Become a Graphic Designer

Basics of Careers in Graphic Design

Graphic designers require a significant amount of formal education across a variety of topics. In addition to the artistic ability required by this job, candidates should also expect to spend a significant amount of time learning various design programs and other new mediums, whether it be Photoshop or another similar program.

Unlike visual artists or others who come from a strictly fine arts background, graphic designers are more directly involved with the corporate and messaging side of the field. The goal of the graphic designer isn't inspiration or expression, but rather communication and messaging. As such, graphic designer training differs from that experienced in other artistic fields due to its grounding in practical applications. This commonly requires background in psychology, marketing, advertising and other essential business disciplines.

Educational requirements notwithstanding, graphic design is a field that commonly puts emphasis on experience and demonstrated ability. For this reason, most graphic designers are required to have an extensive portfolio of previous work that can be shown to prospective employers. This is especially important for those designers who work on a freelance basis.

Is a Graphic Design Degree PROGRAM FOR YOU?

It's no secret that the world is largely influenced by trends, whether they're in the media or in the products and consumption habits we embody on a daily basis. Regardless of the form, one inescapable truth is that brands and messaging have become an integral part of our daily life in nearly all arenas.

In our increasingly message-driven world, the importance of strong visual design can't be overstated. In an age of information oversaturation due largely to the Internet and the proliferation of content it facilitates, brands, governments and just about anyone else looking to get a point across are leaning more heavily than ever on visual messaging and imagery to stand out above the rest of the noise.

Enter the graphic designer. More than just an illustrator, these professionals are responsible for taking a company's message, mission and personality and distilling it into a visual identity that is relatable, consumable and memorable. For this reason, graphic designers embody a unique and particular blend of artistic talent, conceptual design and broad-scale psychology to achieve the most effective results.

GERENTOLOGY CAREER PATHS AND POTENTIAL SALARIES

Graphic designers are becoming an increasingly important part of the business landscape thanks to the ever-growing emphasis being placed on visual messaging. As such, these professionals can often pursue career paths along multiple trajectories.

Graphic Designers (i)

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

  • Median Salary: $48,700 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 4% (Slower than average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Art Directors (ii)

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the overall design of a project and direct others who develop artwork and layouts.

  • Median Salary: $92,500 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 5% (As fast as average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's Degree

Web Developers (iii)

Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.

  • Median Salary: $67,990per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 15% (Much faster than average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Associate's Degree

(i) bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm | (ii) bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/art-directors.htm | (iii) bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm