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Become An Assistant Designer

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Working As An Assistant Designer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $48,778

    Average Salary

What Does An Assistant Designer Do

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Duties

Graphic designers typically do the following: 

  • Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
  • Use digital illustration, photo-editing software, and layout software to create designs
  • Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message
  • Design layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces to use
  • Present design concepts to clients or art directors
  • Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images and the layout of websites and printed pages. They may use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a print or webpage, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of images, text, and color, graphic designers can transform statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas more accessible.

Graphic design is important to marketing and selling products, and is a critical component of brochures and logos. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as graphic artists or communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing.

Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create the graphics used on retail products packaging, still others may work on the visual designs used on book jackets.

Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies to remain competitive.

Some individuals with a background in graphic design teach in design schools, colleges, and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become An Assistant Designer

Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 320 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Most schools include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. In addition, students should consider courses in writing, marketing, and business, all of which are useful in helping designers work effectively on project teams.

High school students interested in graphic design should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor's degree programs require students to complete a year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs. For many artists, including graphic designers, developing a portfolio—a collection of design ideas that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer’s portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual.

Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional associations that specialize in graphic design, such as AIGA, offer courses intended to keep the skills of their members up to date.

Other Experience

Graphic designers often gain their initial experience through internships. It provides aspiring graphic designers an opportunity to work with designers and experience the design process from concept to completion while completing a design program.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally available through software product vendors. Certification in graphic design software can demonstrate a level of competence and may provide a jobseeker with a competitive advantage.

Advancement

Experienced graphic designers may advance to chief designer, art director, or other supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Graphic designers must be able to look at their work from the point of view of their consumers and examine how the designs they develop will be perceived by consumers to ensure they convey the client’s desired message.

Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using computer programs.

Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately reflect the desired message and effectively express information.

Computer skills. Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs.

Creativity. Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey a recognizable meaning on behalf of their clients.

Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

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Assistant Designer Videos

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Designer by Jeni B (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Designer by Jeni B (Highlights)

Career Advice on becoming a Textile Designer by Nicola B (Full Version)

Assistant Designer Jobs

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Assistant Designer Career Paths

Assistant Designer
Designer Project Manager Program Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Creative Director
Creative Director & Designer
5 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Designer Art Director
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Designer Senior Designer
Design Director
7 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Owner & Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Design Manager Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Sales Manager Business Developer
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Senior Project Manager Marketing Consultant
Head Of Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Designer Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Art Director Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
7 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Project Manager Product Manager
Product Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Design Manager Project Manager/Design Manager
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Product Development Engineer Product Developer
Senior Product Developer
8 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Senior Project Manager Account Director
Strategist
7 Yearsyrs
Design Director Creative Director Senior User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Interior Designer 4.2 years
Sweater Designer 4.0 years
Textile Designer 4.0 years
Designer/Artist 3.8 years
Product Designer 3.8 years
Head Designer 3.4 years
Fashion Designer 3.2 years
Designer 3.0 years
Apparel Designer 2.7 years
Dress Designer 2.6 years
Freelance Designer 2.6 years
Men's Designer 2.4 years
Costume Designer 2.3 years
Associate Designer 2.3 years
Assistant Designer 2.0 years
Junior Designer 1.6 years
Design Internship 0.6 years
Top Careers Before Assistant Designer
Internship 19.3%
Designer 5.9%
Stylist 2.7%
Assistant 2.3%
Volunteer 2.0%
Top Careers After Assistant Designer
Designer 18.3%
Internship 3.8%
Assistant 1.8%
Stylist 1.7%

Do you work as an Assistant Designer?

Assistant Designer Demographics

Gender

Female

66.0%

Male

28.5%

Unknown

5.5%
Ethnicity

White

50.6%

Hispanic or Latino

19.1%

Asian

17.3%

Black or African American

9.3%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.4%

Italian

9.9%

French

8.8%

Chinese

8.8%

Mandarin

7.5%

Japanese

4.4%

Korean

4.1%

Cantonese

3.7%

German

3.4%

Portuguese

2.7%

Hindi

1.7%

Vietnamese

1.7%

Russian

1.4%

Turkish

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Bengali

0.7%

Arabic

0.7%

Swahili

0.3%

Telugu

0.3%

Gujarati

0.3%
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Assistant Designer Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

