design context home

The nature and variety of design disciplines and workplaces

There are two broad categories of design, two dimensional and three dimensional design.

Within these two broad categories, there are a number of design disciplines and workplaces. For example (alhtough tis list is by no mean exhaustive):

Two dimensional: Two dimensional design includes such areas as graphic design, corporate identity, publishing, 2D advertising (such as posters and magazine advertisements).

  • Graphics
  • Typography
  • Print making
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Photography
  • Advertising

Three dimensional: Three dimensional design is that which involves depth.

  • Furniture Design
  • Interior Design
  • Industrial/Product Design
  • Exhibition Design
  • Ceramics
  • Sculpture
  • Environmental Design
  • Textiles, Costume and Jewellery

Nature and variety of design professions

Within each broad field, there are a variety of unique occupations or professions.

Some two-dimensional design occupations:

  • Advertising/editorial photographer
  • 2D Animator
  • Illustrator
  • Signwriter
  • Medical illustrator
  • Web designer
  • Photographer - eg Commercial/industrial, Documentary, Fashion, Fine art, Press, Sport
  • Photographic stylist
  • Tattooist (seriously, one of my students left school this year to become a professional tattooist)
  • Textile designer
  • Art Director (Graphic Design)

Some three-dimensional design occupations:

  • 3D Animator
  • Blown glass/stained glass designer
  • Ceramics/pottery designer
  • Exhibition/display designer
  • Furniture designer
  • Industrial/product designer
  • Interior/spatial designer
  • Jewellery designer
  • Metalwork/silversmith designer
  • Museum exhibition designer
  • Production designer (theatre/film/video)
  • Architect
  • Interior designer
  • Fashion designer

An example of the nature and variety of design professions could be demonstrated within the Magazine Publishing field. You can see some examples of Magazine ads (as well as some great ads), with all of the designers listed at: magazines.org.au/driver.asp?page=events/folio+awards/current+winners

The Publisher and the Editor head the Magazine, and although involved in defining the look and direction of the Magazine, would not be considered to be 'design' professiona as such so I won't cover them and other administrative and non-graphical creative positions within a Publishing company.

The Art Director is responsible for the overall look. He/she usually has the final say in aesthetic issues about the Magazine.

An Advertising or Editorial Photographer, of course, takes photographs. In a commercially-oriented magazine the line between 'advertising' and 'editorial' can be fairly thin.

The Photo Stylist is sort of like the magazine equivalent of a Movie Industry props department. They source and arrange the elements within the photograph, in collaboration with the Photographer and Art Director. For example, in a food shoot, they'd hire or buy the tablecloth, cutlery, crockery etc; assit the cook in arranging the food attractively etc.

A Typographer chooses or develops typefaces appropriate for the project.

A Graphic Designer usually develops the layout of articles.

An Illustrator provides original images, either drawn or painted by hand, or produced digitally.

A Retoucher does any necessary digital manipulation of photos and illustrations.

Although each person has their own job to do, they all have to work as a team to produce a cohesive product.

Interaction / Overlap of design disciplines

There is some overlap between the two broad categories of 'two dimensional' and 'three dimensional'. For example, developing new packaging for Olive Oil would include both two dimensional elements such a the label/s and also three dimensional elements such as the shape of the bottle itself.

In any commercial work environment, there is interaction and overlap between design disciplines.

In the example given above, ie the commercial magazine industry in Australia, in developing an article for a magazine there could be as many as a dozen people creatively involved in the both the content and design on the article.

We will discuss a scenario in class.

Some other links that look at specific jobs and roles within a design team:


Tutorials scheduled:

Monday Class 16/8:
10:30 vacant
10:45 vacant
11:00 vacant
11:15 vacant
11:30 vacant
11:45 vacant
12:00 vacant
12:15 vacant
12:30 vacant

Thursday Class 19/8:
3:00 vacant
3:15 vacant
3:30 vacant
3:45 vacant
4:00 vacant
4:15 Erin H (postponed)
4:30 Bree D - David Carson
4:45 vacant
5:00 vacant

Some David Carson links:


retrokat.com quite nice sites

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