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A Furniture Designer, as the name suggests, creates designs for items of furniture. These designs may be for one-off commissions, small batches or mass production.
A Furniture Designer may only be involved in the design of a piece of furniture, or they may also make the end product.
The job usually includes working with a client or employer to agree a brief and sticking to it, then researching other products to help develop ideas.
They will then design the product, taking into consideration the brief, aesthetic qualities of the item, type of materials and their cost, and the manufacturing process.
After sketching their first ideas by hand or using computer software, the designs will be developed and finalised through the use of models, prototypes and computer designs.
Designers may work as part of a design team, employed by a company, or they may be self-employed.
How to become a Furniture Designer
A design-related degree or BTEC HND is usually required. This could be in furniture design itself, or product design, 3-D design or spatial design, for instance. Entry requirements for these courses are dependent on the individual colleges and universities, and should be checked.
Work experience with companies can also be an advantage in this competitive career field.
Skills and knowledge required
- Creative and artistic flair, including drawing skills
- Ability to use computer design software
- Practical skills and good time management
- Understanding of budgets
- Good communication skills
Salaries for entry level positions are around £18,000 a year, which can rise to £25,000 or above with experience. Senior designers can earn over £45,000.
Furniture Designers employed by a company can expect to work usual full-time hours of around 40 hours a week, with some overtime occasionally required to meet deadlines. Self-employed designers may keep more irregular hours.
www.csd.org.uk – Chartered Society of Designers (CSD)
www.designcouncil.org.uk – Design Council
www.artscouncil.org.uk – Arts Council England
http://www.creativescotland.com/ – Scottish Arts Council
www.artscouncil-ni.org – Arts Council of Northern Ireland
www.artswales.org – Arts Council of Wales
www.creative-choices.co.uk – Creative and Cultural Skills