Exhibition designers create layouts and designs that work to serve a client’s concept and requirements. They help clients to come up with original ideas after a review and comprehensive understanding of a client’s vision. Exhibition designers also work on cultural displays such as galleries, museums, trade shows, and conferences. If you have a passion for actualizing plans into reality, this might be the career for you.
1. What Do Exhibition Designers do?
The duties of an exhibition designer include:
- Discussing what the client wants and requires
- Presentation of preliminary sketches, plans or computer generated visuals
- Presentation of the final layout – these have to receive approval from the client
- Making and handling orders for necessary equipment and supplies
- Recruiting technical staff such as lighting or sound technicians depending on the project
- Consulting during the entire process of the exhibition from acquiring the venue, construction of the layout, and the smooth running of the presentation process
2. Work Environment
Ideally, an exhibition designer works from 9am to 5pm but, depending on the size of the project, you may have to put in extra hours to meet deadlines, especially when the exhibitions are set on specified dates.
Most of the work takes place in an office or studio, but some projects might involve travelling. One also might need to move around to visit clients, scout for exhibition sites, and shop for equipment or supplies.
According to PayScale, exhibition designers in the US earn an average $45,893 annually. Salary is distributed as follows at different career levels:
4. Entry Requirements
Exhibition design is not governed by state regulations. The level of qualification needed is dependent on the employer. However, there are a few basic requirements that are necessary and that give you an advantage when looking for a job:
- A certificate, diploma or degree in related fields such as Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Three Dimensional Design or Drafting
- Some form of work experience in a related field
- A portfolio created either during school or during your working period that displays your knowledge and competence
- Excellent technical drawing abilities
- Knowledge of computer aided software
- A good understanding of visual communication
- Ability to develop creative and innovative designs
Alternatively, you can also start up as an assistant designer. By demonstrating excellent design abilities and eagerness to learn, you can get opportunities to work on projects on your own, eventually honing your skills as an exhibition designer.
5. Additional Skills
- Ability to visualize, plan and bring to life 2D/3D designs
- A keen interest in design
- A willingness to endure long hours of building an impeccable portfolio
- Good time management skills and the ability to meet deadlines
- Good communications skills to aid with networking
- Ability to deal with frequent interruptions
Exhibition design is slowly becoming a coveted job, and it is readily achievable by young people in school and older people already in different career paths. Design courses and training are easily available. Experienced designers can move on to become freelance consultants or move on to lecturing.
Are you an exhibition designer or in the process of becoming one? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!