The work of graphic designers is impossible to miss. It’s in advertising, on T-shirts, menus, magazines and movie posters.
Graphic designers combine art and technology to creatively communicate an idea. Designers use and create images, typefaces, logos and symbols for this purpose.
High school students interested in a graphic design career should pursue art and design courses if offered by their schools.
Most positions require a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. This likely will include courses in studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques and website design.
Those with bachelor’s degrees in other fields may find that technical training in graphic design is sufficient for many employers.
Skills Beyond Artistic Ability That Aid Graphic Designers
Obviously, artistic ability is a necessity for a successful career in graphic design. Other desirable qualities include:
Analytical skills: Graphic designers must be able to see their work from the consumers’ point of view.
People skills: Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to make sure their designs express the desired message.
Computer skills: Graphic designers must be able to use software created specifically for their work.
Creativity: Graphic designers must come up with new ways to communicate ideas to consumers.
Business skills: Graphic designers need to understand a clients’ business challenges, trends and options.
There are many online options for graphic design degrees. Students also need to be internet savvy as social media sites such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and others offer excellent (and free) opportunities to market their work. A strong portfolio will be just as – possibly more – important than a degree when securing a position.
The median annual earnings for graphic designers was $47,640 in May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth is forecasted to grow between 2014 and 2024.
Similar occupations include:
Art Directors: These professionals are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, consumer product packaging, movies and television shows. Median annual earnings for this profession in May 2016 was $89,820, according to the BLS. Job growth is projected at 2% between 2014 and 2024.
Industrial designers: Industrial designers develop concepts for products such as cars, home appliances, toys and more, combining art, business and engineering skills. Median annual earnings in this field were $84,310 in May 2016. Job growth forecast for industrial designers is expected to grow between 2014 and 2024.
Multimedia artists and animators: Multimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models and animation as well as visual effects for outlets such as television, movies and video games. The median annual salary for multimedia artists and animators was $65,300 in May 2016. Job growth is forecast at 6% between 2014 and 2024.
Web developers: Web developers are responsible for the design and creation of websites, as well as the technical aspects, such as its speed and how much traffic the site can handle. Some web developers also create content for the site. The median annual salary in May 2016 for web developers was $66,130. Job growth in this field from 2014 to 2024 is forecast at 27%, faster than the average for all professions surveyed.