We all spotted that we are surrounded by a bunch of commercials, adverts, leaflets, promo material. To put it simply, all different kinds of visual material are everywhere. That is simply because the industry itself is developing and going for an increase in development and production. In addition to that, all of us are witnesses of hyper-production and the fact that a huge amount of items of the greatest variety is constantly piling over our heads.
The working position of a graphic designer is definitely a highly versatile one. That is because there is a constant need for their work in various areas. Graphic designers may create commercials or adverts, but they may also create posters that promote some concerts or other events. Moreover, they can create book or magazine covers, or even be multi-specialized and engage in web design while designing web pages as well.
Graphic designers also engage in creating the special and remarkable design of a huge variety of products that all of us buy and need. All of us are quite aware of the fact that almost anyone would rather decide to buy a product that has an attractive package. It simply convinces people to give the chance to such products, because it is simply a human habit to choose what attracts them by the look. Therefore, graphic designers have a serious responsibility to make various products literally sell themselves by creating such packages people will be keen on.
We have already mentioned in the paragraph above that the working position of a graphic designer is not only ubiquitous and versatile, but it is essential as well. The work of a skillful graphic designer is inevitable whenever one is creating a new product and later on when the same person needs to attract the customers and convince them to buy the product through promotion. In addition to that, some products that have already been on the market for a while may still need some promotion in order to cast new light on them and help them regain their former popularity.
What Do Graphic Designers Do?
We have already covered certain points related to the vocation of a graphic designer, such as the fact that this working position is versatile, ubiquitous and also essential and inevitable in a contemporary consumer society, especially when creating and promoting new products is at stake.
In order to obtain that, here is the list of the basic duties and responsibilities of a graphic designer:
- Creating commercials
- Creating packages for various products
- Page layout design
- Creating symbols, ideograms and other visual representations that convey various messages and ideas
- Designing brand logos and web pages
Is your head already spinning from looking at the list of numerous possible tasks of a graphic designer? To put it simply, the basic and the main duty of any graphic designer is to create visual content. Moreover, they are supposed to make up such visual content that will represent certain ideas, messages or products. In addition to that, such content must get the message of a business person or anyone who hired a graphic designer across to the potential consumers.
Work Environment of a Graphic Designer
When it comes to the work environment of a graphic designer, we might say that they have a huge variety of opportunities when that topic is at stake. Since most of the jobs are desk-based nowadays and everything is spilling into the virtual world, there are many opportunities to work from home and not to exit one’s comfort zone in order to complete one’s work tasks and to develop one’s dream career.
In order to enable the readers to get a clear and complete image of the various possibilities that are open for graphic designers when it comes to their work environment, let us create a shortlist:
- Co-working space
- Work from home / a cafe or where ever there is Wi-Fi
- Work as a freelancer on various web pages or internet platforms such as upwork, freelancer, People Per Hour, etc..
In addition, let us point out that working as a freelancer appears attractive to many people nowadays since it offers them the possibility to have flexible working hours and plan their time according to their needs and preferences. Nevertheless, working as a freelancer by no means excludes exiting your home and getting in touch with the colleagues in your field.
How to Become a Graphic Designer?
Some of the readers out there, especially those among them who might have considered becoming graphic designers themselves, might find it useful to get to know what it takes to start a career in this working position. Therefore, this part of the article will mostly focus on giving such pieces of information. Thus, we will create a list of the basic skills required from a future graphic designer who aims for a successful career. Afterward, we will also bring up certain techniques that every future graphic designer must learn and become good at in order to obtain a stable working position and develop a successful career.
To cut the long story short and bring the essential pieces of information up, let us create the following list of the skills that every graphic designer should have:
- Creativity, in the first place
- Visual ideation
- Broad knowledge of computing
- Broad knowledge of informatics
- Thorough knowledge of design overall
- Willingness to cooperate with
- Being familiar with color theory
- Ability to provide conversion optimization
- Being aware of art history and design theory
The techniques, which graphic designers most commonly use:
- Drawing and Sketching
- Visual arts
- Page layout
- Communication design
- Web design/ Basic HTML
- Design software (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)
- Conversion optimization
- Print design
A person needs to undergo a training program and to gain thorough knowledge in the field of graphic design. Where can one obtain all those skills if not by enrolling in a university or on some online course and engaging in practical work afterward? Therefore, the following part of the article will dedicate to bringing up the best opportunities for education and practice in the field of graphic design.
