Welcome To Brainchecker,
“Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.”
Following is everything you need to know about a career as a graphic designer with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring.
Graphic designers typically do the following
- Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
- Use digital illustration, photo editing software, and layout software to create designs
- Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message
- Design layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces to use
- Present design concepts to clients or art directors
- Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
- Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them
Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images and the layout of websites and printed pages. They may use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a print or webpage, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers, who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of images, text, and color, graphic designers can transform statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas more accessible.
Graphic design is important to marketing and selling products, and is a critical component of brochures and logos. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as graphic artists or communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing.
Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create the graphics used on retail products packaging, and others may work on the visual designs used on book jackets.
Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies in order to remain competitive.
Some individuals with a background in graphic design become postsecondary teachers and teach in design schools, colleges, and universities.
Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs.
Education for Graphic Designers
A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 350 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Most programs include courses in studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. In addition, students should consider courses in writing, marketing, and business, all of which are useful in helping designers work effectively on project teams.
High school students interested in graphic design should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor’s degree programs require students to complete a year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.
Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs. For many artists, including graphic designers, developing a portfolio—a collection of completed works that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer’s portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual.
Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional associations that specialize in graphic design, such as AIGA, offer courses intended to keep the skills of their members up to date.
A graphic design degree expands your options to include a diverse palette of creative careers that can extend to leadership positions in highly creative organizations like advertising agencies and industrial design firms. Here are just a few jobs you can get with a graphic design degree:
- Fashion Designer
As you’ll know, creative are seldom interested in just one area of design. Fashion, for example, is an extension of many other forms of visual expression, and so it makes sense that some graphic designers turn their hand to garment and accessory design. Shillington New York graduate, Greg Bemis, took his illustration talents to Nike’s headquarters in Oregon where he excelled in the Basketball Footwear department. “I think it is a career that allows you to wear different hats and do a multitude of different things.”
- Marketing Manager
Having a background in graphic design will particularly help with roles that involve briefing creatives, such as marketing, for example. Marketing Managers are expected to oversee all aspects of the mix, from brochure and website design to written communications. Shillington Sydney graduate Alexander Wu-Kim applied his skill-set to a role as Digital Marketing Manager at fashion label, Local Supply.
- Teacher / Lecturer
At Shillington, a high number of our graduates go on to become lecturers, with some returning to the places they studied to help nurture the careers of budding professionals.
Laura Weldon, part-time teacher at Shillington Manchester, explains the appeal: “I teach because I am as passionate about design today as I was first starting out. I love seeing that passion and interest for design in the students. It’s such a great process to be part of—we have students come in that have never used a Mac before, and they graduate with the skills to be a designer. It also keeps me on my toes and gives me a fresh perspective on things as I am surrounded by 22 students that have completely different outlooks.
- UX/UI Designer
Although the visual element of design is the main reason many people choose to study graphics, some prefer to explore more of the behind-the-scenes ‘process’ when entering the industry. UX and UI provide fantastic careers to the technically skilled, utilising designers’ abilities to help users to easily interact with a product. Shillington Melbourne graduate, Lori Beth Kaye, has done just this.
- 5. Wedding Invitation Designer
Weddings are now big business, with the average bride and groom spending £33K on their special day. With the industry booming, roles for the creatively gifted are plentiful, with couples requiring all manner of stationery, from save the dates to table plans.
This is a path that has enticed many Shillington graduates, including Emily Kerr, who has a few words of advice for designers entering the field: “My main learning from doing invites is that its key to involve mother of the bride from the start. So many times friends have been charmed by quirky personalised first drafts. However, later down the line, the family get to see and suddenly things have to become more traditional!”
- Letterpress Printer
Cemented in the heritage of graphic design, letterpress printing is likely to be on the list of dream careers for many. However, being a highly skilled practice, it takes years of work to develop the trade. Shillington graduate Eleanor Rogers worked as an administrative assistant in corporate finance before deciding to kickstart her creative career. After graduation, she landed an amazing opportunity at Chapel Press, a specialist letterpress print studio in Melbourne, and has enjoyed her unique role since.
- 7. 3D Illustrator
Rather than opt for a career that fully encompasses traditional skills, 3D illustration can be a happy medium between this and focusing on contemporary computer processes. At Shillington, we host a ‘handmade day’ to encourage more exploration into this field. One of our recent guest lecturers, Kyle Bean, who’s worked for clients including Google, Emirates, Kinfolk and Wallpaper, offers advice to those considering a career in 3D illustration: “Having good making skills is only half of what is really necessary when it comes to this kind of work. You also need to be good at communicating your ideas and carefully planning your projects.”
- Book Cover Designer
EBooks may now be a popular choice for readers, but printed pages are still very much in demand by book lovers the world over. As such, there is high demand for enticing covers that will draw in potential readers – great news for creative’s. Holly Ovenden is a stellar example of an inspiring designer that specializes in book covers. She is currently working in-house at Bloomsbury Publishing in London, after graduating from Shillington. Similarly, David Pearson has created critically-acclaimed artwork for a variety of clients including Penguin.
- Sign Painter
Again drawing on the more traditional elements of design practice, sign painting and hand lettering is still a highly coveted skill, especially in the hospitality industry. Restaurants hoping to stand out in a crowded market may call upon designers to help create unique signage. Shillington guest lecturer Josh Harris, aka The A Board Dude, has dedicated his career to the art.
“I kind of stumbled into it purely by chance while I was working at The Breakfast Club in Angel, London. I noticed their sandwich board design was looking pretty flaccid and decorated with outdated trivia. So, I scribbled on it. And another board. The big boss man, Jon took a liking to it, informed my manager at the time and she offered me a new role painting the boards at their four locations around the city every week! The rest is history.”