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Become A Graphic Design Assistant

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Working As A Graphic Design Assistant

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Graphic Design Assistant 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 Graphic Design Assistant

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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Graphic Design Assistant Career Paths

Graphic Design Assistant
Graphic Designer Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Consultant Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Designer Project Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Design And Production Assistant Senior Designer Senior User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist Web Graphic Designer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Design And Production Assistant Design Consultant Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist Lead Graphic Designer Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Marketing Consultant Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist User Interaction Designer Product Designer
Product Design Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Web Designer Editor Senior Copywriter
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Web Graphic Designer Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Artist Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Creative Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Web Graphic Designer Graphic Design Specialist Graphic Design Manager
Creative Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Graphic Design Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Graphic Artist 4.4 years
Graphic Designer 3.1 years
Freelance Designer 2.5 years
Design Volunteer 1.2 years
Top Careers Before Graphic Design Assistant
Internship 16.5%
Assistant 5.0%
Cashier 4.1%
Designer 3.6%
Volunteer 2.9%
Server 2.8%
Top Careers After Graphic Design Assistant
Designer 9.0%
Internship 6.8%
Assistant 3.4%
Cashier 2.8%
Owner 2.5%
Server 2.3%

Do you work as a Graphic Design Assistant?

Graphic Design Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

61.9%

Male

26.4%

Unknown

11.8%
Ethnicity

White

56.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Asian

12.0%

Black or African American

10.3%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.7%

French

11.3%

Chinese

8.9%

Mandarin

8.2%

Japanese

4.5%

Italian

4.4%

Russian

3.7%

Cantonese

3.5%

Korean

3.4%

Portuguese

2.6%

German

2.1%

Polish

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Arabic

0.9%

Hindi

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Swedish

0.6%

Dutch

0.6%

Tagalog

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%
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Graphic Design Assistant Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

18.8%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

12.0%

Parsons the New School for Design

7.3%

Savannah College of Art and Design

7.3%

Academy of Art University

6.7%

International Academy of Design and Technology

4.2%

Pratt Institute-Main

3.9%

School of Visual Arts

3.7%

Florida State University

3.5%

New York School of Interior Design

3.5%

Rhode Island School of Design

3.4%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

3.2%

Drexel University

3.1%

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

3.0%

Northeastern University

2.9%

Arizona State University

2.8%

Harrington College of Design

2.7%

Art Institute of California - Inland

2.7%

New York University

2.7%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

2.6%
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Majors

Graphic Design

34.7%

Interior Design

19.1%

Fine Arts

8.5%

Business

5.9%

Communication

3.3%

Design And Visual Communication

3.3%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

3.1%

Architecture

3.1%

Marketing

2.8%

Psychology

2.2%

Photography

1.9%

Interior Architecture

1.9%

Computer Applications

1.7%

Apparel And Textiles

1.5%

English

1.4%

Computer Science

1.4%

Drafting And Design

1.2%

Mechanical Engineering

1.1%

Management

1.0%

Visual And Performing Arts

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

56.3%

Other

15.0%

Associate

13.0%

Masters

10.4%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$31,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Nike
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Nevada
Avg Experience Level
1.6 years
How much does a Graphic Design Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Graphic Design Assistant in the United States is $49,685 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $78,000.

Real Graphic Design Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Design Assistant Wink Ny Inc. New York, NY Dec 10, 2012 $60,000
Graphic Designer's Assistant Waitex International Co. Ltd. New York, NY Sep 05, 2014 $58,000
Design Assistant Movado Group Inc. Paramus, NJ Nov 24, 2011 $53,352
Graphic Designer's Assistant Waitex International Co. Ltd. New York, NY Aug 09, 2016 $52,738
Textile Designer's Assistant Elizabeth Gillett Ltd. New York, NY Sep 12, 2014 $50,318
Design Assistant-Handbags Coach, Inc. New York, NY Sep 22, 2010 $50,000
Shoe and Accessory Design Assistant Calvin Klein, Inc. New York, NY Sep 09, 2015 $49,440
Design Assistant The Institute of Play Inc. New York, NY Dec 08, 2016 $48,585
Design Assistant-Handbags Coach, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $48,000
Design Assistant Coach, Inc. New York, NY Sep 10, 2011 $47,000
Design Assistant Daniel Romualdez Architects, P.C. New York, NY Nov 17, 2011 $46,500
Design Assistant, Men's Slgs Coach, Inc. New York, NY Aug 15, 2016 $46,000
Sketcher/Design Assistant The Connaught Group Ltd. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $44,000
Design Assistant Theory, LLC New York, NY Sep 01, 2012 $42,640
Design Assistant Lucky Zone Design Group, LLC New York, NY Mar 02, 2015 $42,500 -
$43,472
Design Assistant Blanket Feathers LLC New York, NY Jan 17, 2013 $41,740
Graphic Designer/Artist Director Assistant DJB Holding, LLC Kensington, MD Oct 01, 2009 $41,740
Graphic Designer/Artist Director Assistant Dawn J Bennett Holding, LLC Kensington, MD Oct 01, 2009 $41,740
Design Assistant Blanket Feathers LLC New York, NY Jan 10, 2013 $37,566 -
$43,827
Design Assistant Fleet Street Ltd. New York, NY Aug 01, 2014 $37,253
Design Assistant Fleet Street Ltd. New York, NY Aug 01, 2014 $37,128
Graphic Design Assistant Hope Fellowship Frisco, TX Aug 29, 2016 $37,000
Design Assistant The Echo Design Group, Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2010 $35,547
Design Assistant Opt 1, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 16, 2015 $35,000

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Top Skills for A Graphic Design Assistant

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Company Website
  3. Graphic Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Utilized computer-aided design technology, including Adobe Photoshop, to develop prints and print samples for fashion forward menswear line.
  • Created company website and maintained current information.
  • Aided with graphic design preregistration.
  • Designed publicity brochures for public library, affiliated children's library and local access TV station using desktop publishing
  • Created designs, concepts, and sample layouts, based on knowledge of layout principles and esthetic design concepts.

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Top 10 Best States for Graphic Design Assistants

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New York
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Alaska
  5. Virginia
  6. California
  7. Oregon
  8. Washington
  9. Connecticut
  10. Maryland
  • (61 jobs)
  • (462 jobs)
  • (128 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (202 jobs)
  • (561 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (97 jobs)

Top Graphic Design Assistant Employers

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