Career in Exhibition Design

7 minute read

If you’re someone who is adept at communication, has a knack for creativity and an artistic vision, then a career in Exhibition Design is ideal for you. Exhibition Designers play a significant role in the creation of unique and memorable displays for events such as trade shows, museums, and conferences. Exhibition Designers take the audience through a visual journey with aesthetic stalls and exquisite fixtures. In this blog, you will read about how you can begin a career in Exhibition Design. 

Source: Milwaukee Art Museum

What is Exhibition Design? 

Exhibition design has its application in a number of events such as trade shows, business shows, museums exhibitions, libraries and art galleries. The main purpose of an exhibition design is to determine the best method to communicate or portray a story in a unique and distinctive manner to the target audience. Exhibition Design integrates the disciplines of architecture, graphic design, digital media and content development to create an unforgettable experience for the target audience. Furthermore, exhibition design consists of setting up an appropriate theme and developing a creative approach in order to achieve the communication and interpretive goals of the exhibit. 

Source: The Guardian

Essentially, Exhibition Designers take advantage of their surrounding environment to create a compelling message or story that can easily be interpreted by the target audience. Many times, the exhibition design is also influenced by the local culture of the country it is being set up in. For example, in Europe, it denotes a place for business and relationship building, while in North America, exhibition design denotes a sense of belonging and community.

Roles and Responsibilities of an Exhibition Designer 

YouTube: Sketchup

The role of an Exhibition Designer varies with the requirement and company in which they are working. While larger companies may require exhibition designers to negotiate with their prospective clients, while some companies allow them to oversee the entire process, right from negotiations to the completion of the work. 

The responsibilities of an Exhibition Designer typically include:

  • To visually depict ideas and plans with the help of sketches, computer-generated models and scale plans. 
  • Understanding the client’s requirements, needs and objectives before finalising the proposal. 
  • To negotiate with the prospective clients and finalize the exhibit theme, main product and services, and the design. 
  • Producing final models and specifications as per client’s requirements. 
  • To work on a quotation and cost for the overall project. 
  • To work with the creative and graphic teams and regularly discuss the progress. 
  • To oversee the construction, placement and instalment of the displays and fixtures at the location of the exhibition. 
  • To pick the right materials and handle orders for supplies. 
  • To negotiate the best price for obtaining the materials and supplies. 
  • Be on-site to oversee and supervise the progress of the exhibition design. 
  • To ensure the deadlines are met and exhibition design is completed within the stipulated budget. 
  • To have regular contact with the clients and update them regarding the progress. 
  • To be up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies and style. 

How to Start a Career in Exhibition Design?

Exhibition Design
Source: Cultural Innovation

Earn a Degree

Most reputed companies and organisations prefer to hire exhibit designers who have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. Although it is not a compulsory requirement, it does increase your chances of being hired in reputed firms that specialise in exhibition design. Moreover, you will be given larger projects and famous clients when you have a valid degree from a recognized university. To kickstart your career in exhibition design, you can earn a degree in numerous fields such as architecture, spatial design, 3D design, visual communication, industrial design, interior design, and other related fields.  

Internships and Volunteering

Hands-on and practical experience can also give you a significant advantage when you decide to begin a career in exhibition design. Whether you want to work with a reputed company or become a freelancer, internships and volunteer roles will give you an excellent chance to gain relevant work experience as well as ramp up your resume. You also get to work with numerous team members from diverse backgrounds and be acquainted with the latest technology and hone your skills.

Certification Courses

You can also earn a proper certification that can help you kick-start your career as an Exhibition Designer. There are numerous online institutions and academies that provide students with valid certifications. These certification courses can easily be completed within weeks and they provide more leverage to your resume. Examples of such certifications include certification in display and visual merchandising, certification in graphic design and certification in architecture, etc. 

Take up Entry Level Positions

After earning a degree and gaining relevant work experience, you can also start your career in Exhibition Design by taking up entry-level positions in reputed companies and organizations. You may begin your career as a junior designer, usually assisting a senior designer and shadowing their work, and eventually, you will move up the ranks. You can look for jobs in the field of exhibition design either through job portals such as LinkedIn and or apply through your college campus and appear for campus interviews. 

