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Become A Digital Designer

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Working As A Digital Designer

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $67,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Digital 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 A Digital 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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Digital Designer Jobs

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Digital Designer Career Paths

Digital Designer
User Experience Designer Senior User Experience Designer Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
User Experience Designer Design Consultant Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
User Experience Designer Senior User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Project Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Art Director Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Production Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Project Manager Portfolio Manager
Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer User Interaction Designer Product Designer
Product Design Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer Co-Founder Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer User Interaction Designer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior User Experience Designer Design Manager Creative Services Manager
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Design, Development Interactive Designer Visual Designer
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Web Designer Design Manager Studio Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Web Designer Design Manager Creative Services Manager
Creative Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Digital Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Graphic Designer 3.1 years
Creative Designer 2.9 years
Designer, Printer 2.7 years
Media Designer 2.6 years
Marketing Designer 2.5 years
Visual Designer 2.3 years
Web Designer 2.1 years
Digital Designer 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Digital Designer
Designer 7.4%
Internship 5.6%
Top Careers After Digital Designer
Designer 7.2%

Do you work as a Digital Designer?

Digital Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

52.1%

Female

34.7%

Unknown

13.2%
Ethnicity

White

56.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.8%

Asian

13.3%

Black or African American

9.5%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.5%

French

12.5%

Italian

10.4%

Chinese

6.3%

German

6.3%

Portuguese

4.2%

Mandarin

4.2%

Polish

4.2%

Filipino

2.1%

Turkish

2.1%

Hebrew

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Braille

2.1%

Tagalog

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%
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Digital Designer Education

Schools

School of Visual Arts

9.1%

Parsons the New School for Design

8.6%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

7.2%

Academy of Art University

5.7%

Full Sail University

5.7%

Fashion Institute of Technology

5.7%

University of Cincinnati

5.3%

New York University

4.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.8%

University of Texas at Austin

4.8%

Savannah College of Art and Design

4.3%

Columbia College Chicago

4.3%

Pratt Institute-Main

4.3%

Northeastern University

4.3%

University of Connecticut

3.8%

Ohio State University

3.8%

College for Creative Studies

3.3%

Northern Kentucky University

3.3%

Ringling College of Art and Design

3.3%

Loyola Marymount University

3.3%
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Majors

Graphic Design

40.7%

Design And Visual Communication

7.7%

Fine Arts

6.9%

Computer Applications

6.3%

Electrical Engineering

5.0%

Computer Science

3.9%

Animation

3.5%

Marketing

2.9%

Computer Engineering

2.8%

Communication

2.5%

Business

2.4%

Advertising

2.3%

Photography

2.1%

Visual And Performing Arts

2.0%

Computer Information Systems

1.8%

Graphic Communications

1.8%

Digital Media

1.7%

Entertainment Business

1.3%

Information Technology

1.3%

Management

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

57.6%

Masters

14.7%

Other

13.8%

Associate

8.7%

Certificate

2.9%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.7%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$67,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$41,000
Min 10%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$108,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Shell
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.2 years
How much does a Digital Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Digital Designer in the United States is $67,529 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $41,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $108,000.

Real Digital Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Digital Designer One & Company Design, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2013 $115,000
Alias Digital Designer Technicon Design Corporation Santa Monica, CA Nov 01, 2009 $106,000
Senior Digital Designer Sullivan and Company NYC New York, NY Apr 02, 2012 $100,000
Designer, Ralph Lauren Digital Ralph Lauren Corporation New York, NY Aug 26, 2013 $95,000
Digital Designer-Senior Strategist Continuum LLC Newton, MA Oct 01, 2011 $94,182 -
$120,000
Digital Designer Crowd Computing Systems, Inc. Newark, NJ Dec 20, 2012 $90,000
Digital Designer Crowd Computing Systems, Inc. Newark, NJ Dec 27, 2012 $90,000
Senior Digital Designer Sullivan and Company Marketing Collateral LLC New York, NY Oct 15, 2016 $88,000
Senior Digital Designer Sullivan and Company Marketing New York, NY Oct 15, 2016 $88,000
Digital Designer Realreal Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 16, 2015 $85,821
Senior Digital Designer Deutsch La, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 22, 2015 $85,000 -
$105,000
Senior Digital Designer NHS Human Services, Inc. Blue Bell, PA Jan 14, 2016 $78,000 -
$88,000
Brand Digital Designer LYFT Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 18, 2016 $75,000
Digital Designer The Realreal, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 06, 2015 $75,000
Digital Designer The Realreal, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 19, 2013 $75,000
Brand Digital Designer LYFT San Francisco, CA Apr 28, 2015 $75,000
Brand Digital Designer LYFT San Francisco, CA Mar 18, 2015 $75,000
Digital Designer Instrument Marketing Inc. Portland, OR Sep 09, 2016 $75,000
Digital Designer Word & Brown Insurance Administrators Inc. Orange, CA Sep 02, 2015 $74,880
Designer-Digital Daniel J. Edelman, Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2016 $60,000
Senior Digital Designer Gyrographic Communications, Inc. New York, NY Mar 01, 2010 $60,000
Senior Digital Designer Gyro, LLC New York, NY Sep 10, 2013 $60,000
Senior Digital Designer Gyrographic Communications, Inc. New York, NY Sep 09, 2010 $60,000
Designer-Digital Daniel J. Edelman, Inc. New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $60,000
Designer, People Digital Time Inc. New York, NY Mar 16, 2016 $60,000 -
$70,000
Digital Designer TIB Digital Inc. New York, NY Dec 19, 2016 $58,436

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Top Skills for A Digital Designer

  1. Company Website
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Graphic Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Elevated company market presence, and drove business activity through retouching jewelry pictures and updating company website.
  • Used Adobe Photoshop to retouch and manipulate images for website updates, animation and advertising purposes.
  • Develop custom graphic design including customization of existing graphics and photographs.
  • Designed brochures, print ads, and supplementary collateral for finance department and various coalitions.
  • Design, review, edit, and produce conceptual design for new Email Programs, Custom Campaign Requests and Special Projects.

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Top 10 Best States for Digital Designers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. California
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Washington
  5. Virginia
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Oregon
  8. New Jersey
  9. Georgia
  10. Connecticut
  • (95 jobs)
  • (1,193 jobs)
  • (213 jobs)
  • (219 jobs)
  • (287 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)
  • (193 jobs)
  • (417 jobs)
  • (59 jobs)

Top Digital Designer Employers

Jobs From Top Digital Designer Employers

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