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Become A Graphic Designer/Production

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Working As A Graphic Designer/Production

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $50,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Graphic Designer/Production 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/Production

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/Production Career Paths

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

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
Production Artist 3.0 years
Freelance Designer 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Graphic Designer/Production
Internship 3.4%
Cashier 2.0%
Designer 1.9%
Top Careers After Graphic Designer/Production
Owner 1.9%
Designer 1.7%

Do you work as a Graphic Designer/Production?

Graphic Designer/Production Demographics

Gender

Male

52.3%

Female

40.7%

Unknown

6.9%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

18.3%

Black or African American

10.2%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.2%

French

5.4%

Portuguese

4.8%

Mandarin

3.6%

Italian

3.0%

German

3.0%

Japanese

3.0%

Russian

2.4%

Cantonese

2.4%

Chinese

1.8%

Turkish

1.2%

Romanian

1.2%

Danish

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Tagalog

1.2%

Serbian

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Hindi

0.6%

Korean

0.6%
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Graphic Designer/Production Education

Schools

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

10.8%

Savannah College of Art and Design

8.4%

School of Visual Arts

7.4%

Full Sail University

6.3%

Art Institute of Houston

6.1%

Columbia College Chicago

5.0%

Art Institute of Philadelphia

5.0%

International Academy of Design and Technology

4.8%

Art Institute of California - Inland

4.7%

Fashion Institute of Technology

4.5%

Academy of Art University

4.1%

San Jose State University

4.1%

Collins College

4.1%

Art Institute of Atlanta

3.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.6%

Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale Inc

3.6%

California State University - Long Beach

3.6%

California State University - Fullerton

3.4%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.4%

Northern Illinois University

3.2%
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Majors

Graphic Design

57.3%

Fine Arts

8.0%

Design And Visual Communication

7.4%

Computer Applications

4.8%

Communication

2.8%

Graphic Communications

2.8%

Photography

2.3%

Business

2.1%

Marketing

1.7%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.6%

Animation

1.4%

Computer Science

1.4%

English

1.0%

Advertising

1.0%

Digital Media

0.8%

Entertainment Business

0.8%

Journalism

0.7%

Liberal Arts

0.7%

Computer Information Systems

0.7%

Drafting And Design

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.3%

Associate

19.4%

Other

17.7%

Masters

5.1%

Certificate

5.0%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.2%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$50,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$32,000
Min 10%
$50,000
Median 50%
$50,000
Median 50%
$50,000
Median 50%
$50,000
Median 50%
$50,000
Median 50%
$50,000
Median 50%
$50,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Saga
Highest Paying City
Menlo Park, CA
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Graphic Designer/Production make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Graphic Designer/Production in the United States is $50,777 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $32,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $78,000.

Real Graphic Designer/Production Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Graphic Production Designer IKEA North America Services, LLC Conshohocken, PA Sep 13, 2010 $61,196
Graphic Designer/Web Production The Concretist, Inc. Benicia, CA Sep 22, 2010 $59,375 -
$31
Graphic Designer/Web Production The Concretist, Inc. Benicia, CA Oct 01, 2010 $59,375 -
$31
Production Graphic Designer Rhythm Interactive, Inc. Irvine, CA Sep 10, 2011 $50,000
Production Graphic Designer Rhythm Interactive, Inc. Irvine, CA Sep 15, 2011 $50,000
Graphic Designer & Production Manager Zuffa, LLC Las Vegas, NV Jun 11, 2012 $50,000 -
$65,000
Graphic Designer-Textile Production Instam Inc. New York, NY Feb 07, 2015 $48,000
Graphic Designer, Research and Production Associat Strickman-Ripps, Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2013 $48,000
Graphic Designer-Textile Production Intsam Inc. New York, NY Sep 26, 2012 $48,000
Graphic Designer-Textiles Production Intsam Inc. New York, NY Sep 26, 2012 $48,000
Graphic Designer/Production Artist Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP Los Angeles, CA Mar 23, 2014 $46,571 -
$63,000
Graphic Designer/Production HD House, LLC Miami, FL Sep 27, 2016 $45,000
Graphic Production Designer Saga Musical Instruments South San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2011 $45,000
Graphic Designer/Production for The Northeast Division Creative Management Services, LLC Chestnut Ridge, NY Sep 05, 2015 $43,000
Production Graphic Designer Scarlet Heifer LLC Croton-on-Hudson, NY Sep 26, 2012 $42,784
Structural and Graphic Production Designer The Exhibit Source Newton, MA Aug 23, 2011 $42,000
Production Graphic Designer Tsurumi (America), Inc. Glendale Heights, IL Sep 08, 2012 $40,800
Graphic Designer/Production Coordinator Shawmut Advertising Inc. Danvers, MA Aug 27, 2016 $40,000
Graphic Designer/Production Artist Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP Los Angeles, CA Mar 22, 2011 $40,000 -
$55,000
Print Production/Assistant Graphic Designer Carole Hochman Design Group New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $40,000

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Top Skills for A Graphic Designer/Production

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Graphic Design
  3. Company Website
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed and developed all graphics and interactive content utilizing Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Promoted from in-house graphic designer to becoming the entire promotional department for this industrial lab equipment manufacturer.
  • Aided in photo color/correction and restoration for company website.
  • Developed graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and Internet websites.
  • Leveraged superior organizational skill and subject matter expertise to create custom layouts while converting artwork and image sources into editable files.

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Top 10 Best States for Graphic Designer/Productions

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New York
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Washington
  5. Virginia
  6. California
  7. Oregon
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Georgia
  10. Connecticut
  • (110 jobs)
  • (869 jobs)
  • (245 jobs)
  • (249 jobs)
  • (351 jobs)
  • (1,260 jobs)
  • (117 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (457 jobs)
  • (66 jobs)

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