Is there a feild/career in Architecture that focuses more heavily on graphic/digital design?


Hey so I love graphic/digital design and it is probably one the things im most skilled in. I have 3-4 years of experience in graphic design. That said, as I am about to enter my senior year of high school, I plan to pursue a career in the field of architecture. The thing is im not exactly a great drawer or rather pen/pencil artist. I definitely have a creative side but that is expressed digitally. The point I am trying to get at is that are there any careers/types of architecture that focus more heavily on the digital side of things (graphic design)

Aug 10, 18 6:07 pm

why not just study graphic design?

Aug 10, 18 6:17 pm

Also, it’s not the 80’s anymore. Architecture students rely heavily on digital mediums


What do you mean you have 3-4 years experience in graphic design, so since you were 12/13?

Aug 11, 18 4:07 am

i went to a technical school and work as freelance learning video editing and graphic design


And you have paid gigs? Beats a paper route I guess :)


Don't be surprised. It isn't like the work doesn't involve health, safety, and welfare.


I’d say first off. Do not think that entering a “creative” field of work means you will be doing creative stuff all day and forgoing office work. You’ll most likely be doing a lot of repetitive boring tasks  for little money in an office environment. BUT! Where the creative field shines is it’s ability to allow you to freelance or build your own company pretty easily. Sounds like you are already on your way. I know this is unrelated to your questions but I’d keep taking those technical classes NOW, intern or work NOW and that way when you go to college you’ll be more focused and aware of the industry to pick what you want to get out of your curriculum vs blindly assuming that these professional programs prepare you for a career, many are quite academic and don’t help professionally. Additionally, by starting now you could potentially be opening up your own thing at graduation or slightly after without the limitations of family or mortgage payments. Whereas if you did the linear approach many people do of college, then office for approximately 10 years and then starting you’re pretty far behind and might not have that young enthusiasm you had in your 20’s. Also by working you’ll be able to see things like rendering, energy modeling, graphic presentations, marketing ect. And pick a path to follow with knowledge of real world not just assumptions. Good luck to you and congratulations on starting early!

Aug 11, 18 2:10 pm

I'm with archidude's statement.

Yes, it is called unemployment.

Aug 11, 18 4:34 pm



Just become a graphic designer / digital designer. Not only will you make more money and have a less stressful life.. but that career path has a much brighter and versatile future than architecture.

Aug 12, 18 4:03 am

Hand drawing and sketching is not done at all by the vast majority of architects nowadays. Not a good thing, but it's the truth.

Digital processes dominate architectural production today, so I think you may be ok working in architecture as it currently operates.

There are some architectural and design practices that have a graphic design/branding component.

Aug 12, 18 12:57 pm

In my experience the people who go into architecture wanting to focus heavily on graphic design and digital modeling/rendering are often (though not always) people who become very discouraged and disillusioned with architecture in mid career.  This is because in many firms the digital design tasks are usually assigned to relatively young/inexperienced people, and there isn't much of anywhere to move upward.  New people coming out of school keep bringing newer skills and techniques - and they can be paid lower salaries than more experienced people - so firms want to push the longer-standing graphics gurus out of those roles.  If you're not a person who wants to move into a role that takes more experience but involves a lot more of the business and coordination sides of the profession, then you may dead-end as a graphics person in architecture.

Aug 12, 18 1:12 pm

I believe that improvements in technology will ultimately make rendering so easy to do and intuitive to set up that the dedicated rendering specialists who assist architects will be greatly reduced in number or gone entirely.



So true, the fresh out of school types like I was once get to do all the glory work, and now us "mature adults are saddled with grunt work - fixing stuff the kids make a mess out of in Revit and sketchup, answering RFIs and reading the good book(CBC 2016)

A lot of 3D and graphics stuff is now being outsourced to India, China, Russia, Argentina and Mexico

Aug 12, 18 4:20 pm

You anyhow don't want to work at places that outsource those, no architecture there.




Just as a thought, I once worked for a boutique TI firm and got to do a fair amount of rendering, design and graphics - Interior design/Interior architecture is probably your best bet to do a lot of creative stuff, projects are quick turnaround. If you work for a boutique type place, then that's the best of all worlds, except the pay can be lower 

Aug 12, 18 4:24 pm

Hey so I love graphic/digital design and it is probably one the things im most skilled in.

If this is your passion then detach yourself from architecture. Look up sites like these instead, they offer better horizons for what you want


Aug 13, 18 8:50 am

If it were me doing it...

I'd be looking at a graphic design major with a minor in marketing; that way it can also spread to other opportunities.  You'll want to make connections with folks in larger architectural firms who have their own marketing/graphics departments.  Most folks here on the forum are probably thinking rendering sorts of things.  At a larger firm I worked with, they had graphics folks who took those renders produced and dressed them up (adding to the base with the little stuff like fire, movement, lense flare on glazing, people, etc.).  They even got down to graphical standards of presentations and fonts to create a uniformity.  They also started doing video flyby with mixed media, animations, project webpages, etc. Something they didn't necessarily want a 'self-trained' architectural intern doing versus someone who has had a strong background in working with a variety of graphical software.  

Basically, how you get the jobs now is all about the 'eye candy' presentations.  You don't leave that to a architectural student who had to pick up photoshop on the side, and you don't need to know how a building goes together, structures, etc. that an architect does.  You need someone capable of producing magazine quality spreads and writeups of projects.

And there is upward mobility.  There's a head of the graphics department, mid-level managers, and the younger artist.  While a smaller department, in this firm of 50, there were 5 of them.

Aug 13, 18 1:59 pm

The above is very true. I was once at a firm where the person who designed all marketing presentations would also do logos and signage design for the buildings and interiors we were working on. Persons who can design and write good presentations are in very high demand right now.


thisisnotmyname... forgot about that. But they did do all the signage, wayfinding, etc. interior and exterior. I think they also had a hand in any public art element and some crossover with specialty design; like visuals in site elements as you look down at the plaza to assist the architects/landscape design create the company logo, address, or some other graphic kind of element out of the various materials.

If you’re that infatuated by architecture you could always work in the marketing department at an arch firm (and see just how boring it actually is) but still maintain the freedom to do graphic designer elsewhere.

If you want to do graphic design study that. It’s a wide open field for such a degree. Vs architecture which tends to pidgin hole one into only architecture, or AEC at best.
Aug 13, 18 2:56 pm

Oh, second that for sure! Being able to choose marketing at say quicksilver or billabong vs marketing at some architecture firm with bottom salaries and skimpy benefits/ brainer.


"Are there any careers/types of architecture that focus more heavily on the digital side of things (graphic design)"

The path you are looking at is a very bad choice. 

Assuming you will find that rare architect willing to permanently entertain a graphic designer, you will look at - what architects consider - a minor and poorly paid job, within an already minor and poorly paid field.

Insurance companies, banks, Toyota, governments, mining companies, Shell, they all have marketing departments. There are people at Hollywood who are doing well as digital set directors.

Remove architecture out of the equation, then your horizon and opportunities will increase by quite a few orders of magnitude, expanding to the rest of the economy.

Aug 14, 18 9:59 am

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