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Become A Graphic Designer And Photographer

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Working As A Graphic Designer And Photographer

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $44,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Graphic Designer And Photographer 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 Designer And Photographer

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 Designer And Photographer Career Paths

Graphic Designer And Photographer
Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Art Director Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Editor Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Editor Social Media Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Editor Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Designer User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer User Experience Designer User Experience Manager
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Marketing Coordinator Marketing Specialist
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Designer Senior Designer
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Web Designer Web Design/Development Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Web Designer Senior Designer
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Web Designer Senior Designer Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer, Marketing Marketing Specialist Brand Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer, Marketing Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Senior Editor Senior Copywriter
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Artist Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Creative Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer, Marketing Lead Graphic Designer Graphic Design Manager
Creative Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Graphic Designer And Photographer?

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
Marketing Designer 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Graphic Designer And Photographer
Photographer 10.8%
Internship 6.0%
Cashier 3.0%
Designer 2.1%
Server 1.8%
Volunteer 1.8%
Manager 1.8%
Top Careers After Graphic Designer And Photographer
Photographer 11.3%
Designer 2.3%
Owner 2.0%
Internship 1.9%
Cashier 1.8%

Do you work as a Graphic Designer And Photographer?

Graphic Designer And Photographer Demographics

Gender

Male

48.0%

Female

43.7%

Unknown

8.3%
Ethnicity

White

58.8%

Hispanic or Latino

18.8%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.3%

French

10.4%

Portuguese

5.2%

Mandarin

3.7%

Russian

3.7%

Italian

3.7%

Cantonese

3.7%

Chinese

3.0%

Polish

3.0%

Japanese

2.2%

German

1.5%

Marshallese

0.7%

Swedish

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Romanian

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Danish

0.7%

Indonesian

0.7%

Zulu

0.7%

Igbo

0.7%
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Graphic Designer And Photographer Education

Schools

Full Sail University

12.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

9.6%

Academy of Art University

8.4%

Columbia College Chicago

6.5%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

6.5%

School of Visual Arts

5.6%

San Jose State University

5.6%

Art Institute of California - Inland

5.3%

University of Phoenix

4.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.7%

Art Institute of Atlanta

3.7%

Texas State University

3.4%

University of Texas at Austin

3.4%

Art Institute of Houston

3.4%

Art Center College of Design

3.1%

Bowling Green State University

3.1%

American InterContinental University

3.1%

Atlantic University College

3.1%

International Academy of Design and Technology

3.1%

Liberty University

3.1%
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Majors

Graphic Design

46.6%

Photography

9.5%

Fine Arts

8.3%

Design And Visual Communication

6.6%

Communication

4.7%

Computer Applications

3.3%

Business

2.9%

Marketing

2.3%

Visual And Performing Arts

2.1%

Graphic Communications

1.7%

Computer Science

1.4%

Advertising

1.4%

Education

1.4%

Digital Media

1.4%

English

1.2%

Psychology

1.1%

Journalism

1.1%

Computer Information Systems

1.1%

Entertainment Business

0.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.2%

Other

19.2%

Associate

15.5%

Masters

6.6%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.1%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Highest Graphic Designer And Photographer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Photographic Graphic Designer Baron & Baron Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2013 $45,000
Graphic Designer & Photographer Blitsy, Inc. Chicago, IL Jan 07, 2016 $42,099
Graphic Designer & Photographer Blitsy, Inc. Chicago, IL Jan 07, 2016 $42,000
Photographic Graphic Designer Christopher Micaud, Inc. Springs, NY Sep 01, 2010 $37,566
Photographic Graphic Designer Baron & Baron Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2010 $37,566
Photographic Graphic Designer Jan Staller New York, NY Jun 30, 2011 $36,400

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Top Skills for A Graphic Designer And Photographer

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Company Website
  3. Product Photography
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Experience in the following Adobe Creative & other programs: **Adobe PhotoshopAdobe ReaderAdobe IllustratorAdobe InDesignExcel
  • Photographed merchandise for publications, promotional materials, and company website.
  • Provided photography services for events, on-location projects, product photography, portraits and automotive photography.
  • Designed company logos and identifiers and implemented them into marketing material
  • Collaborated with creative team of photographers and graphic designers to conceptualize various photographic environments in a studio setting.

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