Graphic designers are visual communicators who create graphic ideas to deliver a message through art and images which inspire, inform, and motivate consumers with the use of computer software, especially Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign or by hand. They have the ability to design stunning illustrations that are easily understood, even without a lot of thinking or based on the demand of their clients. It is very crucial to them as well to be flexible and to stay on top of the design trends. They create websites, posters, packaging, logos, advertising, and marketing materials, depending on the nature of the business.

Graphic Designer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real graphic designer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead the transition from paste-up, typesetting, pasting up page layout to digital ad/page building and web printing.
  • Design new template for magazine as well as ads, flyers, brochures, and cards for a variety of events.
  • Plan the development of a social networking site website using HTML, CSS, PHP, and a WordPress management system.
  • Compose and create daily advertisements for national automotive dealerships utilizing typography and design concepts while adhering to corporate brand standards.
  • Follow style guide requirements to maintain brand integrity with specific treatments of photography, typography, graphic elements and team/sponsor/arena logos.
  • Create UI kit for the website.
  • Maintain company website in WordPress.
  • Design and supply POS material for retail stores.
  • Photograph all products and edit in PhotoShop and LightRoom.
  • Enhance power point presentations with animation and more attractive graphics.
  • Develop new branding, packaging, logos, animation and HTML/CSS.
  • Assist designer in cad drawings using illustrator ready for tech packs.
  • Place vector artwork and reset any type on cad per customer specs.
  • Work closely with members of the sales team to conceptualize and execute marketing strategies.
  • Create textile designs for leading men's wear apparel; work with patterns and colors.

Graphic Designer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 6% of Graphic Designers are proficient in Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Artistic ability, and Communication skills.

We break down the percentage of Graphic Designers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Adobe Creative Suite, 6%

    Designed company logo utilizing Adobe Creative Suite while collaborating with client to determine their visual needs

  • Adobe Photoshop, 6%

    Created and designed enclosure of incense box enclosure using Adobe PhotoShop, and CorelDRAW.

  • Adobe Illustrator, 6%

    Focused on creating digital and print marketing materials for small to mid-sized businesses and local non-profit organizations using Adobe Illustrator.

  • Typography, 5%

    Developed, protected and maintained brand identity through careful management of logo usage, photo selection, typography and messaging.

  • Brochures, 5%

    Designed print and digital advertising materials, including brochures, direct-mail postcards, sponsorship advertisements, invitations and digital ads

  • Design Concepts, 5%

    Administered significant value and maximized client exposure by effectively applying design concepts through various campaigns and mediums.

Most graphic designers list "adobe creative suite," "adobe photoshop," and "adobe illustrator" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important graphic designer responsibilities here:

  • The most important skills for a graphic designer to have in this position are analytical skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a graphic designer resume, you'll understand why: "graphic designers must be able to perceive their work from their consumers’ point of view to ensure that the designs convey the client’s message." According to resumes we found, analytical skills can be used by a graphic designer in order to "revamp logos and edit photos/ package design and web design/ new customer, invoices, and quotes data entry/ filing artwork"
  • Another trait important for fulfilling graphic designer duties is artistic ability. According to a graphic designer resume, "graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers." Here's an example of how graphic designers are able to utilize artistic ability: "reduced photo editing time by creating custom photoshop actions for color correction and artistic retouching. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among graphic designers is communication skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a graphic designer resume: "graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately and effectively convey information." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "image manipulation and color correction communication with outside print vendors to receive pricing and to ensure deadlines are met"
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "computer skills" is important to completing graphic designer responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way graphic designers use this skill: "most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical graphic designer tasks: "developed product and package design of jewelry items using hand drawn and computer generated art. "
  • Yet another important skill that a graphic designer must demonstrate is "creativity." Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a graphic designer who stated: "guide creative process' from beginning to completion package design/dvd/ posters p.o.p and promotional material production"
  • Another skill commonly found on graphic designer resumes is "time-management skills." This description of the skill was found on several graphic designer resumes: "graphic designers often work simultaneously on multiple projects, each with a different deadline." Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day graphic designer responsibilities: "insert documentation, labels, and package designs while following company branding guidelines under tight deadlines. "
  • See the full list of graphic designer skills.

