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Become An Associate Designer

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Working As An Associate Designer

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $50,345

    Average Salary

What Does An Associate 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 Associate 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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Associate Designer Videos

Nuffield Associates- Tom Scutt, Associate Designer

Day in the Life: Software Engineer

Riot Games Associate Audio Designer (Sound Design) Documentary!

Associate Designer Jobs

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Associate Designer Career Paths

Associate Designer
Design Technician Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Instructor Editor
Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Senior Designer Art Director
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Art Director Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Art Director Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Design Manager Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Designer Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Specialist Merchandiser
Merchandising Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Designer Project Engineer Product Manager
Product Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Project Manager/Design Manager
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Product Development Manager Business Developer Product Developer
Senior Product Developer
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Business Development Manager Account Director
Strategist
7 Yearsyrs
Design Director Creative Director Senior User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Property Manager Communications Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Associate Designer Demographics

Gender

Female

62.3%

Male

34.2%

Unknown

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

56.8%

Hispanic or Latino

16.7%

Asian

12.6%

Black or African American

10.2%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.7%

French

10.8%

Mandarin

8.3%

Chinese

7.0%

Italian

5.7%

Cantonese

4.5%

German

3.8%

Korean

3.2%

Japanese

2.5%

Russian

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Thai

1.3%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Gujarati

0.6%

Hindi

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%

Croatian

0.6%

Albanian

0.6%

Greek

0.6%
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Associate Designer Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

34.0%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

11.7%

Parsons the New School for Design

7.9%

Savannah College of Art and Design

6.7%

Drexel University

4.0%

Academy of Art University

3.2%

Rhode Island School of Design

3.2%

Otis College of Art and Design

2.6%

Michigan State University

2.6%

Virginia Commonwealth University

2.6%

Philadelphia University

2.6%

University of Delaware

2.4%

Syracuse University

2.2%

San Francisco State University

2.2%

Art Institute of California - Inland

2.2%

Pratt Institute-Main

2.2%

Indiana University Bloomington

2.2%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

2.0%

School of Visual Arts

2.0%

Kent State University

2.0%
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Majors

Graphic Design

41.8%

Interior Design

12.3%

Business

5.3%

Fine Arts

5.3%

Architecture

4.6%

Drafting And Design

3.7%

Apparel And Textiles

3.5%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

3.4%

Communication

2.4%

Landscape Architecture

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering

2.1%

Marketing

1.9%

Cosmetology

1.8%

Design And Visual Communication

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Computer Applications

1.4%

Computer Science

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Psychology

1.3%

Electrical Engineering

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.0%

Associate

16.7%

Other

14.0%

Masters

12.4%

Certificate

4.1%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Associate Designer Videos

Nuffield Associates- Tom Scutt, Associate Designer

Day in the Life: Software Engineer

Riot Games Associate Audio Designer (Sound Design) Documentary!

Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Associate Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Associate Designer Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP New York, NY Nov 01, 2016 $120,000
Associate Designer The Levy Group, Inc. New York, NY Apr 09, 2016 $115,000
Associate Design Director Mirum Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 16, 2016 $100,000
Associate Designer KPIT Infosystems, Inc. Renton, WA Aug 24, 2016 $90,160
Associate Designer IBM Corporation San Francisco, CA Feb 08, 2016 $88,001 -
$100,001
Associate Designer KPIT Infosystems Inc. Houston, TX Sep 30, 2016 $88,000
Associate Designer KPIT Infosystems Inc. Houston, TX Oct 16, 2016 $88,000
Associate Designer P Devos Designs Inc. New York, NY Sep 20, 2016 $85,700
Designer, Associate Samsung Research America, Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 23, 2015 $85,000
Associate Designer GBG USA, Inc. Commerce, CA Nov 05, 2016 $85,000
Associate Designer GBG USA, Inc. Commerce, CA May 11, 2016 $85,000
Associate Designer Victoria's Secret Stores, LLC New York, NY Feb 12, 2016 $80,974
Associate Designer LF Distribution International Inc. New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $64,896
Associate Designer Tiffany & Co. New York, NY Jan 01, 2015 $63,225
Associate Designer Chico's FAS, Inc. Fort Myers, FL Dec 08, 2016 $62,131
Associate Designer/Jean Rag & Bone Industriess LLC NY Oct 01, 2015 $62,000 -
$75,000
Associate Designer, Denim Lane Bryant, Inc. New York, NY Feb 26, 2016 $61,402 -
$83,600
Associate Designer J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. New York, NY Aug 16, 2016 $61,402 -
$97,700
Associate Designer Victoria's Secret Stores LLC New York, NY Sep 04, 2015 $61,069 -
$80,000
Associate Designer Infor (Us), Inc. New York, NY Sep 22, 2015 $60,500
Associate Designer Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Feb 01, 2015 $59,072 -
$75,000
Associate Designer Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Oct 01, 2015 $59,072 -
$64,500
Associate Designer Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Sep 17, 2015 $59,072 -
$61,500
Associate Designer Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Jan 10, 2015 $59,072 -
$64,500
Associate Designer AKQA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 31, 2015 $58,885 -
$80,000
Associate Designer Meadowbrook Design Rodeo, CA Oct 09, 2016 $58,686

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Top Skills for An Associate Designer

  1. CAD
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Fabric Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted personal appointments to discuss custom design options, illustrated available selections with CAD-based designs, and provided project-cost estimates.
  • Designed and created graphics for custom clothing and other merchandise using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
  • Initiated and supervise fabric development and sourcing.
  • Create tech packs and communicated directly with vendors domestically/ internationally regarding development.
  • Maintained thorough knowledge of the line (silhouettes, yarns/fabrics and design details) and is responsible for tracking changes/additions.

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Top 10 Best States for Associate Designers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Washington
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New York
  5. California
  6. Virginia
  7. Texas
  8. Connecticut
  9. Oregon
  10. Rhode Island
  • (108 jobs)
  • (258 jobs)
  • (237 jobs)
  • (901 jobs)
  • (1,293 jobs)
  • (344 jobs)
  • (468 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)
  • (112 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)

Top Associate Designer Employers

Jobs From Top Associate Designer Employers

Associate Designer Videos

Nuffield Associates- Tom Scutt, Associate Designer

Day in the Life: Software Engineer

Riot Games Associate Audio Designer (Sound Design) Documentary!

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