Jewellery/ silver designers design and are involved in the making of customised contemporary or luxury jewellery or costume or high fashion earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and other accessories for high street and high end fashion brands.
Jewellery/ silver designers may work on a freelance basis in a studio or for clothing and accessories retailers and suppliers. Freelance designers work closely with customers to make designs to their requirements, often known as ‘bespoke' pieces, which are then created using metals, such as silver and gold and precious stones and shaped using moulds, hammering techniques, soldering and polishing.
Designers working for companies work closely with creative and buying teams to ensure products are designed in line with brand guidelines, seasonal trends and colour palates, often using 3-D design computer aided design (CAD) software. They may also be responsible for designing packaging for the jewellery.
Keeping up to date with trends from fashion shows, bloggers, luxury and high street retailers and trade shows is essential to create fashion forward products. Overseas travel is often required to source new ideas, inspiration and to meet and liaise with suppliers and manufacturers, who are often based in the Far East or the US.
Duties may include:
- creating new concepts and designs for jewellery ranges and packages
- meeting customers to discuss their requirements and budget
- creating design boards in line with customer requirements
- working with creative and buying teams to create project time schedules
- researching trends and design concepts, including competitor analysis and market research
- creating new designs using drawings and computer aided design (CAD) software
- presenting ideas
- communicating designs to suppliers to create samples and ranges
- visiting overseas suppliers to oversee design and production process
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills for jewellery/silver designers
- creative and imaginative
- strong jewellery design and drawing skills
- good hand/ eye co-ordination to operate tools and machinery
- excellent IT skills, CAD design software, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
- high level of customer service and sales skills
- commercial awareness, good understanding of the industry and competitors
- knowledge and understanding of safety and quality policies and procedures
- ability to translate ideas into products
- good team player
- ability to communicate confidently and effectively
- highly organised, with the ability to manage deadlines and costs
- languages may be useful
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of jewellery/ silver designers
- jewellers and fashion retailers
- jewellery and fashion suppliers and manufacturers
- colleges and universities
Qualifications and training required
Creativity is a key requirement to become a Jewellery/ silver designer and previous work experience in a retail or design environment or can be helpful, as competition for roles is high.
Apprenticeships may be offered by some companies. A level 2 or 3 course, one year art foundation and degree/ masters art and design degree or specialist jewellery or 3-D design may be required for some job roles.
Many junior jewellery designer jobs require candidates to show a portfolio of their designs and inspirations.