Animation vs Graphic Design – Which is a Better Career Option?

Last Updated on September 23, 2022

  

The words Animation and Graphic Design go hand in hand whenever careers integrated with Design come up. However, these two even though co-related, are completely different in their specific areas with different. In this article, I’ll be covering the various aspects of being a Graphic Designer and Animator such as their identities, work, job roles, and salaries to give you a better understanding of both of them as professional careers.

Who is A Graphic Designer?

Graphic Designing is a very lucrative career with plenty of opportunities and an employment rate. It’s one of the most highly demanded skills whether you work as a Freelancer or a Job.  It has become a need and a necessity. Every business needs to have a face, a logo, and a design that is unique to the brand and helps customers identify the company from other companies. Graphic Designers do this work. Even the Security Forces such as Police and Army need graphic designers. The corporate world needs designers more than any other industry.

What is the work of a Graphic Designer?

Every industry needs a Graphic Designer whether it’s a one-time gig or on a regular day-to-day basis. Here are some of the basic jobs and working roles of a Graphic Designer:

  • Creating Vector Images
  • Creating Illustrations
  • Making Prototypes for Websites
  • Creating Blueprints & Mock-Up Samples
  • Making Logos, Color Palettes for a Brand
  • Creating Banners, Flyers, Social Media Posts
  • Creating Advertisements

What are the tools of a Graphic Designer?

Every graphic designer needs to know these applications and tools to pursue a career in Graphic Designing. These are four basic tools you need to know to work in this field. There are a lot of other software as well if you want to get more advanced but a majority of graphic designing work can be done with these basic tools:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe XD
  • Adobe InDesign

Is Graphic Design A Good Career?

Graphic Design is an art with which you have to communicate your message to your audience visually. It is a great career for creative people who enjoy art, technology, multimedia, and communication. The Graphic Designing industry in India is projected to grow from 3 percent to 8 percent by 2030 along with the employment rate.

There are a lot of scopes and opportunities available because as long as businesses are being created and growing out there, graphic designing will always be needed. It does take a lot of hard work, practice, dedication, and determination but if you have an eye for making things look good, this might be the best career for you.

Who is an Animator?

An Animator’s main area of work involves taking all the designs and pictures that a graphic designer makes and bringing them to life. In the end, the final output that is being delivered is mostly made up of a thousand images, effects, and visual elements combined in harmony. Animation can be divided into mainly 5 parts- Traditional Animation or Cel Animation(frame-by-frame animation), 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Motion Graphics, and Stop Motion Animation.

How does Animation work?

Animation in itself is barely a stand-alone field. It is part of a long pipeline of production which involves:

  • Pre-Production: In this phase, the animator comes up with the story, the concept arts, and backgrounds, story-boarding, and aligns both-the story and the concept arts into one product. All these involve tremendous planning and brainstorming. It’s not in one day that unique stories or content is created.
  • Production: This phase involves all the concept arts and background and stories to have a visual identity of their own. It is broken into Modeling where all the characters and environments are given a structure whether it’s 2D or 3D, Texturing, Lighting, Rigging & Animation.
  • Post-Production: In this phase, all the scenes, shots, and sequences that have been prepared in the production par are Edited, Composited according to the script and the director. In this phase, special visual effects and sound treatment are also done.

And it is after all these efforts and hard work that an animated movie or episode is made. And all of these parts & stages that are mentioned above have a designated specified artist and a skilled professional working at every stage. The final output can vary from each of these different stages. As you can understand-Animation by itself is just a part of the process.

animation
Source: VistaCreate

Skills Required to be an Animator

In this industry, every single aspect comes to one single point-your skills. It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have or how much software do you know? Don’t get me wrong, experience and software knowledge can open up a plethora of new paths and ways for opportunities but as long as you do not master your creativity and artistic skills as an artist, there won’t be a demanding place for you in this industry.

Because in the end, the ultimate goal of animation is to make visual products such as movies, advertisements & animated shows. If you do not possess the artistic skills to create these kinds of products, then the end product or output that you make will not be worth the attention of an eye.

The way a professional chef can make a tasty dish is the same way a professionally skilled and creative artist can make something unique and original in the field of animation. If you want to become a professional animator and learn about all the elements inside it, just knowing some tools and theoretical knowledge is impractical.

