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How to become a Graphic Designer
In order to obtain a position as a graphic designer, individuals usually need an associate's or bachelor's degree in graphic design. College and university course work includes classes in art and technical design as well as a broader liberal arts background. Associate degree programs generally focus on the technical aspects of design with little or no coursework in liberal arts. Graduates of such programs who do not already possess a bachelor's degree in another field generally qualify for assistant positions.
Individuals just starting out in the field of graphic design can expect to spend one to three years in an entry level position gaining on the job experience and skills before advancing.
What does a Graphic Designer do?
Graphic designers create visual solutions to communications problems by analyzing the situation and finding the best means of getting the message across. Designers employ a variety of methods including color, typeset, illustrations, and photographs to create an overall layout. They may design the overall layout of publications, promotional displays, marketing brochures, logos, signs, web pages, and television and movie credits.
Graphic designers begin by identifying the needs of the client and gathering information about the target audience. Next, designers prepare sketches or layouts to illustrate their vision for the client. They select all elements to be included in the final design and consult with copywriters about any text that accompanies their work.
What skills or qualities do I need to become a Graphic Designer?
Aspiring graphic designers put together a portfolio of their best work to show prospective employers. Often, a designer's portfolio is the deciding factor in whether or not they receive the job. Graphic designers must be creative and able to communicate their ideas not only visually, but also verbally and in writing. Successful graphic designers also have an eye for detail and keep up with the latest trends in consumer tastes and expectations. Graphic designers must also have the ability to work independently and under pressure to budget their time and meet deadlines. Increasingly, knowledge of and experience with graphic design software is crucial. Individuals who expect to freelance or run their own business need business sense and sales ability.
How much do Graphic Designers make?
The earnings of graphic designers vary depending on level of experience, skill, and position held. In 2006, the median annual earnings of all wage and salary graphic designers were $39,900 with the middle fifty percent earning between $30,600 and $53,310. In 2007, those in entry level design positions earned a median annual income of $35,000 while those in the role of director or creative department head earned a median annual income of $98,600.
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