Blurring the Lines Between Graphic Design and Fashion


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by Jessica Santina
Fashion School Review Columnist

April 3, 2009


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Shortly after Leanne Marshall graduated from fashion school, she took a position designing advertising. In an interview with her hometown paper, Marshall explained the career transition. "The principles of graphic design carry over to fashion as well." And she ought to know. She was one of this season's competitors on Project Runway.

Fashion design, in a way, has its roots in graphic design, and the two are linked in many ways. Once you understand the basic principles of color and layout, those skills can transition nicely into fashion.

What's a Fashion-Minded Graphic Designer to Do?

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Numerous graphic design jobs can be found within the fashion industry. These may include the development of fashion advertising or catalogues, or developing graphic artwork that will eventually make its way onto graphic T-shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, or jackets. You might find work designing jewelry or accessories--creating shapes and interesting designs that might translate into wearable art.

You might be in charge of creating publicity layouts, which may eventually wind up in newspapers or magazines. Or you might be asked to design packaging or collateral materials--things like brochures, letterhead, logos, annual reports--for fashion design companies or apparel manufacturers.

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Of course, while every employer is different, they'll generally require you to know such computer design software as Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop. And if you want to work in the fashion industry, you should speak the industry language--CAD (computer-aided design). That's where fashion school comes in. Both campus and online degree programs should help their students learn the technology. When you're researching schools, be sure to ask them what technologies and software programs you'll learn as part of your program.

In fashion school, all the pieces will come together. You'll learn how to apply your talents as an artist to set fashion trends, design wearable looks that suit your target buyer, market your fashion product in the most effective way, and create designs using the most up-to-date software for the industry. Fashion school can help you design the fashion career of your dreams.



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About the Author
Jessica Santina is a freelance writer with a background in media and marketing. She also teaches first-year writing courses at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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