Graphic designers are incredibly talented people who have an eye for detail and a creative mind. Their work is varied and includes creating books, newspapers, advertisements, logos, illustrations and websites, along with any other visual materials that their clients ask for. The more creative a person is, the farther they will go in this field. It is also important for graphic designers to have a good attitude and understand that the client is always right.
Many graphic design jobs require or strongly prefer candidates with a degree in graphic design or a related field. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
There are a lot of jobs available to graphic designers. Top prospects for employment include newspapers, advertising companies and design firms. Getting a job in this field is highly competitive, so it is important to have a lot of familiarity with the programs that most employers are generating toward such as Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. In this highly competitive job field, it is the small things that will stick out in an interview and experience and computer knowledge are high on the list.
Graphic Design Job Responsibilities
Graphic designers have a wide variety of duties and obligations. They are generally the most creative people in the office place and they are looked at to fulfill all creative roles. While being creative is definitely a requirement for this industry, it is also important to remember that if a client asks for something specific, that is what you have to do. So, no matter what they ask for in terms of their advertisement or illustration, you have to be able to deliver.
A fun part of the graphic design field is that there is the opportunity to induce change. Designers create ad campaigns that can and will become household names. While no one ever knows the face behind the advertisement, it’s a rewarding part of the job to know that your creation has become so well respected.
Designers who work in the world of the newspaper industry have the most varied day of all. They can be asked to create a logo or illustration in the morning, an advertisement before lunch and then paginate a newspaper or magazine in the afternoon. Graphic designers who work in the publishing industry (whether it be newspapers or books) will have more direction in their jobs and at times less room for creativity because their industry is very exact as far as where things need to go when putting together the final product.
Graphic Design Training and Education Requirements
The standard education requirement in the field of Graphic Design has always been an Associate of Arts degree, but as the field has become more competitive a Bachelor of Arts degree is becoming more necessary as it will help job seekers stand out in the pack. In this vastly changing computerized marketplace, students will need to be extremely proficient in programs such as Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, which are currently industry standards. Students should take as many classes that emphasize the programs because they are the tools that will be used every day, once out of college. Quark Xpress once was an industry standard and still does have a following, so students should also make sure to learn about that program, while still in school.
Before looking for their first jobs, students will need to create a portfolio of all the design work that they have created. These should be the best examples of what you are capable of creating. A portfolio that includes many different types of work will be valuable as students begin the job hunt. In order to create a portfolio, students will need to take class work in many subject fields such as Web design, digital design and interactive design, along with courses in typography and digital photography where the focus is on the manipulation of photographs.
Graphic Design Salary and Wages
The salary of a graphic designer varies with the industry an individual works in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for Graphic Designers in 2008 was $46,750 per year. Designers who work with a large corporation or advertising firm can realistically expect that wage; those who work in the publishing industry will most likely earn less. Wages are also higher in metropolitan areas such as California and New York.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Graphic Design Certifications
Graphic Designers are not required to seek any special certification; however one way to find a great job is to become an Adobe Certified Expert. With that certification, you will be called on to be a teacher for Adobe products and will become a great asset in the office place. It also shows that you have mastered the software, which is something you can’t usually tell in an interview.
Graphic Design Professional Associations
AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts) is the professional association for graphic designers. It was founded in 1914 and is the largest and oldest professional organization for design. AIGA chapters are found throughout the country and abroad. The organization helps its members further their knowledge, along with providing social networking opportunities to aide job seekers.