Education and Training in Graphic Design?
Since this article aims to appear both interesting to the ones keen on getting to know more about graphic design and useful and helpful to the ones who desire to choose it as their future working position, this article will bring up certain suggestions related to proper education and training in this field.
Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Education
We all know that gaining a lot of knowledge in a particular field as well as obtaining and honing certain skills required in the same field are absolutely inevitable whatever working position may be at stake. The same, obviously, applies to the working position of a graphic designer, as well. Therefore, this article will include some key points when it comes to deciding on the type of educational program, formal, non-formal or informal, one will take up in order to prepare for one’s future career in graphic design.
When it comes to bachelor studies, enrolling in one among the universities in the United States that are related to art and thus suitable for the ones interested in the field of design sounds like the most fruitful and auspicious opportunity both to the ones who are residents of the United States and those who come from different countries.
Therefore, it will be beneficial and useful to have a list of the most recommended universities that have top-ranked programs of the graphic design included in their curriculum.
Thus, here is a shortlist of the university programs in graphic design in the United States that are most often recommended by renowned organizations:
- Full-Sail University, which offers both campus programs and an online program and it heavily focuses on project-based learning.
- Carnegie Mellon, which also offers the students a possibility to choose from the programs of Communication Design and Industrial Design according to their preferences
- Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which has an indisputable advantage – it is known for its small classes that provide the students with the highest quality of learning in a comfortable environment. In addition, the program of graphic design on this university pays the utmost attention to typography.
Most Affordable Universities
In the contemporary consumer society, we are aware of the fact that all of us tend to save some money and make everything more efficient and more affordable. Therefore, the majority of students, including the ones interested in studying graphic design, appear to choose the programs that are not only widely recommended, but that is also affordable. Therefore, we will provide them with a list of the most affordable graphic design programs.
Here is the list of the most affordable graphic design programs offered in the United States:
- Pratt Institute, New York
- Parsons School of Design, New York
- Maryland Institute College of Art, Maryland
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
- California Institute of the Arts, California
- California College of the Arts, California
- Otis College of Art and Design, California
- Art Center College of Design, California
- Rochester Institute of Technology, New York
- Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia
- Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas
- Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minnesota
- School of Visual Arts, New York
- Boston University, Massachusetts
- Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massachusetts
- The University of Cincinnati, Ohio
- The University of Illinois of Chicago, Illinois
- Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia
- Academy of Art University, California
While looking through this list of the most affordable graphic design programs, it is easy to conclude that the majority of them is to be found at the universities of California.
Most of the universities in the United States mentioned in the lists above offer not only programs for bachelor students, but they offer master studies’ programs as well. Therefore, it would be a great opportunity to attend a college or a university in the United States. One who has a Master’s Degree may appear more likely to get a more complex working task and a more desirable position as a graphic designer than the one with a Bachelor’s Degree.
Specialization in graphic design is available on various websites, such as Coursera, for the price that starts from $79. The main goal of the specialization is to equip the attendants with a set of transferable and useful tools that will help them turn verbal content into visual content while preserving the original message and enabling the communication via visual content. Here is the link to the website, in order to get more information: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/graphic-design
Degree and Certification
In order to take up almost any working position, one must not only be highly capable of reaching the job requirements and have exceptional skills. One must provide the future employer with compelling evidence of one’s competence, whatever field may be at stake. Where can we find more grounded evidence than the one given by an accredited degree or a certificate in a particular field? Therefore, in order to give sufficient information about degrees and certificates those among the readers who desire to become graphic designers, here is a short list:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design
- Master’s Degree in Graphic Design
- Master’s in Graphic and Interactive Design
- Master’s in Design and Character Animation
According to the results of the research conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an annual average salary of a graphic designer appears to reach the amount of $50,370, which is a similar sum to the salaries earned by other designers. To sum up, average salaries in the versatile vocation of design are quite balanced and do not differ from each other much. The predicted job growth for graphic design is 1%.
Since the products of graphic design are all around us, we can easily conclude that graphic designers, especially the most skillful, resourceful, creative and courageous ones may always find a suitable working position. Therefore, if you find yourself appropriate for this lovely vocation, feel free to take it up and do not agonize over your future career – you will have bright opportunities for employment!
We have already mentioned that the area of design is quite versatile. There are numerous types of design and therefore, graphic designers have a lot in common with their colleagues from the same area, such as communication designers, animation designers, interior or industrial designers, or even software developers.