A career in graphic design can be an inspiring way to connect art, technology, and communication. Certain professionals are required on multiple projects in a variety of fields, including marketing and advertising, publishing, healthcare, and digital communications. As you begin searching graphic design-related works, it is helpful to understand your career possibilities and what different positions require.
What do graphic designers do?
Graphic designers design graphics and layouts for a broad category of products, including company logos, websites, and clothing, books, games, and product user guidebooks. These professionals must possess a strong knowledge of color theory, image construction, font types, and many other artistic principles to determine the strongest appeal to the brand’s target market. They use a variety of computerized design programs to sketch new designs and incorporate existing brand details to create innovative designs that appeal to the brand’s target demographic.
Graphic design jobs typically require the following skills and qualifications:
- Computerized sketching abilities
- Creativity and innovation
- Understanding of audience targeting
- Proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and InDesign, Corel Graphics Suite or Paintshop Pro
Types of graphic design jobs
A degree relating to graphic design can be beneficial for a range of careers. The best job for you depends on your interests, skills, career goals, and values. Below 11 graphic design-related jobs you can explore to fit in your desired career.
1. Photo editor
Basic Duties: Photo editors work with real-life images to modify, color-correct, or combine images to design the aspired final image. Image editing can be as simple as adjusting the lighting and color balance on a photograph or as drastic as changing garment colors or adding logo information or banners to the image.
In-depth knowledge of Photoshop and other photo-editing software is required. Many companies may prefer an associate or graduation in photography, graphic design, or product design, but it may not be required for candidates who possess expert knowledge of photo-editing software and have a strong portfolio of work.
2. Apparel graphic designer
Apparel graphic designers create individual, new images for clothing. They develop a strong understanding of the brand’s customers and ensure their graphics are cohesive and visually appealing to that audience.
This graphic designer works in CAD applications to develop the graphic and scale to fit within the clothing pattern size. They use creativity to display color in a simple, but noticeable way, as printing is often limited to eight or fewer colors.
3. Logo designer
Logo designers develop visually compelling graphics or symbols to represent a company, product, brand, or service. They research the target demographic to gain a strong understanding of what symbols they find appealing and memorable. This designer then chooses distinct colors and shapes that relate to and establish the brand identity of the company or product. Logo designers must also be aware of other designs in the marketplace so they are not copying or recreating a trademarked logo.
4. Packaging designer
Packaging designers or production designers improve the case, vessel, and labels on a product to protect the product when shipping and communicate important features to the client.
5. Web designer
Web designers assist in developing websites by creating individual web pages, designing page layouts, and developing graphics for the website. They are also responsible for designing the navigation menus, drop-down options, and the website’s structure.
6. Multimedia designer
Multimedia designers create complex animated images and videos using art and computerized animation programs. They plan out the animation by sketching, creating scale models, and developing computerized graphics to build the story.
Multimedia designers can work in a diversity of areas including television or film production, set design, and video game development.
7. Advertising designer
Advertising designers use graphic design, sketching, and photography to create visually compelling marketing materials for a brand or company. They create billboards, magazine advertisements, website advertisements, and any other requested promotional materials. They sketch or use CAD software to develop an initial concept based on marketing and public relations strategies.
8. Publication designer
Publication designers improve the layout, visual presentation, and graphics for a range of printed publications. Companies that create yearly reports, research papers, books, catalogs, and user manuals use in-house or freelance publication designers to add images and graphics to the written information.
9. Art director
The art director is a high-level executive responsible for guiding the design team’s vision, directing the theme concept, and overseeing all design artwork. The director may be employed by the brand or as a freelancer, but they always work closely with the client or sales team to understand their artistic vision.
10. User interface (UI) designer
The user interface designer is responsible for securing every webpage or operational level of the final product that follows the user experience (UX) designer’s intent. They typically have basic coding skills and can develop the designer’s image by working with software programming experts. UI designers create webpages, advertisements, and electronic programming simply for the consumer to interact with. They must ensure that the UX design is feasible and well-executed.
11. User experience (UX) designer
UX designers make products, services, and websites enjoyable and accessible to users. They consider the intended end-use of the product and how the product feels to the consumer to ensure it is a user-friendly product or service. UX designers most commonly work in web design to make websites visually pleasing and easy for customers to navigate. They test the product under normal usage and resolve any inconsistencies in the appearance or flow.