Design 101

Design is visual marketing! The more innovative and creative a design, the more likely it is to capture the targeted audience. unearths the different areas of design that you can embark on, depending on your interest.


A good illustration has the power to stop us in our tracks, to make us ponder and sometimes even enthuse about it. It often leaves a lasting impact. Illustrations are also becoming increasingly important as aids to communicate, explore, and challenge ideas and information.

The key to being a professional illustrator is being enable to develop and nurture key skills in image-making across a range of media. These include drawing, visual communication, design and technical skills. You will also need to be equipped with critical thinking skills that will help you become an informed and reflective illustrator.

Career options

Illustration graduates can work for book and magazine publishers, advertising agencies, creative agencies or in video production, working as designers, storyboard illustrators, animators, cartoonists, etc. You can also be self-employed and work as a freelancer.

Fashion design

Fashion design is the study of fashion interpretation, exploration of styles, trends and ideas as well as the creation of fashion. Taking a course in fashion design will give you a solid foundation in fashion and design principles – which include the practical tasks of pattern-making and garment construction – but working as a fashion designer will test your knowledge in materials, technology and business (retailing and merchandising).

You can choose to specialise in areas that enhance the fundamental skills of fashion design and business, for example, in computer-aided design or computer-aided manufacturing.

Career options

Aside from being a fashion designer – either self-employed or part of a fashion house – a fashion design graduate can work as a buyer, consultant, fashion stylist, retail merchandiser or in marketing. You can choose to specialise in the design of clothes, haute couture, shoes, apparels, jewellery, accessories, hats, swimwear, etc. 

Graphic design

Taking a graphic design course is the first step towards communicating to the masses visually. While you will study the visual, theoretical, historical and technical aspects of graphic design, the course also focuses on applied arts which use different media to communicate ideas and information in a visual manner.

The curriculum will cover technical knowledge and practical skills in graphic topics such as imaging (photography, videography and motion graphic media), typography (style, size and arrangement of letters), textures, lines and colours.

Working as a graphic designer will make computer software an integral part of your forte. While this will equip you with additional skills, it is your own creativity which will help you stand out within the industry.

Career options

Graduates can work in design firms, advertising agencies, publishing houses and web development as layout artist, illustrator, designer, photographer, etc. You can also be self-employed or a freelancer.

Industrial design

Industrial designers design products which are produced in large quantities using industrial processes. The field of product design is diverse so you will have to find your niche. The course covers subjects such as design methodology, ergonomics, the aesthetic principles of design, and materials and processes. Business skills are also taught to enable students to put principles into practice in the working world.

You will learn how to merge art with technology to design products such as consumer goods, electronic products, workshop machinery, and medical and educational equipment. You will be taught to consider product efficiency, costing, dependability, safety and simplicity of design, in addition to learning how to select the most appropriate technology for efficient mass production.

Career options

You can find employment in the automobile, furniture and plastics industries as well as in multinational companies, the civil service and in design consultancies.