Opening windows to a "designer" career

Design Indaba’s advocacy programmes promoting the creative industries have propped up the local industry.

Design Indaba’s advocacy programmes promoting the creative industries, the naming of Cape Town as the World Design Capital for 2014, and the breakout role of visual marketing this year with the rise of social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest have propped up the local industry.

The fields of design and visual communication have recently received a welcome boost in South Africa. Design Indaba’s advocacy programmes promoting the creative industries, the naming of Cape Town as the World Design Capital for 2014, and the breakout role of visual marketing this year with the rise of social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest have propped up the local industry. There are now over 50 careers to choose from with a BA degree in visual communication.

In 2012 the most popular social networking platforms have undergone face-lifts, intended to shift their focus. In March, Facebook restructured its profiles, pages and groups with a design that places a far greater emphasis on visial communication than ever before. Twitter, a seemingly text-rich platform has, this year, transformed it’s set-up to allow images to auto-load in the feed which has resulted in an increase in image-sharing, which now accounts for 40% of the information exchanged on the network. 

The old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ couldn’t be more true as 2012 approaches its final quarter and businesses adapt to ‘showing’ their products more with beautiful photography and arresting design.

With a view to opening up this burgeoning world of design to prospective students, The Open Window School of Visual Communication based in Southdowns, Irene will host an Open Day on Saturday, 15 September 2012 from 09h00 to 14h00. The event is designed to give Grade 11 and 12 learners and their parents - as well as working adults - the opportunity to learn more about pursuing a full or part-time degree or short course in design, multimedia, animation, game design, product design, photography, film and media.

Besides having the chance to converse with lecturers and current Open Window students, visitors can view a showcase of student work and an informative screen presentation. Every applicant will receive a R500 discount voucher for any Open Window short course and information points will assist prospective students with loan applications, accommodation and transport.

Unique to the open day, a Product Design Workshop is open to Grade 12 learners who take design as a subject and are looking for expert guidance, although booking is essential. Potential students can also participate in a film shoot, see a photo shoot in action as well as demonstrations in creative software, including 3D animation.

“The creative industries sector has been earmarked by the government as one of the nine sectors that can stimulate future economic growth. Our role at The Open Window is to equip the future ‘creative giants’ in our nation to make use of innovative design for the betterment of our society and to improve communication in education, business, government and civil society,” says Janette Engelbrecht, marketing manager of The Open Window School of Visual Communication.

The private higher education institution boasts respected alumni such as Jeanine Coleman and Nicole Combrinck, both Art Direcors at Ogilvy and Draft FCB respectively. Graduate Chris Pinto was commissioned by Joe Public to direct the award-winning Official Nike Viral Campaign (2012) and Armandt Fourie was selected as one of 10 entries into the kykNET Silwerskerm Competition. Last week The Open Window took 1st and 2nd place at the Antalis Paper Loves Student awards with Communication Design students Bianca Potgieter (winner) and Bianca Brand (2nd place) impressing the judges with their Corporate Identity designs.

“The Open Window has a great track record of producing well-equipped students who are sought after in the creative arts industry, with approximately 98% of last year’s students finding positions in the workplace within three months of graduation,” continues Engelbrecht.

Learners can choose from more than 50 different career paths with a BA in Visual Communication degree and can select to specialise in screen arts, visual studies, design studies or interaction design. Students gain practical experience in the industry before entering the job market. They are tasked with completing projects for real clients and are taught by experts from the advertising, production and animation industries.

With a focus on skills development, the higher education institution has developed a range of focused creative short courses that appeal to first-time students and art and design enthusiasts alike. Those who want to refine their expertise or are contemplating a career change will find a welcome home at Open Window.

Talented learners are invited to apply for scholarships at the open day to enable them to study at The Open Window School of Visual Communication, which offers both merit and empowerment bursaries.

To learn more about the Open Day, contact The Open Window School of Visual Communication on 012 648 9200, email info@openwindow.co.za or visit www.openwindow.co.za

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