web environments that meet the client's specifications.
- Multimedia Publishing and Production: Publishers and producers have more of a project management role, overseeing the business side of a multimedia project—staffing concerns, budget, marketing and so on.
- Multimedia Game Programming: Multimedia game programmers have the technical knowledge to construct video game animations, characters and environments, and put them together to create a finished product.
- Multimedia Instructional Design: In the field of education, multimedia design is used to create instructional materials that utilize a combination of visual, auditory and interactive teaching methods.
Degrees in Multimedia Design
Just as the job market for multimedia designers is growing, so is the number of institutions offering degrees in multimedia design. Most commonly, multimedia designers hold a bachelor's degree because of the level of expertise required. However a 2-year degree or certificate prepares you for further study in the field; it can also qualify you for some entry-level positions, particularly in multimedia design for the web.