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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.

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Graphic Designer Responsibilities

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

  • Manage staff and marketing budget, review analytics and develop new approaches and campaigns to reach expanding audiences and revenue goals.
  • Manage layout, design and production of retail advertisements and circulars
  • Manage internal online marketing portal to equip employees in Asia-Pacific with ready-access to materials for deeper client engagement.
  • Job duties include layout, brand identity, print production, updating and creating HTML templates and various other similar tasks.
  • Provide comparative analysis on traditional vs. Mac vs. PC production.
  • Generate content for TGC on social media sites, such as Facebook page, Instagram and their blog.
  • Plan the development of a social networking site website using HTML, CSS, PHP, and a WordPress management system.
  • Maintain company website using Dreamweaver.
  • Perform in-house photography duties and photo editing as well as coordinated outside photography projects.
  • Company communication pieces including all print collateral, promotional and marketing collateral, and PowerPoint slide decks.
  • Develop, protect and maintain brand identity through careful management of logo usage, photo selection, typography and messaging.
  • Compose and create daily advertisements for national automotive dealerships utilizing typography and design concepts while adhering to corporate brand standards.
  • Use of DSLR for still and HD video shoots.
  • Design and supply POS material for retail stores.
  • Provide own DSLR, equipment, and assistants as needed.

Graphic Designer Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, Graphic Designer jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a Graphic Designer?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of Graphic Designer opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 8,800.

A Graphic Designer annual salary averages $48,792, which breaks down to $23.46 an hour. However, Graphic Designers can earn anywhere from upwards of $34,000 to $68,000 a year. This means that the top-earning Graphic Designers make $34,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a Graphic Designer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an Associate Designer, Assistant Designer, Graphic Artist, and Web Designer.

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12 Graphic Designer Resume Examples

Graphic Designer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 12% of Graphic Designers are proficient in Adobe Creative Suite, Graphic Design, and Company Website. 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, 12%

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

  • Graphic Design, 8%

    Demonstrated outstanding versatility and creativity to maintain network integrity and availability while simultaneously contributing graphic design concepts to production team.

  • Company Website, 7%

    Designed and created visual communication pieces, Edited and updated current product images for modernization of company website.

  • Photoshop, 6%

    Designed and produced movies and websites using a combination of PhotoShop, AfterEffects, and Flash animation.

  • 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

Some of the skills we found on Graphic Designer resumes included "Adobe Creative Suite," "Graphic Design," and "Company Website." We have detailed the most important Graphic Designer responsibilities below.

  • Analytical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a Graphic Designer to have. According to a Graphic Designer resume, "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." Graphic Designers are able to use Analytical skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "Plan, analyze and design the overall layout for effective communication of customer's services and needs for targeted audience. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform Graphic Designer duties is the following: 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." Check out this example of how Graphic Designers use Artistic ability: "Reduced photo editing time by creating custom Photoshop Actions for color correction and artistic retouching. "
  • Graphic Designers are also known for Communication skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a Graphic Designer resume: "Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately and effectively convey information." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "Design, layout and format marketing and communications materials across the organization. "
  • 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: "Key information into computer equipment to create layout for client or supervisor. "
  • 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: "Collaborated with creative department on layout and production of various marketing materials for Citibank, Burger King, and Cricket Wireless. "
  • Lastly, this career requires you to be skillful in "Time-management skills." According to Graphic Designer resumes, "Graphic designers often work simultaneously on multiple projects, each with a different deadline." This resume example highlights how Graphic Designer responsibilities rely on this skill: "Designed print advertisements and layout for five different area newspapers, meeting strict deadlines on a weekly basis. "
  • See the full list of Graphic Designer skills.

    Before becoming a Graphic Designer, 68.0% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 3.4% Graphic Designers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most Graphic Designers have a college degree. But about one out of every seven Graphic Designers didn't attend college at all.

    Those Graphic Designers who do attend college, typically earn either a Graphic Design degree or a Fine Arts degree. Less commonly earned degrees for Graphic Designers include a Design And Visual Communication degree or a Communication degree.

    Once you're ready to become a Graphic Designer, you should explore the companies that typically hire Graphic Designers. According to Graphic Designer resumes that we searched through, Graphic Designers are hired the most by Deloitte, Robert Half International, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Currently, Deloitte has 78 Graphic Designer job openings, while there are 56 at Robert Half International and 20 at Booz Allen Hamilton.

    If you're interested in companies where Graphic Designers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Microsoft, Google, and Adobe. We found that at Microsoft, the average Graphic Designer salary is $151,954. Whereas at Google, Graphic Designers earn roughly $142,438. And at Adobe, they make an average salary of $127,918.

    View more details on Graphic Designer salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire Graphic Designers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Aquent, Whole Foods Market, and Graphic Design.

    In general, Graphic Designers fulfill roles in the Media and Retail industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the Graphic Designer annual salary is the highest in the Technology industry with $61,857 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the Media and Manufacturing industries pay $59,238 and $57,961 respectively. This means that Graphic Designers who are employed in the Technology industry make 11.4% more than Graphic Designers who work in the Retail Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious graphic designers are:

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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 $9,652 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 Creative Suite, Graphic Design, and Photoshop.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A Graphic Designer responsibility is more likely to require skills like "Company Website," "Typography," "Brochures," and "Html." Whereas a Associate Designer requires skills like "CAD," "Customer Service," "Product Development," and "Design Projects." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    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 $6,523 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 Creative Suite," "Photoshop," and "Design Concepts" on their resumes.

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real Graphic Designer resumes. While Graphic Designer responsibilities can utilize skills like "Graphic Design," "Company Website," "Typography," and "Brochures," some Assistant Designers use skills like "Tech Packs," "Line Sheets," "Product Development," and "Trend Research."

    On average, Assistant Designers earn a higher salary than Graphic Designers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, Assistant Designers earn the most pay in the Technology industry with an average salary of $52,952. Whereas, Graphic Designers have higher paychecks in the Technology industry where they earn an average of $61,857.

    On the topic of education, Assistant Designers earn similar levels of education than Graphic Designers. In general, 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.

    The third profession we take a look at is Graphic Artist. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than Graphic Designers. In fact, they make a $13,944 higher salary 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," "Graphic Design," and "Company Website," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from Graphic Designers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "Typography," "Design Solutions," "Instagram," and "Twitter." But a Graphic Artist might have skills like "PC," "Desktop," "Design Projects," and "CAD."

    Additionally, Graphic Artists earn a higher salary in the Technology industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $84,010. Additionally, Graphic Designers earn an average salary of $61,857 in the Technology industry.

    Graphic Artists typically study at similar levels compared with Graphic Designers. For example, 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.

    Now, we'll look at Web Designers, who generally average a higher pay when compared to Graphic Designers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $10,561 per year.

    According to resumes from both Graphic Designers and Web Designers, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "Adobe Creative Suite," "Graphic Design," and "Company Website. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "Typography," "Brochures," "Design Concepts," and "Indesign" are skills that have shown up on Graphic Designers resumes. Additionally, Web Designer uses skills like Online, Javascript, Html5, and Jquery on their resumes.

    In general, Web Designers make a higher salary in the Internet industry with an average of $62,601. The highest Graphic Designer annual salary stems from the Technology industry.

    The average resume of Web Designers showed that they earn similar levels of education to Graphic Designers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 3.6% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.2%.

    What a Graphic Designer Does FAQs

    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.

    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.

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