37.0%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

10.8%

Savannah College of Art and Design

10.5%

Parsons the New School for Design

8.4%

Drexel University

4.0%

Academy of Art University

3.6%

Miami International University of Art and Design

2.6%

Otis College of Art and Design

2.5%

Syracuse University

2.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

2.2%

International Academy of Design and Technology

1.9%

Rhode Island School of Design

1.9%

Kent State University

1.6%

American InterContinental University

1.6%

University of North Texas

1.5%

University of Cincinnati

1.5%

San Francisco State University

1.5%

Philadelphia University

1.5%

Pratt Institute-Main

1.5%

University of Delaware

1.5%
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Majors

Graphic Design

51.6%

Interior Design

7.6%

Fine Arts

7.5%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

4.4%

Apparel And Textiles

3.5%

Business

3.1%

Mechanical Engineering

3.1%

Theatre

2.6%

Architecture

2.3%

Marketing

2.1%

Civil Engineering

1.6%

Drafting And Design

1.6%

Communication

1.5%

Design And Visual Communication

1.2%

Electrical Engineering

1.2%

Computer Science

1.0%

Psychology

1.0%

Liberal Arts

1.0%

Interior Architecture

1.0%

Photography

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.8%

Associate

16.6%

Other

13.9%

Masters

11.9%

Certificate

2.9%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Assistant Designer Videos

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Designer by Jeni B (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Designer by Jeni B (Highlights)

Career Advice on becoming a Textile Designer by Nicola B (Full Version)

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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Assistant Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Design Manager JDS Construction Group LLC New York, NY Sep 14, 2016 $65,000
Assistant Designer VC Footwear, LLC New York, NY Feb 02, 2016 $61,402 -
$61,800
Assistant Designer The Gap, Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2015 $61,069 -
$86,800
Assistant Designer Victoria's Secret Stores, LLC Reynoldsburg, OH Sep 27, 2013 $60,300
Assistant Designer Levi Strauss & Co. San Francisco, CA Oct 09, 2016 $60,000
Assistant Designer Perry Ellis International, Inc. New York, NY Jan 30, 2014 $56,250
Assistant Designer Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 09, 2016 $56,000 -
$90,000
Assistant Designer The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 25, 2015 $56,000 -
$86,800
Assistant Designer Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Oct 24, 2016 $49,462
Future Assistant Designer Adidas International, Inc. Portland, OR Sep 10, 2015 $48,818 -
$80,000
Assistant Watch Designer Movado Group Inc. Paramus, NJ Sep 16, 2016 $48,422
Assistant Designer Caro Home LLC New York, NY Nov 18, 2016 $48,422
Assistant Designer Eileen Fisher, Inc. New York, NY May 30, 2014 $48,350
Assistant Designer Abercrombie and Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Feb 05, 2016 $48,048 -
$62,000
Assistant Designer Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Sep 29, 2016 $48,048 -
$62,000
Assistant Designer Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Jan 07, 2016 $48,048
Assistant Designer Kate Spade LLC New York, NY Jun 30, 2016 $44,990
Assistant Store Designer Starbucks Coffee Company Seattle, WA Aug 26, 2016 $44,845 -
$80,000
Senior Assistant Designer, Hangbags J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. New York, NY Nov 24, 2014 $44,300 -
$70,700
Assistant Designer, Merchandising Nanako, Inc. New York, NY Sep 02, 2014 $43,827
Assistant Designer, Collection Knits & Sweaters John Varvatos Enterprises, Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2016 $43,100
Assistant Designer, Wovens Tory Burch, LLC New York, NY Sep 13, 2013 $43,000
Assistant Designer, Jewelry Marc Jacobs International LLC New York, NY Jul 09, 2016 $43,000 -
$53,000

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Top Skills for An Assistant Designer

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Fabric
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created original prints given minimal direction utilizing Adobe Photoshop.
  • Researched fabrics/trim and measured trend setting materials for innovative solutions; established fabric library and matching system.
  • Prepare design drawings utilizing AutoCAD.
  • Involved in writing tech packs for mass production and giving approvals for fabric quality, color and other specifications.
  • Research ideas on the seasonal design concepts, trims, design details, stripes, patterns, silhouettes, etc.

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Top 10 Best States for Assistant Designers

  1. California
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Washington
  5. New York
  6. Virginia
  7. Alaska
  8. Oregon
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Connecticut
  • (1,621 jobs)
  • (118 jobs)
  • (266 jobs)
  • (282 jobs)
  • (1,035 jobs)
  • (352 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (132 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)

Top Assistant Designer Employers

Jobs From Top Assistant Designer Employers

Assistant Designer Videos

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Designer by Jeni B (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Designer by Jeni B (Highlights)

Career Advice on becoming a Textile Designer by Nicola B (Full Version)

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