How to Become a Graphic Designer

How to Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic design is practice of putting together text and graphics to create a piece of visual communication. Elements of graphic design are often found on the web or in print in the form of advertisements, magazines and books.

Who are Graphic Designers?

Graphic designers are those who practice graphic design. They create visuals that are utilized in everything from product packaging to advertising. These professionals typically use specialized graphic design software in order to create their artistic works. Typically, their work is used to communicate an idea to or to sway the opinions of an audience. As such, designers must not only be proficient at creating beautiful art, but also creating art in a way that effectively accomplishes the goal of the communication.

Educational Requirements

The majority of professional graphic designers do their art design studies at professional trade schools or universities. Many of them earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in graphic design or fine arts. During their studies, professional techniques of graphic design are taught in traditional classroom settings or even online. Bachelor's degrees are required for certain positions of employment in specific firms and corporate businesses.

Work Environment

Approximately 1/3 of graphic designers are self-employed.* Self-employed designers with directly with businesses and individuals, completing jobs on a project-by-project basis. Other graphic designers are employed either through specialized design or public relations firms or in art departments within corporate organizations.

Graphic Designer Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary forgraphic designers was $43,500 in 2010.* Salaries, however, differ depending on experience, work environment, and educational background of the designer.

Graphic Design Career Outlook

Graphic design jobs are predicted to have a 13% growth between 2010 to 2020. This estimated growth rate is considered average compared to other professions.* Graphic designers are an integral part of the communication and branding piece for advertising, marketing, and public relation firms. Those looking to pursue a graphic design career are encouraged to start building a portfolio and gain relevant industry experience.


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