A Closer Look at a Career as a Graphic Designer
If you’re someone with a knack for creativity and design, your best bet for a career is as a graphic designer. This profession involves being in charge of the visuals, whether it is a logo or packaging for products or layout for magazines or websites.
With a lot of emphasis placed on digital media these days, the role of graphic designers is more important than ever. For a graphic designer to truly succeed in the industry, it pays to have knowledge in both traditional and digital media since most companies still have not completely abandoned paper in favour of electronic. For instance, newspaper companies, though they offer electronic subscriptions now, still distribute the newsies in the traditional format. In this regard, they are still very much dependent on graphic designers for layout and design.
Graphic designers also work in marketing or advertising agencies, most of which now offer services encompassing all formats, including customary ones such as brochures, catalogues, flyers, and posters in paper. Whatever medium you choose to work with, you will definitely find a niche, so read on for more information about this exciting profession.
Graphic Designers – What You Need to Know
Graphic designers’ main responsibility is to come up with the concept or design that is in line with their clients’ needs, whether it is for marketing or advertising purposes, like a poster, or for information purposes, like a pamphlet. To complete a presentation that is both visually appealing and easily understood means they not only make use of their creativity but also ensure that the elements for the overall design blend well together for consistency and cohesiveness. These elements include colour, font, illustrations, photos, animation, and layout.
They work under the direction of a production manager or an art director if they are working full-time or in-house in a printing press company or advertising or marketing agency. Some, however, work on their own as independent contractors and are thus on a per-project basis, which is common for website designers.
Some work with design software like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, while others work manually at a drafting table.
According to PayScale.com, a graphic designer can make $41,559.00- $58,715.00 (on average) year.
Having a good sense of design aesthetics is a requirement for graphic designers, as well as creativity and resourcefulness. There is no strict requirement of a particular degree in this profession, however, it is truly an asset to have a degree from a design or art school or any other undergraduate institution. They should be well-versed in the use of colour, typography, and composition and must know how to use these elements to meet a visual target. Most graphic designers these days work with computer applications to accomplish their design tasks, so it’s an advantage to be proficient in software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flash, Quark XPress, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.
Pros and Cons
Graphic design is one of the few professions which allow for creativity, so you can expect a flexible environment where you are given license to translate verbal messages into a visual representation based on your ideas and sense of aesthetics. Though you often will work as part of a team and under the supervision of an art director or production manager, you have the potential to bring your ideas to the forefront.
A disadvantage is that you do sometimes have to compromise in situations when clients are not 100% on board with your design, so you do have to learn how to negotiate and meet halfway. In some cases, graphic designers will be asked to work long hours and even on weekends to meet particular deadlines for a client.