What does a Graphic Designer do?

Median Pay $48,700
Growth Rate 4%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A graphic designer creates digital images by combining the use of computer software and art concepts to develop and deliver ideas to a client that would inform, inspire, or motivate a consumer.

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How to Become a Graphic Designer

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To gain a career as a graphic designer, you usually need a bachelor’s degree in design or a similar field. While earning a degree, you will also build your professional portfolio that demonstrates your talent and abilities as a designer. Since graphic designers can work on a range of projects, computer courses taught would include photo editing programs, illustration programs, and perhaps some optional web design and video editing programs.

Taking an internship while in college may help you gain the experience necessary to land your first job as a graphic designer. An internship would also provide the opportunity to add real-world projects to your portfolio.

Job Description of a Graphic Designer

Graphic designers make complex ideas more accessible by illustrating content using their skills in text, color, and images. They can creatively transform statistical data into diagrams and visual graphics, create logos, and marketing material. They often interact with people in public relations, marketing, or advertising. They develop graphics for brochures, advertisements, corporate branding, and other media such as websites.

Graphic designers may also specialize in one area such as product package design, book cover design, or web design. A graphic designer must remain current in computer technologies and software. They are original and creative thinkers with the ability to develop and apply clever ideas in a design or application (like a website).

Graphic Designer Career Video Transcript

Graphic designers create visual concepts to inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, websites, magazines, and other print and online material. These designers use both text and images to communicate ideas. They design the lettering and color of text as well as arranging images and copy on a print or webpage. When using copy in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers. Many use their creativity to transform statistical data into visuals to make complex ideas more accessible. Graphic designers generally work in studios with drafting tables, computers, and design software.

Although many graphic designers work independently, those who work for specialized graphic design firms often work on teams. Work schedules typically revolve around deadlines whether to deliver a finished product to clients, printing companies, or to publish on the Internet. Self-employed designers tailor their workday around meetings with clients, including evenings and weekends. They often spend time looking for new projects and must compete with other designers for contracts. At firms, graphic designers are likely to work more standard hours. Most positions require a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. A professional portfolio of their work is a must for graphic designers to show potential employers their skill, creativity, and originality.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Graphic Designers.

National Center for O*NET Development. 27-1024.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.