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Become A Senior Graphic Designer

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Working As A Senior Graphic Designer

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $66,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Graphic 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 Senior Graphic 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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Senior Graphic Designer Jobs

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Senior Graphic Designer Career Paths

Senior Graphic Designer
Art Director Creative Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Art Director Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Project Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Office Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Account Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Web Designer Senior User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Web Designer Senior User Experience Designer User Experience Manager
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Creative Services Manager Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Shipping Supervisor Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Content Strategist Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Design Manager Engineering Manager Product Development Manager
Product Design Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Creative Services Manager Marketing Communications Manager Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Creative Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing And Design Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Design Manager
Creative Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Graphic Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Graphic Designer 3.1 years
Creative Designer 2.9 years
Marketing Designer 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Senior Graphic Designer
Art Director 12.4%
Designer 2.6%
Internship 2.0%
Artist 1.2%
Top Careers After Senior Graphic Designer
Art Director 17.6%
Owner 2.8%
Designer 2.2%

Do you work as a Senior Graphic Designer?

Senior Graphic Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

48.9%

Female

43.9%

Unknown

7.2%
Ethnicity

White

58.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

9.7%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.4%

French

10.0%

Chinese

7.2%

Portuguese

5.0%

Korean

4.3%

Mandarin

3.2%

German

3.2%

Italian

2.9%

Arabic

2.5%

Russian

2.2%

Japanese

1.8%

Swedish

1.4%

Turkish

1.4%

Cantonese

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Armenian

1.1%

Hebrew

1.1%

Danish

0.7%

Norwegian

0.7%

Estonian

0.4%
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Senior Graphic Designer Education

Schools

School of Visual Arts

8.6%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

8.4%

Savannah College of Art and Design

8.2%

Fashion Institute of Technology

6.9%

Academy of Art University

6.3%

Art Institute of Houston

5.0%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.0%

Art Institute of Philadelphia

4.8%

Pratt Institute-Main

4.6%

Art Institute of California - Inland

4.5%

Full Sail University

4.3%

Parsons the New School for Design

4.2%

Art Institute of Atlanta

4.0%

Columbia College Chicago

3.9%

California State University - Fullerton

3.8%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.8%

Art Center College of Design

3.7%

San Jose State University

3.5%

Columbus College of Art and Design

3.2%

Rhode Island School of Design

3.2%
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Majors

Graphic Design

55.7%

Fine Arts

9.5%

Design And Visual Communication

9.0%

Computer Applications

4.6%

Communication

2.7%

Marketing

2.4%

Graphic Communications

2.2%

Business

2.1%

Advertising

1.5%

Photography

1.4%

Computer Science

1.4%

Computer Information Systems

1.2%

Animation

1.1%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.0%

Education

1.0%

Management

0.7%

Liberal Arts

0.7%

English

0.6%

Journalism

0.6%

Entertainment Business

0.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

57.6%

Other

14.7%

Associate

12.7%

Masters

8.2%

Certificate

5.3%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.1%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$66,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$41,000
Min 10%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Reebok International
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.8 years
How much does a Senior Graphic Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Graphic Designer in the United States is $66,253 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $41,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $105,000.

Real Senior Graphic Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Graphic Designer (Global Design) Uniqlo Global Innovation Center, Inc. New York, NY Aug 02, 2016 $140,000
Senior Graphic Designer Collins Partners LLC New York, NY Oct 19, 2015 $135,000
Senior Graphic Designer Open-Mesh, Inc. Lake Oswego, OR Sep 01, 2015 $125,000
Senior Graphic Designer Open-Mesh, Inc. Lake Oswego, OR Aug 01, 2015 $113,850
Senior Graphic Designer Quirky, Inc. New York, NY Feb 27, 2015 $102,149
Senior Graphic Designer (UX Designer) Kidaptive, Inc. Mountain View, CA Feb 15, 2016 $100,000
Senior Graphic Designer Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Oct 14, 2015 $100,000 -
$150,000
Senior Graphic Designer GLU Mobile Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 09, 2016 $98,200
Senior Graphic Designer GLU Mobile Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 24, 2016 $98,200
SR. Graphic Designer Bath & Body Works, LLC Reynoldsburg, OH May 25, 2016 $96,800
Senior Graphic Designer Direct Agents New York, NY Aug 08, 2016 $96,637
Senior Visual Designer/Graphic Designer 24 Seven, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Nov 14, 2016 $93,915
Senior Graphic Designer MRY Us, LLC. New York, NY Jan 22, 2016 $90,000
Senior Graphic Designer The Realreal, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 30, 2016 $90,000
Senior Graphic Designer The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, NY Mar 16, 2015 $78,300 -
$83,300
Senior Graphic Designer Three Brothers Accessories, Inc. New York, NY Aug 29, 2016 $78,300
SR. Graphic Designer Enchante Accessories, Inc. New York, NY Aug 28, 2015 $78,291
Senior Graphic Designer Camp Profiles LLC Brookline, MA Jul 01, 2015 $77,000
Senior Graphics Designer Camp Profiles LLC Brookline, MA Jul 01, 2015 $77,000
Senior Graphic Designer Solblanc Inc. New York, NY Apr 09, 2015 $76,170
Senior Graphic Designer HNTB Corporation Kansas City, MO Dec 04, 2015 $66,227
Senior Manager Jc45-Graphic Designers Cognizant Technology Solutions U.S. Corporation Bloomington, MN Dec 17, 2016 $65,874
Senior Graphic Designer Three Brother's Accessories, Inc. New York, NY Aug 17, 2015 $65,000
Senior Graphic Designer Three Brothers Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $65,000
Senior Graphic Designer Newman Moran LLC (D.B.A Co-Op Branding) New York, NY Sep 13, 2015 $65,000
Senior Graphic Designer Global Enterprise Technologies Corp. Waltham, MA Oct 14, 2015 $65,000
Senior Graphic Designer Idea Design Concepts, Inc. Hackensack, NJ Mar 17, 2015 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Graphic Designer

  1. Company Website
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Graphic Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Redesigned and managed company website to maintain consistency with company branding.
  • Design all marketing pieces and web images using Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator & InDesign.
  • Managed, collaborated and encouraged graphic designers.
  • Produced captivating brochures, packages and compelling advertising campaigns.
  • Coordinated monthly catalog photo shoot by scheduling photographer/models, providing visual art direction and product styling.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Graphic Designers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New York
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Washington
  5. California
  6. Virginia
  7. Ohio
  8. Oregon
  9. Connecticut
  10. Rhode Island
  • (119 jobs)
  • (904 jobs)
  • (248 jobs)
  • (247 jobs)
  • (1,329 jobs)
  • (341 jobs)
  • (162 jobs)
  • (131 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)

Top Senior Graphic Designer Employers

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