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Become A Design Internship

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Working As A Design Internship

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $49,925

    Average Salary

What Does A Design Internship 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 A Design Internship

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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Design Internship Jobs

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Design Internship Career Paths

Design Internship
Graphic Design Assistant Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Art Director
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Designer Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Art Director Contract Graphic Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Creative Director Marketing Communications Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Designer Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Designer Art Director Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Art Director Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist Media Specialist Media Manager
Media Director
5 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Project Manager/Design Manager
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Product Development Engineer Product Developer
Senior Product Developer
8 Yearsyrs
Creative Director Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Strategist
7 Yearsyrs
User Experience Designer User Experience Architect
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Production Assistant Writer And Editor Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Head Designer 3.4 years
Design Coordinator 3.1 years
Designer 3.0 years
Freelance Designer 2.6 years
Design Consultant 2.6 years
Assistant Designer 1.7 years
Junior Designer 1.6 years
Design Volunteer 1.1 years
Design Internship 1.0 years
Top Careers Before Design Internship
Internship 22.0%
Designer 5.4%
Volunteer 4.5%
Cashier 2.8%
Assistant 2.7%
Server 2.3%
Top Careers After Design Internship
Designer 10.8%
Internship 10.2%
Volunteer 2.6%
Assistant 2.3%

Do you work as a Design Internship?

Design Internship Demographics

Gender

Female

53.1%

Male

39.7%

Unknown

7.2%
Ethnicity

White

52.2%

Asian

20.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Black or African American

9.3%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.6%

French

12.1%

Mandarin

11.2%

Chinese

10.8%

Italian

5.7%

Japanese

5.2%

German

3.8%

Korean

3.2%

Portuguese

2.9%

Cantonese

2.6%

Russian

2.1%

Hindi

1.8%

Arabic

1.6%

Hebrew

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Greek

0.7%

Carrier

0.6%

Turkish

0.5%

Malay

0.4%

Dutch

0.3%
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Design Internship Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

18.7%

Savannah College of Art and Design

16.5%

Parsons the New School for Design

7.4%

Rhode Island School of Design

4.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.3%

Syracuse University

4.0%

Arizona State University

3.8%

Academy of Art University

3.7%

Iowa State University

3.6%

Drexel University

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.3%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.3%

Pratt Institute-Main

3.3%

University of Texas at Austin

3.1%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

3.1%

Purdue University

3.1%

University of Cincinnati

2.8%

Auburn University

2.7%

University of Southern California

2.7%

San Jose State University

2.5%
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Majors

Graphic Design

37.3%

Interior Design

9.2%

Mechanical Engineering

7.0%

Fine Arts

6.4%

Architecture

4.8%

Design And Visual Communication

4.6%

Electrical Engineering

4.4%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

2.9%

Civil Engineering

2.8%

Business

2.8%

Communication

2.3%

Apparel And Textiles

2.1%

Computer Engineering

2.0%

Drafting And Design

1.9%

Marketing

1.9%

Computer Science

1.8%

Interior Architecture

1.6%

Landscape Architecture

1.6%

Computer Applications

1.4%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

61.1%

Masters

20.2%

Other

9.3%

Associate

6.5%

Certificate

1.5%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.0%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Design Internship Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Design Architectural Intern Johnston LLC Houston, TX Jan 10, 2016 $86,800
Design Intern Tom Leader Studio Berkeley, CA Jan 22, 2013 $62,000
Design Intern Garcia Tamjidi Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 09, 2016 $50,000
Design Intern Tom Leader Studio Berkeley, CA Sep 03, 2014 $50,000
Design Intern Tom Leader Studio Berkeley, CA Sep 06, 2013 $50,000
Junior Designer/Intern 2 Ignition Architecture Alameda, CA Oct 01, 2015 $46,164
Junior Designer/Intern 2 Ignition Architecture Alameda, CA Jan 02, 2014 $42,137
Intern Designer Archilier, Inc. New York, NY Sep 05, 2015 $41,000 -
$43,000
Intern Designer CADD Northwest, Inc. Tukwila, WA Jun 28, 2010 $37,566

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Top Skills for A Design Internship

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. CAD
  3. Web Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created images for internal product presentations using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Designed landscapes for commercial and residential purposes using AutoCAD.
  • Brand identity, advertising, template design, web design for mobile, print design, marketing, design for social media
  • Hand-dyed fabric samples from imagery inspiration - Sourced sportswear fabrics and embroidery samples
  • Update company website with presentation photographs of completed projects.

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Top 10 Best States for Design Interns

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Texas
  3. Washington
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New York
  6. Alaska
  7. California
  8. Virginia
  9. Oregon
  10. Georgia
  • (82 jobs)
  • (408 jobs)
  • (177 jobs)
  • (199 jobs)
  • (728 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (1,096 jobs)
  • (278 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (284 jobs)

Top Design Internship Employers

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