You need to create a perfect blend of your software skills, theoretical knowledge, and creativity. Another important thing you should focus on is Skill-Building. Anyone can learn new software but to select a professional skill and keep holding on to it till the end and mastering it is a tough but interesting challenge in itself.

Is Animation A Good Career?

Even after discussing so many things in detail, it boils down to the question of whether is Animation a good career choice instead of Graphic Design and other mainstream careers such as Engineering, Medical & MBAs? Another question that may pop us which is- Can the Indian animation industry provide you with a high-paying source of income? Well, If it’s a matter of stable income, then the answer is Yes! The Indian animation industry can provide you with a lot of stable job opportunities but cannot provide you with a high-paying job. Read more about how to make a career in 3D animation.

Salary Structure of Animation vs Graphic Design

Salary of a Graphic Designer:

If you’re working for a small company as a freelancer or as a part-timer or full-timer, if you do not have a degree then at the beginning you’ll be getting around 5,000-6,000 INR/ month jobs which will slowly scale up to 7,000-8,000 INR/month with time. But if your work is remarkable, you are working in a reputed big company and have a degree, your starting salary can be around 15,000 INR/month which can increase to 25,000-30,000 INR/month.

If you work well and can manage jobs and freelancing at the same time you might even earn a lot more. It takes a lot of time to grow in this field, you need to make a name for yourself through your work. You need to create a strong portfolio.

Salary of an Animator:

After completing your course, if you’re entering the job market as a fresher then your salary will be 10,000 – 12,000 INR/month which can scale up to 15,000-20,000 INR/month with time. If you’re an experienced veteran with a minimum of 1-2 years of practical on-the-job experience, then your salary can be starting from 20,000-30,000 INR/month which can increase up to 40,000-50,000 INR/month.

It all depends upon your work and how you deliver them. In the long run, after 4-5 years, your salary structure might come close to even 60k per month and that’s without any freelancing or side income.

Are Degrees & Certificates That Important?

While working as a Graphic Designer or as an Animator, if you’re here just to explore the field as a second income or backup then you do not need a degree or a certificate for that matter. In this field, your skills are your representation. The amount of time you invest in your portfolio can be rewarding. But if you want to make this your primary source of income as a professional, then you need to get a degree.

Are The Fields Swappable?

Well, the answer to this question would be Yes and No! Is it possible for an Animator to swap back into Graphic Design as the first step to becoming an Animator is to become a Graphics Designer. An Animator will already know the theory of composition, colors, and other design principles. He will already have used most of the Graphic Designing software and developed quite an experience with them. So the switch back from an Animator to a Graphics Designer is very easy.

But for a Graphic Designer to swap into the position of an Animator can nearly be dreadful. It just simply makes no sense as the designer might know how to make single photos, but to convert them into videos and put motion into those same pictures is a whole another aspect of it. He won’t even know the basics of the software used to do the animation.

Conclusion

Whether you work as a graphic designer or animator, both fields are highly creative and artistic in nature. While graphic design is more or less the art of communication and is mainly used to advertise content, animation on the other hand is used to show a story and entertain audiences. 

Graphic designing involves meeting with clients to produce logos or adverts that can be found in numerous media. Animation is used in films, video games, television, and more. While both of these career options need a lot of creativity and design, their output is very different.

Although both have a long range of scopes and opportunities with people being successful regarding their career, salary, and job satisfaction; Animation remains on the top. This is because animation has developed a lot over the past several years and diversified into various sub-parts or segments across the entertainment industry.

Animation has a lot more demand and attracts a lot more employment than the graphic designing industry where anyone can learn a few graphic designing tools and call themselves a graphic designer while scratching just the tip of the iceberg.

So be careful and thorough before making a decision. Remember that your career is a result of your knowledge combined with your passion and other skills you were born with. Hope this article has helped you get a better idea if you are planning to take up graphic design or animation as a career. All the best!

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Maitrayan Bera
Maitrayan likes to be called Matty. Matty hails from Kolkata, India. He is a final-year Media Science student. When he’s not creating great content, or staring at his laptop screen waiting for inspiration, he’s probably contemplating life on the roof with a cup of coffee.
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