Experienced 2D graphic designer, is 3D required today?
July 10, 2019 6:17 PM   Subscribe

My question to MF is, what would you recommend for updating qualifications and getting back into the graphic design field? Unfortunately, going back to school full-time isn't an option. Anybody have experience in the field and some advice to share? Thank you, MF! Looking forward to seeing what you all have to say.

I've a close friend who used to work in graphic design, in the early to mid 2000's. (Fashion design, product packaging, etc. Tons of experience in that.) She has since been running her fashion design company, but would like to get back into a full-time position in graphic design. She fears her qualifications are no longer sufficient, though. Her education is in multimedia art and design, and fashion. She's quite familiar and talented in the 2D field (much of Adobe Creative Suite, etc). She has no experience with 3D modeling, though, which is what she's most concerned with. She tells me jobs today require 3D modeling.
posted by tellUwut to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I could see a need for 3D if you were going into custom package or product design. But, for standard graphic design, I’d say no, you don’t need 3D. Of course, it never hurts to have something like that in reserve, but I don’t think it’s a necessity. If anything, a graphic designer today needs a solid footing in web and app design.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:27 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Some jobs might require it, but certainly not all (mine doesn't). I think you're far more likely to come across a job that requires design and video rather than design and 3D.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:27 PM on July 10

I agree with the above answers. Your friend is much better off learning web and app design than 3D modeling.
posted by ejs at 7:55 PM on July 10

What exactly do you guys mean by app design? UI design? I mean, does it involve coding? What would you recommend she learn for that?
posted by tellUwut at 7:58 PM on July 10

"App design" these days (at least in my experience) tends to refer to mobile apps, and websites as apps. Generally, she would do the UI, workflow design, etc. as well as any graphics involved. She really wouldn't (shouldn't) be doing the coding. Some basic, high-level understanding of it wouldn't hurt, though, just to allow her to better communicate with the devs.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:38 AM on July 11

Can you ask her where she's looking for jobs? If it's at Pixar, then yeah, she's probably going to need 3D. But, like the others said, most graphic design jobs don't require that. I would steer her towards jobs for companies that create a lot of content so that she can work her skills back up and then she can go from there.
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:58 AM on July 11

If she's interested in learning, she could try one of the free programs like Tinkercad (easier to learn) or Blender (harder), and if she is catching on and enjoying the process and wants to get into some of the more proprietary tools, she could try Rhino or SketchUp, or whichever one the job ads explicitly ask for.

I guess if I were her, I'd look at individual job ads, see which technologies or specific software they ask for experience with, and then I'd check with my library to see if they provide access to lynda.com (which is amazing) and try to learn specific 3D modeling software that way, on my own. Then I'd see if I could make a few 3D projects that were good enough to add to my portfolio, and include them in job applications--"I have proficiency in Rhino building and modeling...(link to portfolio)".
posted by stellaluna at 9:37 AM on July 11

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