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Become A Graphic Design Consultant

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Working As A Graphic Design Consultant

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $51,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Graphic Design Consultant 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 Consultant

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 Consultant Career Paths

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

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
Creative Designer 2.9 years
Freelance Designer 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Graphic Design Consultant
Internship 5.0%
Designer 2.8%
Consultant 1.9%
Top Careers After Graphic Design Consultant
Consultant 3.0%
Designer 2.9%
Internship 2.2%
Owner 2.0%

Do you work as a Graphic Design Consultant?

Graphic Design Consultant Demographics

Gender

Male

47.3%

Female

42.6%

Unknown

10.1%
Ethnicity

White

58.8%

Hispanic or Latino

16.4%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

9.2%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0%

French

12.9%

Cantonese

5.9%

Chinese

5.9%

Mandarin

4.7%

Japanese

4.7%

Russian

3.5%

Italian

3.5%

German

3.5%

Dutch

2.4%

Polish

2.4%

Turkish

1.2%

Sindhi

1.2%

Korean

1.2%

Khmer

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Tamil

1.2%

Filipino

1.2%

Dakota

1.2%

Tagalog

1.2%
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Graphic Design Consultant Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

9.4%

School of Visual Arts

8.4%

University of Phoenix

7.9%

Fashion Institute of Technology

7.4%

Full Sail University

5.9%

Art Institute of Colorado

5.4%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

5.4%

Art Institute of Washington

5.0%

Parsons the New School for Design

5.0%

Academy of Art University

4.5%

Art Institute of Atlanta

4.0%

Pratt Institute-Main

4.0%

University of Georgia

4.0%

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

3.5%

Columbia College Chicago

3.5%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.5%

George Mason University

3.5%

San Jose State University

3.5%

Maryland Institute College of Art

3.5%

New York University

3.0%
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Majors

Graphic Design

45.0%

Fine Arts

8.9%

Design And Visual Communication

5.8%

Communication

5.2%

Business

4.9%

Computer Applications

4.2%

Marketing

3.6%

Computer Science

3.1%

Graphic Communications

3.1%

Photography

2.3%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%

Entertainment Business

1.5%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.5%

English

1.5%

Advertising

1.5%

Drafting And Design

1.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.4%

Management

1.3%

Journalism

1.3%

Digital Media

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

53.1%

Other

16.7%

Masters

12.9%

Associate

11.2%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

0.1%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Graphic Design Consultant

  1. Company Website
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Company Logos
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created graphics for print and the web and served as content manager for company website.
  • Designed advertisements for Money Saver Magazine using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign
  • Use of Adobe CS6/CC to develop graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and websites.
  • Assisted, coordinated, and collaborated ideas/solutions for various hospitals and individual medical professionals pertaining to their graphic design needs.
  • Produce national brochures and corporate logos to support Roche marketing initiatives.

How Would You Rate Working As a Graphic Design Consultant?

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Top Graphic Design Consultant Employers

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