Graphic Designer Careers
Take a look around you. All of the logos, packaging, advertisements, signs, magazines, and websites that you see were create by a graphic designer. If you think designing these things sounds fun, you’re right. This is how graphic designers make their living.
Graphic design is a form of communication that mixes art and technology. It uses visual concepts to express ideas that inspire and inform. Through the use of colors, images, fonts, and layout, graphic designers create a wide variety of graphics for both print and online use.
Graphic designers work with clients to create logos, infographics, advertisements, signs, promotional displays, packaging, newspaper and magazine layouts, websites, or images. Their work can be seen everywhere. The first step is to discuss projects with a client to establish a basic idea and vision. Then it’s time to brainstorm the best design strategies to captivate an audience and accomplish a client’s goals. Consider it marketing through design.
Graphic designers sketch, doodle, and brainstorm ideas. They work hand in hand with the client during the process to ensure the project and vision are heading in the right direction. As the project progresses, the graphic designer uses graphic art software like Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Publisher to develop and fine tune the project. A big part of the job is to tweak and change the design as the client sees fit.
To be a successful graphic designer, you need a solid grasp of design fundamentals like color science, font selection, logo evolution, white space, layout design, sizing, dimensions, file types, printing, and so much more. The only way to grasp these concepts is to study design.
Many graphic designers attend university, art school, or portfolio school to learn about design, but no formal education or certification is required to find a job. With or without a formal education, it’s absolutely mandatory to have an outstanding, creative, and original graphic design portfolio.
To build a portfolio, graphic designers find internships or seek entry-level work on freelance websites like Fiverr, Elance, or Guru. A graphic design portfolio takes years to produce. It’s a good idea to host a graphic design portfolio online where clients can view it. Portfolios can be made up entirely of unpaid work, but published work is an even better way to build your reputation.
Once a graphic designer builds her reputation and gains the appropriate experience she can find jobs with graphic design firms or individual companies. Graphic design is a flexible niche, where many jobs are contract based. This makes for a nice work/life balance and plenty of telecommuting opportunities. It also explains why approximately 1 in 4 graphic designers are self-employed. There is a constant demand for qualified graphic designers, but even with this demand, it’s a very competitive niche.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 259,500 graphic designers employed in the US. On average, these graphic designers make $21.22 per hour or $44,150 per year. By 2022, graphic design is only expected to grow by 7%.
If you want to become a graphic designer, develop a portfolio. Learn the ins and outs of design and master graphic design software. Design as much as possible to develop your own style and grow as a designer. It’s a super fun process. Ultimately graphic designers get paid to design and create. It doesn’t really get any cooler than that.
Quick Facts About Graphic Designer Careers
Job Title: Graphic Designers aka Communication Designers
Office: Computer Based
Description: Use visual concepts and graphics to express ideas that inspire and inform
Certifications/Education: Portfolio Required
Necessary Skills: Design, Layout, Typography, Printing
Potential Employers: Self-Employed, Graphic Design Firms, Companies
Pay: $44,150 per year or $21.22 per hour
Helpful Graphical Designer Employment Links:
- Search Graphic Designer Jobs on JobMonkey
- Graphic Artists Guild
- American Institute of Graphic Arts
- International Council of Communication Design
- Society of Illustrators, Artists, and Designers
- Graphic Design USA
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design
- 30 Cheatsheets & Infographics For Graphic Designers