With an increasing demand for graphics in multimedia, products, and especially the web, graphic designers are finding jobs and projects more than ever. Every industry must rely on some type of service from a graphic designer, whether it is producing printed materials or designing images and text for electronic use. The graphic design field is very demanding and competitive. However, those who have set out to succeed have found graphic designing to be truly rewarding.
Companies hire graphic designers to create a visual solution to their communications problems. Those in graphic design must try to find the most effective way to communication a message, whether through print, film media, electronic, or through the web. Job duties of graphic designers differ according to the type of industry they work it. Many designers work in environmental graphics where they must produce promotional displays, packaging, marketing brochures, logos, and develop signage. Other graphic designers may mainly work on the web, developing materials for web pages, interactive media, and multimedia projects.
No formal degree is technically required to become a graphic designer. However, many entry-level positions will require applicants to have at least an associate’s degree. For those who want to be ahead of the competition, a bachelor’s degree will teach students the skills necessary to develop an even stronger portfolio. Employers look for a graphic designer’s knowledge in the field, and their overall artistic capability. Therefore, those with creative talent will get them noticed, but those who know how to use computer software and applications for graphic designing will be a step closer to getting the job.
The curriculum for graphic design programs typically include studio art, principles of design, liberal arts, desktop publishing, digital imaging, computer graphics, flash animation, typography, printing techniques, package design, marketing design, and advertising design. In addition to postsecondary training and education, those interested in graphic design also need to be creative, detail-oriented, organized, have good communication and problem-solving skills, and be able to adapt to changing trends.
For technology savvy and computer-literate individuals, online education may be the most ideal choice for obtaining a degree in graphic design. Online colleges and universities offer flexible courses to accommodate busy individuals who have other responsibilities throughout the day, whether because of work or family matters. Many online colleges offer accelerated programs as well, giving students the opportunity to advance in their careers as graphic designers faster than if they had attended a traditional campus.
Receiving a degree in graphic design gives students the opportunity to work in a multitude of careers related to the field. Employment options include creative director, art director, layout artist, logo designer, flash designer, illustrator, photo editor, multimedia designer, photographer, and web designer. Designers in positions as these usually work in specialize,d design services, advertising, and related services. However, many graphic designers decide to find their own projects and often do freelance work. Freelancing allows individuals to hold more than one job, or to improve their earning potential, depending on their motive.
The median annual earnings for graphic designers were $39,900 in May 2006. However, many earned as much as, if not more than, $69,730 annually. Solo designers who freelanced typically earned $60,000 per year. These salary earnings could vary depending on experience, knowledge, and type of work.