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A senior graphic designer oversees all of the designing operations in a company, from conceptualization to production. One of their primary responsibilities is to ensure that all designs produced are according to a client's preference and brand. They also encourage fresh ideas from the team, communicate with clients or representatives, and manage the schedules to meet all deadlines. Furthermore, as a senior graphic designer, they are responsible for leading and mentoring a team of graphic designers, all in the joint effort to reach project goals.

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Senior Graphic Designer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real senior graphic designer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Design and administrate the church website within a CMS environment while managing other content editors and designers on staff.
  • Confer with clients to discuss and determine layout designs, fostering positive relationships that lead to enhance business development opportunities.
  • Used ASP.net, XML/XSLT and JavaScript (JQuery) to create content-driven SharePoint sites.
  • Develop new designs used to gain traffic and new followers to social media platforms such as Instagram & Facebook.
  • Produce and maintain sales literature, posters, trade show materials, print ads and marketing promotional materials for print media.
  • Collaborate on the complete redesign of all marketing collateral including brochures, qualification packages, proposals & presentations.
  • Design and execute production of marketing collateral; including annual catalogs, brochures, and a special contest information package
  • Develop specifications for: intranet, support website, and corporate website.
  • Develop curriculum and train marketing department on InDesign best practices and streamline processes.
  • Create content for social media marketing (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn).
  • Develop web banners and ads for advertising on Facebook, Google and other online advertising sites.
  • Design logos, advertisements, banners, and posters for clients supporting a wide spectrum of assignments.
  • Assist with new employee training including company policies, services and the use of mac computers and programs.
  • Used knowledge of CSS, XHTML and understanding of JavaScript, PHP and AJAX to interface closely with software developers.
  • Create designs for clients that include large and small banners, posters, vehicle wraps, or commercial business windows.

Senior Graphic Designer Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a Senior Graphic Designer is "should I become a Senior Graphic Designer?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, Senior Graphic Designer careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 3% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a Senior Graphic Designer by 2028 is 8,800.

On average, the Senior Graphic Designer annual salary is $69,057 per year, which translates to $33.2 an hour. Generally speaking, Senior Graphic Designers earn anywhere from $47,000 to $99,000 a year, which means that the top-earning Senior Graphic Designers make $52,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a Senior Graphic Designer, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a Designer/Art Director, Graphic Artist, Designer, and Production Designer.

Senior Graphic Designer Jobs You Might Like

12 Senior Graphic Designer Resume Examples

Senior Graphic Designer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 9% of Senior Graphic Designers are proficient in Adobe Creative Suite, Graphic Design, and Layout. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Artistic ability, and Communication skills.

We break down the percentage of Senior Graphic Designers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Adobe Creative Suite, 9%

    Utilize Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) on a daily basis for all graphic design and illustration projects.

  • Graphic Design, 9%

    Promoted to Senior Graphic Designer and given the sole responsibility of creating all pharmaceutical sales collateral for the pharmaceutical sales department.

  • Layout, 8%

    Conferred with clients to discuss and determine layout designs, fostering positive relationships that led to enhanced business development opportunities.

  • Creative Concepts, 6%

    Led the development and execution of creative concepts and style guidelines for interdepartmental educational materials and advertising and recruitment materials.

  • Company Website, 6%

    Created graphic material for the company website and advertisements for printed publications.

  • Html, 4%

    Streamlined production by engineering an interactive web program delivering complex HTML documents to non-HTML- competent staff.

Some of the skills we found on Senior Graphic Designer resumes included "Adobe Creative Suite," "Graphic Design," and "Layout." We have detailed the most important Senior Graphic Designer responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for a Senior Graphic Designer to have in this position are Analytical skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a Senior Graphic Designer resume, you'll understand why: "Graphic designers must be able to perceive their work from their consumers’ point of view to ensure that the designs convey the client’s message." According to resumes we found, Analytical skills can be used by a Senior Graphic Designer in order to "Provided imaging editing in Photoshop, optimized layout in InDesign and designed materials in PowerPoint with variable data fields. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many Senior Graphic Designer duties rely on Artistic ability. This example from a Senior Graphic Designer explains why: "Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers." This resume example is just one of many ways Senior Graphic Designers are able to utilize Artistic ability: "Supervised the production of effective TV commercials, and coordinated the artistic direction of photo shoots. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among Senior Graphic Designers is Communication skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a Senior Graphic Designer resume: "Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately and effectively convey information." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "Provided layout and design for corporate identity collateral and internal corporate communications across all media, including video. "
  • In order for certain Senior Graphic Designer responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "Computer skills." According to a Senior Graphic Designer resume, "Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "Generated computer graphics and page-layout software, graphic elements and photography. "
  • Another common skill for a Senior Graphic Designer to be able to utilize is "Creativity." Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers a Senior Graphic Designer demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "Demonstrated creativity and originality with a strong visual sense in layout, design and typography. "
  • While "Time-management skills" is listed last on this skills list, don't underestimate its importance to Senior Graphic Designer responsibilities. The skill is described by this resume snippet, "Graphic designers often work simultaneously on multiple projects, each with a different deadline." Here is an example of how this skill is used, "Worked closely with writers, editors, illustrators and photographers to determine content and layout of magazine pages on deadline. "
  • See the full list of Senior Graphic Designer skills.

