How to Become a Graphic Designer
A graphic designer creates artwork that is used in the corporate and private world. Graphic designers work with companies, bands, government departments, and all kinds of businesses to help them with their needs. They might be creating a logo, stationery, or a CD cover. Graphic designers often work closely with other creatives in advertising, marketing, or copy writing.
To succeed as a graphic designer you will need a good knowledge of art and design history. You will also need to have some talent yourself, and have good drawing skills, both freehand and with computers. Interpersonal skills are important in graphic design, as you need to communicate well with clients, as well as with your colleagues.
If you have a creative personality, and love design, then you will likely enjoy becoming a graphic designer. If you would like to spend your day coming up with great ideas then making them a reality then this may be a good career choice for you.
Educational Requirements to Become a Graphic Designer
While there are no strict requirements to become a graphic designer, very few make it in the field without some kind of formal education. If you're still in high school, take art subjects, as well as computer courses. Familiarize yourself with computer drawing programs as soon as you can, even if you need to do a course outside of school to do this.
Most graphic designers have a four year degree in the arts. There are some courses which offer a major in graphic design. Many employers will consider you if you have a degree in the fine arts and a strong portfolio to back it up, but courses in computer design are essential in today's market.
You portfolio is going to be key in getting you a job, so it's a good idea to start building it as soon as possible. You will get many opportunities in college to do this, but you might also like to look at doing volunteer work or an internship while you are studying. It's likely your college will have publications that need design work, or there are bands, or other groups around, that would love you to help them out with posters or CD covers, or other art projects.
Graphic Designer Job Description
A graphic designer creates artwork for businesses. It could be a simple logo, or a complex brand management project. Most graphic designers work for small firms, advertising agencies, or are self-employed freelancers.
Much of a graphic designer's time is spend in front of the computer at work. They will also need to communicate with their clients, present their ideas, and meet with coworkers. Freelance graphic designers will also spend a lot of time marketing their services and placing proposals on jobs. Some of the tasks of a graphic designer could include:
- Drawing sketches and ideas
- Creating artwork
- Presenting work to clients
- Speaking with clients about their needs
- Communicating with coworkers
- Promotion and marketing
- Placing proposals on new projects
Graphic Designer Salary and Career Path
Most graphic designers start their career working for a small firm or agency. This is an industry where about one third of people are self employed, after a few years of experience, you may decide that you prefer to work for yourself.
Some large companies will hire a graphic designer to look after all of their needs for them, rather than continually be outsourcing work. Many graphic designers go on to own their own firms, become freelancers, or become teachers.
Some work in similar industries later on, such as fashion design or textiles. Some have other artistic interests that they decide to pursue instead of graphic design.
As an entry level graphic designer, you can expect to earn around $32,000 a year. With a few years of work behind you, you could expect to make close to the average salary of $50,000. The top graphic designers earn more than $70,000 a year. Those who are freelance or own their own business have the capacity to make more.
If you enjoy art and design then a career as a graphic designer could be right for you. Although no education is required to become a graphic designer, most find that they cannot find employment without it. Finding a first job may be hard, but employment prospects are good after this. Many graphic designers go on to own their own business or work freelance.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics