Graphic designers deal with creating inspiring and meaningful visual concepts.
They can make it by hand or with the help of some special computer software.
The designs should be engaging, informative, and inspiring for potential viewers.
Depending on their ranking in the company, they can also manage the marketing area.
There are many types of graphic designers with various responsibilities that differ between each of them.
However, whether it’s a video game designer, web designer, or digital motion marketing specialist, their responsibilities remain quite similar.
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What Does a Graphic Designer Do
Graphic designers are usually employed in the publishing, PR, advertising areas or similar industries.
However, as of 2014, it was reported that one in five designers were freelancing or self-employed.
The work and duties of a graphic designer usually vary depending on the position and the needs of the customer or employer.
However, except for some additional tasks, the core responsibilities of a designer are the same whether they are senior or junior employees.
The primary responsibilities of a graphic designer include:
- Collecting and researching the necessary information.
- Creating concepts and designing rough layouts.
- Illustrating the concept of art.
- Submitting imagery while in-progress for approval and feedback.
- Operating printing, typesetting, and other similar equipment.
- Creating and preparing finished art along with the copy.
- Making the final layout for the project.
- Keeping the technical knowledge up-to-date and ensuring that the necessary equipment is functional.
- Completing each piece of relevant equipment’s maintenance requirements.
- Occasionally, performing inventory and handle malfunctions of the equipment.
- Coordinating with other companies.
- Cooperating with professional societies and publications as well as design workshops.
Graphic designers should be well-organized and complete tasks in a timely manner.
They should also be extremely stress-tolerant and able to keep up with the deadlines.
The ability to multitask can be of great help in this position.
Graphic designers should be successful at time management, project management as well as possess leadership skills.
It’s also essential to be a team player when it comes to working with others.
Additionally to analytical skills, graphic designers should have huge talent and artistic skills.
They should also be highly creative and able to create their style and implement it in the design.
Color theory and computer skills are also mandatory for the job.
To handle various situations with clients, colleagues, and supervisors, graphic designers need excellent communication skills.
Media and marketing knowledge can be also very useful.
Besides, they need a good level of objectivity to complete projects successfully.
How to Become a Graphic Designer
If you wish to become a professional in this field, you need a set of skills and abilities needed to perform the work.
Without them, it would be impossible to do it.
Typically, graphic designers need a bachelor’s degree and some certifications.
However, freelancers usually skip some of those steps, but in this case, the hiring rate is also lower.
Similar to other careers in art, graphic designers need specific skills and abilities.
They should also possess some personal qualities that help them succeed in the area.
Some of them you can learn, others should be specifically personal characteristics.
Training and Qualifications
Graphic designers need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a similar area.
However, if your bachelor’s degree is in a different field, you can take some specific courses for graphic design to meet the requirements.
You can take some graphic design courses at an accredited institution to meet the qualifications.
There are around 300 different facilities, like universities, post-secondary colleges, which are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
Besides this type of education, there are various certification programs available.
With those, the aspiring graphic designers have increased chances of getting a job in a reputable company.
The most crucial part of the graphic designer’s experience is their portfolio.
So, sometimes, the portfolio can be even more essential than the actual work experience.
With a great portfolio, an aspiring graphic designer has better chances to get the job.
The portfolio should be relevant, tidy, and up-to-date.
Usually, it can be a determining factor in winning a job, project, or customer.
Designers should be willing to show off their work at any time and create more pieces for the portfolio.
Usually, graphic designers work 37 hours a week, Monday through Friday, with some flexibility of the start and finish time.
When the deadlines are approaching, some extra hours can be required.
The work of a graphic designer can also be part-time.
Many designers do freelance work trying to get more experience.
The work setting usually involves working at a computer in a design studio.
Sometimes, travel can be involved to meet clients.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for graphic designers should increase by 1% until 2024.
As of 2016, the median salary was reported to be at $47,640 with a $22.90 hourly rate.
On PayScale though, in March 2017, the median salary was estimated at $41,764 per year.
With more than 20 years of experience, the salary can grow by about $13,000.
So, mostly graphic designers usually move on before working for 20 years in the position.
This employment rate growth is far slower than the other occupation across the US.
The first reason for this is that more people choose to create their own graphics and logos rather than hiring a designer.
Another reason is that more people enter the field pursuing the career of a graphic designer.
The graphic designer’s job is competitive, stressful, and tasking.
Anyone employed in the field can expect to change the industry at least once in the course of their career.
However, with enough talent, ambition, and dedication, you can be remembered in the field.