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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

  • $45,340

    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
Assistant Designer Designer Creative Director
Advertising Director
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Coordinator Traffic Coordinator Traffic Manager
Creative Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Designer Art Director
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Graphic Design Consultant Senior Graphic Designer
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Production Coordinator Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Designer Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Art Director Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Assistant Writer And Editor Video Editor
Media Director
5 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Project Manager/Design Manager
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist Creative Director Senior User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator 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
Graphic Artist 4.3 years
Graphic Designer 3.1 years
Design Internship 0.6 years
Top Careers Before Graphic Design Assistant
Internship 17.1%
Assistant 4.8%
Volunteer 3.2%
Designer 3.1%
Cashier 3.1%
Server 2.4%
Teller 1.9%
Top Careers After Graphic Design Assistant
Designer 8.9%
Internship 6.8%
Assistant 3.2%
Owner 2.5%
Volunteer 2.4%

Do you work as a Graphic Design Assistant?

Graphic Design Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

69.2%

Male

26.5%

Unknown

4.3%
Ethnicity

White

57.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Asian

12.4%

Black or African American

10.2%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.2%

French

11.3%

Chinese

8.7%

Mandarin

7.3%

Italian

4.2%

Russian

3.8%

Japanese

3.5%

Korean

3.1%

Cantonese

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

German

1.9%

Swedish

0.9%

Tagalog

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Arabic

0.9%

Hindi

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Hmong

0.5%
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Graphic Design Assistant Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

23.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

10.4%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

8.1%

Parsons the New School for Design

5.3%

Academy of Art University

4.5%

Drexel University

4.3%

Northeastern University

3.8%

International Academy of Design and Technology

3.7%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

3.7%

Florida State University

3.5%

Iowa State University

3.3%

University of Alabama

3.2%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.2%

Rhode Island School of Design

3.2%

Pratt Institute-Main

3.2%

Michigan State University

2.9%

Ball State University

2.9%

Syracuse University

2.7%

Otis College of Art and Design

2.6%

Auburn University

2.6%
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Majors

Graphic Design

34.7%

Interior Design

18.5%

Fine Arts

8.4%

Business

5.5%

Communication

3.4%

Design And Visual Communication

3.1%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

3.1%

Architecture

2.8%

Marketing

2.8%

Psychology

2.5%

Computer Applications

2.2%

Photography

2.1%

Interior Architecture

1.7%

English

1.5%

Apparel And Textiles

1.4%

Journalism

1.4%

Education

1.3%

Computer Science

1.2%

Drafting And Design

1.1%

Graphic Communications

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

56.5%

Other

16.2%

Associate

11.9%

Masters

10.6%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

0.7%

Doctorate

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Graphic Design Assistant Videos

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Real Graphic Design Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Graphic Designer's Assistant Waitex International Co. Ltd. New York, NY Sep 05, 2014 $58,000
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
Graphic Designer/Artist Director Assistant Dawn J Bennett Holding, LLC Kensington, MD Oct 01, 2009 $41,740
Graphic Designer/Artist Director Assistant DJB Holding, LLC Kensington, MD Oct 01, 2009 $41,740
Graphic Designer (Assistant Editor Graphics) Cutters, Inc. Chicago, IL Feb 01, 2011 $40,000 -
$80,000
Assistant To Fashion Designer Sirap Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jul 22, 2013 $39,042
Ad Layout/Graphic Design Assistant Adnet Advertising Agency Inc. New York, NY Sep 18, 2015 $38,397
Graphic Design Assistant Hope Fellowship Frisco, TX Aug 29, 2016 $37,000
Graphic Designer Assistant BM Merchandising Co., Ltd. Avenel, NJ Jan 08, 2016 $33,280
Graphic Designer (Assistant Director) Columbus Baseball Team, Inc. Columbus, OH Sep 16, 2012 $32,843
International Design Assistant Artemisia, Inc. Estero, FL Sep 04, 2013 $32,000
Graphic Design Assistant Hope Fellowship Frisco, TX Jan 15, 2014 $31,000
Design Assistant Cantoni, L.P. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2009 $30,264
Graphic Design Assistant Hope Fellowship Frisco, TX Apr 22, 2013 $30,160
Graphic Design Assistant Hope Fellowship Frisco, TX Sep 01, 2013 $30,160
Graphic Design Assistant Hope Fellowship Frisco, TX Nov 01, 2012 $30,160

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Top Skills for A Graphic Design Assistant

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Company Website
  3. Web Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Formatted and created project proposal/presentation boards and layouts using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Created company website and maintained current information.
  • Print Design Web Design Customer Service Representative
  • Execute major marketing campaigns including conceptualization, pricing, production, and quality assessment for academic and administrative departments.
  • Design and develop custom project specific furniture and materials.

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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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Graphic Design Assistant Videos

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