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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Multimedia Designer
Top Careers After Multimedia Designer
Hispanic or Latino11.3%
Black or African American0.4%
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Savannah College of Art and Design11.9%
New York University7.7%
Rochester Institute of Technology6.5%
George Mason University6.5%
Art Institute of Pittsburgh6.5%
Virginia Commonwealth University6.0%
Full Sail University6.0%
University of Texas at Austin6.0%
University of Phoenix4.8%
Academy of Art University4.2%
Art Institute of Philadelphia4.2%
University of the Arts3.6%
School of Visual Arts3.0%
Middle Tennessee State University3.0%
Miami International University of Art and Design3.0%
Carnegie Mellon University3.0%
San Diego State University3.0%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Multimedia Audio Designer||Valve Corporation||Bellevue, WA||Aug 25, 2016||$115,000 -
|Multimedia Audio Designer||Valve Corporation||Bellevue, WA||Aug 20, 2015||$115,000 -
|Senior Multimedia Designer||Sandisk Corporation||Milpitas, CA||Oct 13, 2016||$89,300 -
|Multimedia Designer/Animator||Buck Design, Inc.||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2014||$80,000|
|Multimedia Designer||Glow Interactive, Inc.||New York, NY||Oct 19, 2014||$80,000 -
|Multimedia Designer||Creative Presentation Resources, LLC||San Francisco, CA||Mar 01, 2014||$79,000|
|Multimedia Designer||Blind Visual Propaganda, Inc.||Santa Monica, CA||Dec 09, 2016||$75,000|
|Senior Multimedia Designer||Neowiz Entertainment, Inc.||Irvine, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$70,000|
|Multimedia Designer||DVR Softek Inc.||San Jose, CA||Oct 05, 2011||$70,000|
|Multimedia Designer||DVR Softek Inc.||Brisbane, CA||May 10, 2011||$70,000|
|Graphic & Multimedia Designer||Total Media USA, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Feb 18, 2013||$70,000|
|Multimedia Designer||Painting In Pictures LLC||Los Angeles, CA||Sep 10, 2014||$58,436|
|Multimedia Designer||Creative Presentation Resources, LLC||San Francisco, CA||Mar 01, 2011||$58,000|
|Multimedia Designer||Nousdecor Inc.||San Mateo, CA||Sep 26, 2015||$57,100|
|Multimedia Designer (Multimedia Artist)||Solar Jet Productions, LLC||New York, NY||Feb 01, 2012||$56,763|
|Multimedia Designer (Multimedia Artist)||Solar Jet Productions, LLC||New York, NY||Dec 15, 2011||$56,763|
|Multimedia Designer||J3T, Inc.||Palo Alto, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$55,973|
|Multimedia Designer||University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||Jan 20, 2013||$50,165|
|Multimedia Designer||Global Communication Group, Inc.||Rosemead, CA||Sep 04, 2015||$50,025|
|Multimedia Designer Animator||Buck Design, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Jan 09, 2016||$50,000|
|Web-Multimedia Designer||Cleveland Medical Devices, Inc.||Cleveland, OH||Oct 01, 2011||$50,000|
|Multimedia Designer||Davis ELEN Advertising, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Sep 18, 2014||$50,000 -
|Multimedia Designer Animator||Buck Design, Inc.||New York, NY||Jan 09, 2016||$50,000|
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