Graphic Designer Job Description and Salary Information

graphic designer
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Are you considering a career in graphic design? Here’s information on job responsibilities, education and training requirements, employment opportunities and salaries for graphic designers.

Graphic Designer Job Description

Graphic Designers create visual communications to convey messages in an effective and aesthetically pleasing manner. They design web pages, brochures, logos, signs, book, magazine and CD covers, annual reports, advertisements and other communication materials.

Graphic Designers meet with clients to gain an understanding about the nature of their proposed communications. They create or incorporate illustrations, pictures, and designs to reflect the desired theme and tone of communications. Graphic Designers select type size and style to enhance the readability of text.

They produce drafts for review by clients and make revisions based on the feedback that they receive. Graphic Designers review final productions for errors and make sure final prints reflect client specifications. Most graphic design work is done utilizing computer aided design packages.

Where Graphic Designers Work

Many graphic designers work independently or for graphic design firms. Some work in graphic design or communications departments within businesses, government agencies, colleges or not for profit organizations.

Education and Training

Graphic Design is a "Show Me" field, so prospective designers need to develop a portfolio of their work to show prospective employers.

 Many graphic designers complete a bachelor's degree with a major or concentration in graphic design at either a traditional college or art institute.  

They develop their portfolio through hands-on classroom projects and graphic design internships.  Some designers complete a degree in another discipline and then take specialized courses in graphic design and complete internships or do freelance work to build their portfolio.

A few designers with an advanced aptitude for computer aided design are self-taught and develop a portfolio through independent effort.

Graphic Designer Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Graphic Designers earned an average of $45,900 in 2014. The bottom 10% of graphic designers earned less than $27,100 while the top 10% earned at least $80,570.

Quick Facts: Graphic Designer (Occupational Outlook Handbook)

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