What Does A Graphic Designer Do? Responsibilities & Salary

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

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Graphic designers are great visual storytellers who can use computer tools or manual drawings to transform ideas into unique creations. Depending on the function, this profession involves a variety of tasks that call for various artistic abilities and approaches.

Graphic Designer

Let’s find out more about its job description and whether it’s the best fit for you.

Duties Of Graphic Designers

There are several overlapping subdisciplines in the subject of graphic design. While all forms of graphic design employ technology and design concepts to convey ideas, resolve issues, and encourage audience interaction with your business, certain subdisciplines employ particular graphic design software applications or follow unique best practices.

Depending on what kind of design services a business needs, graphic designers will have different job descriptions. Make sure your abilities and talents match the demands of the organization by carefully reading each job description if you’re seeking work as a graphic designer. Generally speaking, a job description for a graphic designer might contain the following.

  • Examine design briefs to ascertain the needs
  • Plan projects and specify financial limitations
  • Create conceptual graphics based on specifications
  • Create preliminary drafts and deliver concepts
  • Create graphics, logos, and other designs by hand or with software
  • Utilize the proper design layouts and colors for each graphic
  • Collaborate with the creative director and copywriters to create the final design
  • Test visuals for different media
  • Adjust designs based on comments to make sure the finished layouts and visuals are aesthetically pleasing and consistent with the brand

Where Do Graphic Designers Work?

Many fellow designers are self-employed, also known as freelancers. Others are employed in the printing, publishing, advertising, public relations, specialized design services, and agency sectors. 

In addition to working together on projects in bigger design teams, graphic artists may also communicate with authors, marketers, art directors, and computer programmers.

How Much Do They Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, as of May 1, 2024, graphic designers in the US should anticipate making about $27/hour or $55,951 /year on average, with room for advancement as they acquire expertise and sharpen their craft. Senior graphic artists with years of experience and a strong portfolio may fetch a higher annual salary.

Depending on their experience and the intricacy of the design projects they take on, freelance graphic designers can potentially earn even more freedom in their income. Earning potential is also greatly influenced by industry demand, regional location, and working for agencies instead of in-house roles.

For example, a graphic artist in Stanford could earn an average salary of $71,760, while his fellow designers in Saratoga can only make about $66,946/year (as of May 1, 2024).

How Do You Become A Graphic Designer?

Graphic Designer

Step 1: Improve Your Design Abilities

To begin pursuing this job, work on honing your graphic design abilities. Artistic abilities can be acquired by formal instruction or self-directed practice. A graphic designer might benefit from having the ability to sketch, draw, and comprehend design software. Think about honing these techniques at home or signing up for online, in-person, or school classes in design or art.

Step 2: Obtain A Degree In A Profession

Many graphic artists hold a formal degree in illustration, visual art, website design, graphic design, or a similar discipline. While some firms may consider applicants with an associate’s degree, most prefer to hire bachelor’s degree holders for graphic design positions. You may get a degree from a university, community college, art institute, or online school.

Step 3: Acquire Necessary Expertise

Seek for opportunities to obtain real-world experience both during your time in school and after. An internship in a related field, in my opinion, it’s the best choice that can give you valuable lessons and experience.

It’s possible that you can shadow and pick up tips from an experienced graphic designer if you reach out to local firms or leverage your professional network. You may gain practical experience, broaden your knowledge of the subject, and establish professional contacts in this industry by taking advantage of these changes.

Step 4: Make A Portfolio Of Your Designs

Gather your finest pieces to create a portfolio that demonstrates your range of abilities. An impressive portfolio may get you an interview, get you accepted for an internship, or open up freelancing options.

You can either create a tangible or digital portfolio or even both. You can include everything from mockups and drawings to completed designs, including typography, logos, and other digital designs. Continue to update your portfolio with new material as your career progresses to showcase your growing experience and graphic design skills.

Step 5: Apply For Graphic Design Jobs

It’s time to apply for your first job! I recommend using internet job boards and surfing hiring websites to find a job. Also, consider looking for current vacancies in the careers area of the company’s website if you have a particular one in mind. Additionally, you may advertise your freelance services online or in the community center where you live.

When you locate a position that piques your interest, draft a CV highlighting your relevant experience and graphic design expertise. Make sure the keywords in your CV correspond to the job description.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Graphic Design A Good Career?

Yes. If you have a strong interest in art, are creative, and enjoy using technology and communication, a career in graphic design may be very rewarding. Plus, the growing demand for visual communication across various industries, including marketing, media, and advertising agencies, has put graphic design in high demand. Thus, you can make good money from this career.

Will AI Replace Graphic Designers?

No. Relax! AI won’t completely replace graphic design positions. Rather, it has the potential to augment and supplement graphic designers’ work, increasing their productivity and efficiency. AI can enhance quality control, automate monotonous jobs, and offer fresh viewpoints into human creativity. However, it has limitations, so the final design products still need to be viewed and checked by actual people.

Can You Learn Graphic Design If You Can’t Draw?

Yes. Everyone may master the art of graphic design regardless of drawing skills. Without drawing expertise, you may still succeed as a graphic designer by learning design concepts, using design tools, practicing frequently, getting feedback, and developing a portfolio.

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The Bottom Line

A career in graphic design is exciting and offers constant opportunities for development. It is the perfect profession for creative minds who appreciate technology, communications, visual art, and teamwork.

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Christina J Colclough

Christina J. Colclough

Dr Christina J. Colclough is an expert on The Future World of Work and the politics of digital technology advocating globally for the importance of the workers’ voice. She has extensive regional and global labour movement experience, is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach, and strategist advising progressive governments and worker organisations.

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