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    What Associate Designers Do

    An Associate Designer helps in developing sketches on paper and in graphic design software. They usually are supervised by the junior staff and interns.

    We looked at the average graphic designer annual salary and compared it with the average of an associate designer. Generally speaking, associate designers receive $7,320 higher pay than graphic designers per year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both graphic designers and associate designers positions are skilled in adobe photoshop, adobe illustrator, and design concepts.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A graphic designer responsibility is more likely to require skills like "adobe creative suite," "typography," "brochures," and "flyers." Whereas a associate designer requires skills like "cad," "customer service," "design projects," and "human centered design." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Associate designers receive the highest salaries in the retail industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $61,366. But graphic designers are paid more in the technology industry with an average salary of $59,067.

    On average, associate designers reach similar levels of education than graphic designers. Associate designers are 2.0% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Assistant Designer?

    Assistant designers act as administrative support to senior designers in creating innovative designs by negotiating with the vendors about the prices of decoration materials. They are keen and up-to-date to the latest fashion and trends by conducting surveys and research. They are exceptionally creative and innovative and have excellent IT skills as they use illustration, typography, and photography layouts in the design process. However, being an assistant designer, career development relies on his/her /her specialism, reputation, and experience depending on how its opportunities are influenced by the company he/she works for.

    Now we're going to look at the assistant designer profession. On average, assistant designers earn a $3,025 higher salary than graphic designers a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Graphic designers and assistant designers both include similar skills like "adobe photoshop," "adobe illustrator," and "design concepts" on their resumes.

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, graphic designer responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "adobe creative suite," "typography," "brochures," and "graphic design." Meanwhile, a assistant designer might be skilled in areas such as "tech packs," "line sheets," "trend research," and "garment construction." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    Assistant designers may earn a higher salary than graphic designers, but assistant designers earn the most pay in the construction industry with an average salary of $57,526. On the other side of things, graphic designers receive higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $59,067.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, assistant designers tend to reach similar levels of education than graphic designers. In fact, they're 0.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Technology Do You Think Will Become More Important And Prevalent For Graphic Designers In The Next 3-5 Years?

    Michelle Lockwood

    Associate Professor, Graphic Design Art, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

    A year ago, even six months ago, we would never have expected our lives to have taken the turns they have, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that same sense, we cannot know what obstacles we will encounter in the next year, six months, or even next week. The aspect of technology that seems most important now is software that can bring the human experience of connection into our individual and separated lives. Technology has enabled those of us in design and applied arts, to continue creating and communicating. As always has been, technology is a tool, but it is not usually the entire idea. Yes, every message is altered and influenced by the medium with which it was created. Still, those beginning in this field need to remember that their uniqueness comes from the union of what is in their mind and their heart, and how they articulate and communicate that union.Show more

    How a Graphic Artist Compares

    A graphic artist is either an illustrator or an animator who creates art work that will be used in graphic projects such as advertisements, posters, or even book covers. Although a graphic artist has his/her own style of artwork, he/she may be often commissioned to create art specifically for a particular project. A graphic artist may work with a graphic designer in order to convey the overall message of a project. The portfolio of a graphic artist includes cartoons, illustrations, and graphic novels.

    Let's now take a look at the graphic artist profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than graphic designers with a $5,450 difference per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several graphic designers and graphic artists we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "adobe creative suite," "adobe photoshop," and "adobe illustrator," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from graphic designer resumes include skills like "typography," "flyers," "product photography," and "sketch," whereas a graphic artist might be skilled in "photography," "web design," "motion graphics," and "pc. "

    Additionally, graphic artists earn a higher salary in the non profits industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $68,382. Additionally, graphic designers earn an average salary of $59,067 in the technology industry.

    Graphic artists are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to graphic designers. Additionally, they're 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Web Designer

    A web designer is a creative professional responsible for creating and redesigning the content and layout of websites. Web designers are required to meet clients and users to discuss the needs and goals of their clients. To create graphics, colors, and fonts, web designers usually use HTML coding to alter the website's layout. Web designers must build their portfolio by taking on unique projects for themselves and the people they know.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than graphic designers. On average, web designers earn a difference of $14,392 higher per year.

