Graphic designers/artists design graphics for use in media products such as magazines, labels, advertising and signage. Typical activities include:
- liaising with clients to determine their requirements and budget
- managing client proposals from typesetting through to design, print, and production
- working with clients, briefing and advising them with regard to design style, format, print production, and timescales
- developing concepts, graphics, and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and websites
- determining the size and arrangement of copy and illustrative material, as well as font style and size
- preparing rough drafts of material based on an agreed brief
- reviewing final layouts and suggesting improvements if required
- liaising with external printers on a regular basis to ensure deadlines are met and material is printed to the highest quality.
Career development will more than likely require frequent job movement to widen your experience and develop your portfolio.
Typical employers of graphic designers
- Advertising agencies
- Large print houses
- Brand agencies
- Signage companies
- Book, magazine, and newspaper publishers
- Multimedia companies
- Television and broadcasting companies
- The packaging industry
- In-house graphic design services of major national and international organizations and companies
Qualifications and training required
While entry is open to non-graduates, preference is given to those with relevant degrees. A degree in graphic design is advantageous, although other art and design subjects will be accepted. A range of relevant postgraduate programmes are also available in many higher education institutions.
You will need work experience and a portfolio of work to show employers. This can be obtained through internships and holiday work. Employers also expect a good knowledge of design software, such as InDesign and Illustrator plus photo-editing software such as PhotoShop and drawing software such as Corel-Draw.
Key skills for graphic designers
- Excellent IT skills, especially with design and photo-editing software
- Exceptional creativity and innovation
- Excellent time management and organizational skills
- Accuracy and attention to detail
- An understanding of the latest trends and their role within a commercial environment
- Professional approach to time, costs, and deadlines