Toy and game designers work for toy and game design firms and manufacturers. This is a small field. For example, there are approximately 2,740 toy, dolls, and game manufacturing businesses in the United States, according to the market research group IBISWorld. The Toy Industry Association represents more than 950 member organizations. Competition for jobs is keen and employers prefer to hire toy and game designers with prior design experience and strong computer-aided design skills.
A common way to get a foot in the door is through an internship in a design firm or a manufacturing company. Designers may also start in entry-level positions, such as an assistant to the design department. With a year or more of experience they may become junior designers.
Toy and game designers with several years of experience may advance to senior-level positions. In larger design firms they may advance to become chief designers and eventually managers of design departments. Some share their experience by teaching in design schools or art schools; they may do this while working full time as designers or move into the education field as a next career. Others may advance by leaving staff positions in large firms and starting their own design studios.
A good way to learn firsthand about toy and game design work is through an internship with a design firm or in the design department of a toy and game manufacturing company.
Attend a trade show to see what kind of toys and games are being produced and to learn more about the different companies in the industry.
Learn more about award-winning toy and game designs and designers by visiting the Toy & Game Innovator of the Year Web site, at https://www.chitag.com/2019-toy-game-innovation-awards.
Get involved in professional associations for designers such as the Industrial Designers Society of America and the AIGA.