    While both graphic designers and web designers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like adobe creative suite, adobe photoshop, and adobe illustrator, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "typography," "brochures," "design concepts," and "flyers," which might show up on a graphic designer resume. Whereas web designer might include skills like "wordpress," "html css," "javascript," and "ui."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The internet industry tends to pay more for web designers with an average of $81,039. While the highest graphic designer annual salary comes from the technology industry.

    In general, web designers reach similar levels of education when compared to graphic designers resumes. Web designers are 3.6% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Graphic Designer Does FAQs

    Graphic Artist Vs. Graphic Designer

    A graphic artist is someone commissioned to create graphic art for a specific project, while a graphic designer is a professional who creates visual concepts to communicate information.

    Graphic artists may be illustrators or animators. They tend to have a specific style that lends themselves to be hired for certain types of projects. Graphic artists are involved in a wide array of projects including comic books, advertisements, company pamphlets, and book jacket covers.

    Visual Designer Vs. Graphic Designer

    A visual designer is responsible for creating a unified image for a brand across digital platforms, while a graphic designer is a professional who creates visual concepts to communicate information.

    Do Graphic Designers Get Paid Well?

    Yes, graphic designers get paid well. The average graphic designer makes $50,000 in the United States. Meanwhile, highly skilled and experienced graphic designers can average $80,000 while graphic designers just starting average $30,000.

    Do Graphic Designers Make Good Money?

    No, graphic designers do not make good money. The average salary of a graphic designer in the United States is $53,380 per year, which would be decent, except that many graphic designers attend expensive art colleges that can leave them in a significant amount of debt.

    How Many Hours Do Graphic Designers Work?

    Graphic designers work varying hours each week, depending on several factors, but the main factor is whether the graphic designer is working as a freelancer (self-employed) or working at a design house, firm, or another kind of company.

    How To Build A Graphic Design Portfolio

    To build a graphic design portfolio you must curate your best work, choose the right platform to exhibit it on, and include a professional case study, or client recommendations.

    When building a good graphic design portfolio it is important to curate your best work and display your versatility as a graphic designer.

    Is Graphic Design A Dying Career?

    No, graphic design is not a dying career. However, it is a rapidly changing industry that will require significant upskilling to keep up with the changes.

    The biggest area of growth in graphic design is in digital graphic design. As businesses transition from print advertising and publishing to digital and online marketing, this will increase.

    What Are The Best Gifts For A Graphic Designer?

    The best gifts for a graphic designer are noise-canceling headphones, a digital graphic drawing tablet, and a browser sketch pad. Graphic designers are creative individuals who you should not have a problem finding the perfect present for.

    What Degree Do You Need To Be A Graphic Designer?

    You need a bachelor's degree in graphic design to be a graphic designer. This is the standard. However, there are many different related degrees one can get to become a graphic designer.

    What Does An Entry-level Graphic Designer Do?

    Entry-level graphic designers complete parts of a design, report to a senior designer, and improve design tasks. A degree in graphic design is not required, but will likely increase your chances of getting a job, as many top firms for graphic design do not hire candidates without at least a bachelor's degree in graphic design.

    What Is A Typical Day For A Graphic Designer?

    A typical day for a graphic designer involves reviewing creative briefs, performing market research, and creating mockups. A graphic designer's job is to capture, inform, and inspire an audience using visual elements.

    The first thing a graphic designer does when they are presented with a project is review the creative brief. The creative brief outlines the client's needs and expectations. It tells the graphic designer about the audience they are trying to reach and the message that needs to be conveyed.

    Another task in the typical day of a graphic designer is performing market research. In order to come up with ideas that work, graphic designers need to know what other designs have already been used. It's also helpful to know what types of designs have seemed to flop and what types have been successful.

    After researching and brainstorming, graphic designers create mockups to show their clients the design ideas they have come up with. In this stage, the client can provide feedback and the graphic designer can then make any necessary changes before producing the final design.

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