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Become A Lead Designer

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Working As A Lead Designer

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $102,145

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead 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 Lead 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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Lead Designer Jobs

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Lead Designer Career Paths

Lead Designer
Design Editor Senior Editor Senior Copywriter
Brand Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Design Manager Design Director Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Instructor Editor
Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Graphic Design Consultant Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Art Director Contract Graphic Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Creative Director Marketing Communications Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Design Manager Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Design Director Production Director Freelance Producer
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Marketing Consultant
Head Of Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Architect Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Art Director Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Director Video Editor
Media Director
5 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Design Manager Project Manager/Design Manager
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Product Development Engineer Product Developer
Senior Product Developer
8 Yearsyrs
Creative Director User Experience Designer User Experience Architect
User Experience Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Technical Writer Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Lead Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Designer 4.6 years
Senior Designer 4.1 years
Software Designer 3.1 years
Designer 3.0 years
Lead Designer 3.0 years
Contract Designer 2.4 years
Lead Web Designer 2.3 years
Lead Game Designer 2.1 years
Junior Designer 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Designer 20.2%
Internship 6.0%
Draftsman 3.3%
Consultant 2.6%
Top Employers After
Designer 12.9%
Owner 4.3%
Consultant 3.6%
Manager 3.2%

Do you work as a Lead Designer?

Lead Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

71.7%

Female

25.8%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

59.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Asian

11.9%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.3%

French

10.1%

Japanese

6.3%

Mandarin

5.0%

Portuguese

5.0%

Carrier

4.4%

Chinese

3.8%

German

3.8%

Russian

3.1%

Italian

3.1%

Hindi

2.5%

Cantonese

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Dutch

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Greek

1.3%

Latvian

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Gujarati

0.6%

Hokkien

0.6%
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Lead Designer Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

10.7%

Purdue University

7.1%

University of Houston

6.8%

Arizona State University

5.6%

University of Phoenix

5.6%

Fashion Institute of Technology

5.4%

Full Sail University

5.1%

Syracuse University

4.9%

Macomb Community College

4.9%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.9%

University of Texas at Austin

4.6%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.1%

San Jose State University

4.1%

Drexel University

4.1%

University of Arizona

4.1%

Academy of Art University

3.9%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.6%

Iowa State University

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.4%

Houston Community College

3.4%
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Majors

Graphic Design

23.4%

Mechanical Engineering

10.3%

Business

8.7%

Drafting And Design

8.2%

Electrical Engineering

6.4%

Fine Arts

6.0%

Computer Science

5.6%

Interior Design

3.6%

Architecture

3.5%

Design And Visual Communication

3.3%

Computer Applications

3.1%

Engineering

2.7%

Communication

2.6%

Marketing

2.2%

Computer Engineering

1.9%

Animation

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%

Management

1.6%

Civil Engineering

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.7%

Other

20.1%

Masters

16.2%

Associate

11.5%

Certificate

3.5%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Lead Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Design Planning Lead Jpmorgan Chase & Co. San Francisco, CA Jul 21, 2014 $190,000
Lead E & I (Electrical & Instrumentation) Pdms Designer Orion Project Services LLC New Orleans, LA May 01, 2015 $187,200
Lead E & I (Electrical & Instrumentation) Pdms Designer Orion Project Services LLC New Orleans, LA Mar 02, 2015 $187,200
Lead Designer Tesla Motors, Inc. Hawthorne, CA Nov 21, 2016 $180,000 -
$190,000
Lead Designer 72Andsunny Partners LLC Los Angeles, CA May 01, 2013 $180,000
Lead Designer 72Andsunny Partners LLC Los Angeles, CA Apr 01, 2013 $175,000
Lead Designer 72Andsunny Partners LLC Vista, CA Apr 07, 2014 $165,000
Lead Designer Vector Engineering, Inc. Greenwood Village, CO Jan 20, 2014 $159,930 -
$177,700
Lead Designer Byte Inc. New York, NY Feb 11, 2015 $155,000
Lead Designer Faraday&Future Inc. Gardena, CA Jul 09, 2016 $150,000 -
$160,000
Lead Designer (Mobile and Related Platforms) Work DPD Inc. New York, NY Sep 23, 2013 $150,000
Lead Designer Faraday & Future Inc. Gardena, CA May 10, 2015 $150,000 -
$160,000
Lead Designer (Mobile and Related Platforms_ Work DPD, Inc. New York, NY Apr 15, 2013 $150,000
Lead Designer-Exterior Calty Design Research, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI Sep 08, 2016 $119,848
Lead Designer Globallogic, Inc. San Jose, CA Jan 08, 2016 $117,388 -
$127,388
Tibco Lead Designer John Hancock Life Insurance Company (USA) Boston, MA Jul 18, 2016 $117,000
Industrial Design Lead ZOOX, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jan 08, 2016 $117,000
Lead Solution Designer Amdocs Inc. Richardson, TX Jan 07, 2016 $116,000
Lead Designer General Motors Company Warren, MI Jan 02, 2013 $115,000
Lead Designer General Motors Company Warren, MI Sep 08, 2016 $115,000
Systems Design Lead Agilent Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 06, 2015 $113,628
Daytona Design Leader Cummins Emission Solutions Inc. Columbus, IN Mar 26, 2015 $100,500 -
$120,900
Design Lead Final Mile Consulting LLC New York, NY Sep 17, 2016 $100,000
Design Lead Final Mile Consulting LLC New York, NY Dec 09, 2016 $100,000
Design Lead Final Mile Consulting LLC Chicago, IL Dec 09, 2016 $100,000
Sfdc Lead Solution Designer Tata Consultancy Services Limited Philadelphia, PA Apr 09, 2015 $100,000
Lead Applications Designer GE Medical Systems, LLC Waukesha, WI Sep 04, 2014 $100,000 -
$110,000

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Top Skills for A Lead Designer

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  1. Web Design
  2. Product Design
  3. Product Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed brand strategy and web design architecture.
  • Coordinated all aspects of production, including selection of manufacturing methods, fabrication and operation of product designs.
  • Represented design organization in role of core team representative for new product development team for ongoing developments.
  • Lead Ad Designer Computer and mechanical layout Typesetting
  • Result: Saved $500K and consolidated 6 independent departmental customer service organizations.

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Designers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. California
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Virginia
  5. Oregon
  6. Connecticut
  7. Michigan
  8. Georgia
  9. Alaska
  10. New Jersey
  • (130 jobs)
  • (1,798 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (379 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)
  • (81 jobs)
  • (183 jobs)
  • (489 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (218 jobs)

Top Lead Designer Employers

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Jobs From Top Lead Designer Employers

Lead Designer Videos

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