Creative Arts and Design

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  • Creative Arts and Design industry does not usually follow 9-to-5 schedule but rather by project deadlines
  • The field of Creative Arts and Design is wide-ranging but it is not foreign that a multimedia designer may also take on the role as graphic or animation designers later in your career
  • You may study Creative Arts and Design through Foundation in Arts, Diploma and/or Degree



Why do Apple products cost so much more than its similar counterparts? And why do people pay for them? Even without seeing its bitten fruit logo, you can recognise their phones and laptops from its sleek design and user-friendly interface. Design encompasses more than just aesthetic and utility, a good concept can improve your daily experience and how you interact with various products and services.

If you choose to be a designer, you need to develop a strong attention to details and may even find yourself to be a bit of a perfectionist. You can also expect to work odd hours and under a tight deadline, both in your school projects and in your career. Your work does not usually follow 9-to-5 schedule but rather by project deadlines (and you are likely to have more than one). Being a designer also means that you will be in the forefront of trend and able to keep up with or even foresee future trends. This means you are going to experiment often and learn new things throughout your career. Most importantly, you are a creative person and want to be part of the creative industries.

‘’it takes more than just being a good drafter to be a good designer, as you are also required to be competent with the latest design software such as Illustrator, InDesign, etc.’’

Design industry is more than just fashion brands and film studios; you can also be employed as in-house or freelance designer for other types of businesses. If you master up-to-date design software, you are never short of creative outlets and paying jobs.

Various Fields Available

Essentially, the design industry value practical skills and work experience. While design is based on good concept and execution, there are several different branches that will refine which field you will pursue as a career. As you will continue to learn new skills and temper with new ideas, it is not foreign that a multimedia designer may also take on the role as graphic or animation designers later in your career.


  • Interior Design is the process of shaping the experience of interior space, for the betterment of the quality of life and functionality of the occupants.
  • Multimedia Design is the art of integrating multiple forms of media used in many interactive applications.
  • Fashion Design is the creation of aesthetically pleasing and functional clothing and garments.
  • Jewellery Design produces shapes of finely detailed jewellery designs.
  • Graphic Design creates compelling and understandable visuals with typography, imagery and colour theories.
  • Animation Design produces moving images and motion effects for other media using the latest animation software.
  • Industrial Design develops products that creates higher value, functionality and appearance that benefits both manufacturer and consumers.

Types of jobs

  • Interior designer
  • Set designer
  • 3D visualiser
  • Exhibition designer
  • Event designer
  • Multimedia designer
  • Motion graphic designer
  • Interface designer
  • Web designer
  • Visual effects editor
  • Fashion designer
  • Production tailor
  • Fashion entrepreneur
  • Pattern cutter
  • Pattern grader
  • Jewellery designer
  • Design consultant
  • Jewellery product executive
  • Jewellery maker
  • Accessories designer
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Visualiser
  • Event designer
  • Photographer
  • Multimedia designer
  • Concept artists
  • 3D model builder
  • Games designer
  • Animator
  • Consumer product designer
  • Toy designer
  • Furniture designer
  • Automotive designer
  • Environmental designer

Successful people/ companies

  • DB&B, based in Singapore, specialises in office spaces. In 2016, it is ranked world’s Top 100 Giants by Interior Design Magazine at number 11.
  • Centro Digital Pictures Limited is a visual special effects and animations company based in Hong Kong that specialises in films, interactive media and video games.
  • Issey Miyaki is a Japanese fashion designer who is known for his technology-driven clothing designs and exhibitions.
  • Born and based in Malaysia, Amee Philips launched her own label in 2002 and have been presenting her work in New York fashion week. Philips often mines the Peranakan heritage to design her bold jewellery pieces with a contemporary touch.
  • Freelance graphic designer Liu Zheng has worn many hats as a record-label owner, a motion-graphic designer, a creative director, programme producer and senior art director among other things. He set up his Creative Boutique 96k in 2005.
  • Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio based in Japan. The studio is best known for its anime feature films and 5 of Studio Ghibli's films received Academy Award nominations in the USA.
  • Jonathan Ive is a British industrial designer who is currently the Chief of Design Officer (CDO) of Apple Inc. Ive is the designer of many of Apple's products, including the MacBook, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and iOS.

Education Pathways

There are several pathways towards the creative industries after your Secondary Education. You can choose to pursue a Pre-University course, a Foundation in Arts in your chosen university or a Diploma in Design. Upon completion of any of those qualification, you will then be eligible to pursue a Degree in Design. Aside from your qualifications, you will also need to build your portfolio when applying for work.

Types of qualifications

  • Foundation in Arts
  • Diploma in Creative Arts and Design
  • Degree in Creative Arts and Design

Entry requirement

  • Good pass in Secondary Education. Subject prerequisites may apply.
  • Minimum 3 credits in Secondary Education.
  • Good pass in Secondary Education, Diploma, Pre-University course or Foundation in Arts.*

Duration of courses

  • 1 year
  • 2 to 3 years
  • 3 to 4 years

*As a rule of thumb: ‘A’ Level minimum 2 Es; STPM minimum 2 Cs; Australian Pre-University minimum of ATAR 60.0; CPU minimum average of 55% in 6 subjects; Diploma minimum CGPA of 2.0; Foundation in Arts minimum CGPA of 2.0; Matrikulasi minimum CGPA 2.0.