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Become A Head Designer

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Working As A Head Designer

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $123,964

    Average Salary

What Does A Head Designer 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 Head Designer

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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Head Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

49.1%

Female

47.8%

Unknown

3.1%
Ethnicity

White

54.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.8%

Asian

15.0%

Black or African American

9.6%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.3%

French

17.6%

German

6.5%

Italian

5.6%

Korean

3.7%

Russian

2.8%

Portuguese

2.8%

Chinese

2.8%

Swedish

1.9%

Lithuanian

0.9%

Turkish

0.9%

Hindi

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%

Mandarin

0.9%

Sanskrit

0.9%

Danish

0.9%

Indonesian

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Latvian

0.9%
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Head Designer Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

36.9%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

6.7%

Savannah College of Art and Design

6.2%

Parsons the New School for Design

4.9%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.4%

New York University

4.0%

Otis College of Art and Design

3.6%

Purdue University

3.6%

Pratt Institute-Main

3.6%

Pennsylvania State University

2.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

2.7%

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

2.7%

University of Kansas

2.7%

Brigham Young University

2.2%

University of California - Berkeley

2.2%

University of California - Irvine

2.2%

Temple University

2.2%

Texas A&M University

2.2%

Kent State University

2.2%

International Academy of Design and Technology

2.2%
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Majors

Graphic Design

41.4%

Fine Arts

10.9%

Business

6.8%

Mechanical Engineering

5.7%

Interior Design

3.8%

Computer Science

3.5%

Architecture

2.7%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

2.7%

Design And Visual Communication

2.5%

Communication

2.4%

Electrical Engineering

2.3%

Photography

2.1%

Marketing

2.1%

Drafting And Design

2.0%

English

1.7%

Computer Applications

1.7%

Apparel And Textiles

1.6%

Education

1.6%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.3%

Civil Engineering

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.5%

Other

17.4%

Masters

15.5%

Associate

11.0%

Certificate

3.1%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.1%
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Real Head Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Head of Design, Men's and Women's Shoes Belstaff USA Corp. New York, NY Jan 04, 2012 $250,000
Head of Service Design Co Collective LLC New York, NY Apr 28, 2016 $200,000
Head Designer RVC Enterprises LLC New York, NY Oct 05, 2009 $200,000
Head of Digital Design Dow Jones and Company New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $180,000
Head of Product Design Liveperson, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $179,000
Head of Design Airbnb, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 29, 2014 $175,000 -
$225,000
Head of Design Anomaly Partners LLC New York, NY Sep 26, 2016 $170,000
Head of Product Design Liveperson, Inc. New York, NY Sep 04, 2015 $170,000
Head Designer A Fine Gauge Inc. New York, NY Oct 13, 2011 $165,000
Head of Design Augmedix San Francisco, CA May 27, 2016 $161,824
Head of Design Augmedix, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 09, 2016 $160,000
Head of Design Augmedix, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 24, 2016 $160,000
Head of Brand and Communications Design, Behance Adobe Systems Incorporated New York, NY Sep 09, 2015 $155,000
Head Designer Williams-Sonoma, Inc. New York, NY Sep 14, 2012 $133,200
Head of Design Tripactions, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Dec 05, 2016 $130,000
Head of Design Tripactions, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Sep 12, 2016 $130,000
Head Designer & Developer CHD Home Textiles LLC New York, NY Aug 02, 2012 $130,000
Head Designer and Developer CHD Textiles LLC New York, NY Dec 15, 2011 $130,000
Head Designer Eurokitchen Design, LLC Miami, FL May 20, 2012 $120,000
Head of Product Design Ourcast, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 10, 2012 $117,000 -
$125,000
Head Designer Marchesa Holdings LLC New York, NY May 18, 2016 $114,000
Head of Design Integration Trustees of The Corcoran Gallery of Art Washington, DC Oct 15, 2009 $87,344
Head of Product Design AZOI Inc. San Diego, CA Sep 26, 2014 $86,750 -
$110,000
Head Designer Antics International Oceanside, CA Jan 11, 2014 $85,000
Head of Furniture Design SBFI North America Asheville, NC Sep 15, 2014 $85,000
Head of Knitwear Technical Design Robespierre Inc. New York, NY Sep 21, 2012 $82,400
Head Designer Saramax Apparel Group Inc. New York, NY Feb 21, 2013 $81,000
Head Designer Har. Money Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jun 18, 2012 $81,000

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Top Skills for A Head Designer

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  1. Web
  2. Original Art
  3. Concept
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted in developing and maintaining user-friendly websites.
  • Direct communication with overseas agent concerning all original artwork, supervising it through screens, strike offs and re-coloration.
  • Contributed ideas during strategic and conceptual brainstorming sessions.
  • Lead the research and development of seasonal trends Including silhouette, fabric selection and color theory.
  • Design duties entail graphics, web design, branding, sourcing, ordering and screen-printing

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Top 10 Best States for Head Designers

  1. California
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Washington
  5. New York
  6. Virginia
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Oregon
  9. Connecticut
  10. New Jersey
  • (1,754 jobs)
  • (116 jobs)
  • (266 jobs)
  • (283 jobs)
  • (1,014 jobs)
  • (338 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (129 jobs)
  • (73 jobs)
  • (223 jobs)

Top Head Designer Employers

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Jobs From Top Head Designer Employers

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