Multimedia designer

,  13 March 2013

Multimedia designers create a variety of screen-based multimedia products.

Experience using software design packages is invaluable. Image: University of the Creative Arts
Experience using software design packages is invaluable. Image: University of the Creative Arts

What does a multimedia designer do?

Multimedia combines digital technology and interactive applications in text, images, animation, film and video. It is sometimes known as digital media.

Multimedia designers work in a diverse range of settings, including:

  • web design
  • computer games design
  • advertising
  • graphics
  • animation.

Multimedia designers use a combination of design skills and technical expertise to create a variety of screen-based multimedia products including:

  • podcasts
  • apps
  • design for web
  • interface design
  • social media.

What is the work like?

Your work will usually involve:

  • Meeting with clients or managers to discuss the design and project brief.
  • Working as part of a team with IT specialists to develop multimedia designs and products.
  • Planning the multimedia content, the visual aesthetics and the best possible user experience and presenting ideas to clients and colleagues.
  • Collaborating with other specialist staff including graphic designers, animators, video producers and sound engineers.
  • Using a wide range of specialist design packages.
  • Being involved in product testing and making changes where necessary.

You’ll need to be someone with lots of creative and imaginative ideas and technical know-how.

You could work in a wide variety of sectors including:

  • business and finance
  • education
  • charities
  • government
  • software companies.

You will often be employed by a company, but freelance work is also a possibility.

How do I get into multimedia design?

Jobs in multimedia require a combination of creative and technical skills. So you’ll need to be both someone with lots of creative and imaginative ideas and the technical know-how to understand how these ideas can be put into practice.

Experience gained using software design packages at home, school or college is also invaluable. Examples include Flash and Dreamweaver.

You will also need:

  • A highly creative and logical approach to problem-solving
  • A strong interest in new technologies and the willingness to keep up to date with constant changes and developments
  • Patience and attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills to work as part of a team and to communicate your ideas effectively
  • Good organisational skills and an understanding of business.

Education and qualifications

Relevant school subjects include Graphic Design, Art and Design, IT/Computer Studies, Design and Technology and Science.

Further education qualifications that are relevant to multimedia include:

  • BTEC Level 2 First Diploma in Multimedia Design – entry is with a minimum of two GCSEs at grade D or above
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Multimedia
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animation

Entry to the BTEC Level 3 courses is with four GCSE A-C passes including English – check with individual colleges for their entry requirements. You may also need a portfolio of your work.

BTEC Level 3 qualifications in IT and Art and Design may also provide a useful background for anyone wanting to study multimedia at university.

Degrees

There are many different degree courses which include multimedia design. Titles include:

  • BA Interactive Media Design
  • BA Multimedia Design Technology
  • BSc Multimedia Computing
  • BA Graphic Media Design – Interactive Multimedia
  • BA Creative Digital Media.

Entry for degree courses is with a minimum of two A levels or equivalent level three qualification. Popular courses may ask for three A levels at high grades. You may be asked for examples of your design work.

The courses vary greatly and always visit the university open days before applying. It’s important to find out about links with industry, job prospects and the course content.

Look at the UCAS website for course listings.  

HND courses, for example in Multimedia and Multimedia Technology, are also available – entry is with minimum of one A level or BTEC Level 3 or equivalent.

How much will I get paid?

The starting salary for a graduate in a multimedia role is around £19,000 per year. An experienced multimedia designer may earn in the region of £30,000-£35,000 per year.

A highly experienced multimedia designer may earn around £55,000 a year and possibly more.


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