Graphic designers create visual communications seen every day, every minute, across the globe. Designers develop entertainment, advertising, news and features in all forms, including print publications (magazines, newspapers and brochures) and digital and broadcast media such as game machines, television, web browsers, social platforms and portable devices. As technology continually develops in complexity, so too grow the duties and skills of graphic designers. This comprehensive career and degree guide examines the role of graphic designers, the most-common routes into the profession, as well as available programs and schools. It’s rounded out by a review of job growth estimates in the field and salaries, by state, for graphic design professionals.
Step by step guide to becoming a web designer
What does a web designer do?
Graphic designers convey inspiring and informative ideas in advertisements, brochures and other marketing communications materials. Some graphic designers work for specialized design firms as part of a collaborative team, while others are self-employed and work independently. Print and digital designers use complex graphics tools to manipulate text, images, animations and color.
Most graphic designers work full-time to meet deadlines. Self-employed graphic designers must be flexible, as clients sometimes need to meet during evening and weekend hours. As with so many industries, customer service and client satisfaction are keys to success. Additionally, succeeding as a graphic designer includes learning how to bid on contracts, market services and develop an ongoing client base.
What kind of skills are required?
Graphic designers must combine sharp analytical skills with artistic talent to produce convincing illustrations that clearly relate their clients’ messages. Although they spend some time developing ideas on paper, they also need to be able to utilize specialized graphic design software. A large amount of time is spent communicating with clients and coordinating work with members of a design team, so strong interpersonal skills are also important. Graphic designers often have to complete multiple projects simultaneously, hence time management skills are essential.
Above all, graphic designers need to be visual thinkers. They know how best to use digital tools to solve business challenges, and are experts in creatively using the space they have to make the greatest impact.