Subjects under Exhibition Design

While the courses that you can pursue to start a career in Exhibition Design may vary depending on your personal interest and availability of the courses, there are certain subjects that you need to master in order to be a successful exhibition designer.  Here are all the subjects:

Model Making Technical Drawing Material Purchase
Design Technology Color Theory and Techniques Furniture Design
Design Theory Environmental Studies Cost Estimation
Design Practice Communication Skills Basics of Interior Design
Design Thinking Graphic Design Fashion History
Packaging Design Visual Merchandising Fashion Journalism
Photography Retail and Brand Management Fashion Consumer Behaviour
Site Selection Event Styles Fashion Styling
Design Elements The World of Event Design Fashion Forecasting

Courses for Exhibition Design

There are also a number of diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees that you can obtain to begin your career in exhibition design. You can find below a list of prospective degree courses, diplomas, and entrance exams:

Bachelor Programs

  • B.Des in Exhibition Design
  • B.Des in Interior Design
  • B.Des in Graphic Design
  • B.Arch in Interior Design
  • B.Des in Visual Communication Design
  • B.Des in Design and Digital Arts
  • B.Des in Interior Architecture
  • B.Des in Interaction Design

Diploma Courses

  • Diploma in Interior Design
  • Diploma in Architecture and Design
  • Diploma in Exhibition Design
  • Advanced Diploma in Events and Exhibition Design

Master Programs

  • M.Des in Exhibition Design
  • M.Des in Retail and Exhibition Design
  • M.Des in Industrial Design
  • M.Des in Visual Communication
  • M.Des in Animation and Interactive Design

Skill Set Required for Exhibition Design

Here are some of the specific sets of skills and qualities you need for a career in design:

  • Strong designing, drawing and artistic skills. 
  • Creativity, innovation and lateral thinking skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills along with negotiation skills. 
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • A positive and extroverted personality.
  • Strong organisational and time management skills. 
  • Ability to work with team members from diverse backgrounds.
  • Having extensive knowledge about finance, markets, material and suppliers.
  • Adequate knowledge about computer-based design programs and software.
  • Strong attention to detail.

Top Colleges for Exhibition Design in India

Here is a list of prospective colleges in India:

Name of the College Location
Parul University Vadodara
Mewar University Rajasthan
Apeejay Institute of Design Delhi
National Institute of Design Ahmedabad
Academy of Applied Arts Delhi
SAGE University Indore
JD Institute of Fashion Technology Bangalore

Top Colleges for Exhibition Design Abroad

Here is a list of international universities:

Name of the College Location QS Rankings
Royal College of Art London 1
Parsons School of Design  USA 3
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA 5
Rhode Island School of Design ( RISD) USA 4
Pratt Institute USA 10
RMIT University Australia 11
Carnegie Mellon University USA 17
University of Westminster UK 101-150
Kingston University UK 51-100

Job Prospects and Salary in Exhibition Design

In the field of Exhibition Design, your job role and position may vary depending on the size and type of company. At the entry-level, you may begin as a junior designer assisting the senior designers and management. A junior designer will often shadow their superiors and will mainly be involved in basic tasks such as meeting with clients and drafting proposals. 

As you move up the ranks, you will be promoted to the positions of senior designer, creative director, project manager, design manager and eventually creative director and designer. Additionally, you also have the option of being a freelancer wherein you may be responsible for either a part of a complete exhibition design project. 

Designers can earn a monthly salary of Rs.70,000 to Rs.81,000 and an annual average salary anywhere between Rs. 4,50,000 to Rs. 8,00,000 depending on job position and company. 

Top Companies for Exhibition Design

You can find below a list of recruiting companies:

  • Pepperfry
  • Snapdeal
  • Jabong
  • Flipkart
  • Wipro
  • Adidas
  • Hindustan Unilever Limited
  • eBAY

This blog has covered everything you need to know to start a career in Exhibition Design. If you’re planning to pursue a career in exhibition design, you can always reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who can help you in your preparation plans for a bright career!

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