    We've found that 72.5% of Senior Graphic Designers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 4.1% earned their master's degrees before becoming a Senior Graphic Designer. While it's true that most Senior Graphic Designers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every eight Senior Graphic Designers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those Senior Graphic Designers who do attend college, typically earn either a Graphic Design degree or a Fine Arts degree. Less commonly earned degrees for Senior Graphic Designers include a Design And Visual Communication degree or a Communication degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a Senior Graphic Designer. We've found that most Senior Graphic Designer resumes include experience from CDM Smith, Cushman & Wakefield, and CBRE Group. Of recent, CDM Smith had 26 positions open for Senior Graphic Designers. Meanwhile, there are 20 job openings at Cushman & Wakefield and 18 at CBRE Group.

    Since salary is important to some Senior Graphic Designers, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Activision Blizzard, Shopkick, and Nuance Communications. If you were to take a closer look at Activision Blizzard, you'd find that the average Senior Graphic Designer salary is $114,437. Then at Shopkick, Senior Graphic Designers receive an average salary of $114,019, while the salary at Nuance Communications is $112,931.

    View more details on Senior Graphic Designer salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire Senior Graphic Designers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Aquent, Graphic Design, and Fastsigns International.

    The industries that Senior Graphic Designers fulfill the most roles in are the Technology and Retail industries. But the highest Senior Graphic Designer annual salary is in the Technology industry, averaging $78,396. In the Media industry they make $78,292 and average about $76,762 in the Retail industry. In conclusion, Senior Graphic Designers who work in the Technology industry earn a 12.6% higher salary than Senior Graphic Designers in the Professional industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious senior graphic designers are:

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    What Designer/Art Directors Do

    An art director collaborates with the design and art staff for books, public relations firms, advertising agencies, or newspaper publishers. Art directors create designs and layouts that embody the organization and send the message they want the audience to get. They work with producers and directors of theatres, television, and movie productions to oversee set designs. Being an art director also includes critiquing people's work, working to reach deadlines while still following the budget allocated for a certain project, and (on occasion) disciplining designers who are slacking off on the job.

    We looked at the average Senior Graphic Designer annual salary and compared it with the average of a Designer/Art Director. Generally speaking, Designer/Art Directors receive $14,700 higher pay than Senior Graphic Designers per year.

    Even though Senior Graphic Designers and Designer/Art Directors have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require Adobe Creative Suite, Graphic Design, and Layout in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a Senior Graphic Designer responsibilities require skills like "Project Management," "Design Solutions," "Indesign," and "Internal Clients." Meanwhile a typical Designer/Art Director has skills in areas such as "Production Artists," "Product Design," "Design Projects," and "Multimedia." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    The education levels that Designer/Art Directors earn is a bit different than that of Senior Graphic Designers. In particular, Designer/Art Directors are 2.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a Senior Graphic Designer. Additionally, they're 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Graphic Artist?

    A graphic artist is either an illustrator or an animator who creates art work that will be used in graphic projects such as advertisements, posters, or even book covers. Although a graphic artist has his/her own style of artwork, he/she may be often commissioned to create art specifically for a particular project. A graphic artist may work with a graphic designer in order to convey the overall message of a project. The portfolio of a graphic artist includes cartoons, illustrations, and graphic novels.

    Next up, we have the Graphic Artist profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a Senior Graphic Designer annual salary. In fact, Graphic Artists salary difference is $6,321 lower than the salary of Senior Graphic Designers per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both Senior Graphic Designers and Graphic Artists are known to have skills such as "Adobe Creative Suite," "Graphic Design," and "Layout. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real Senior Graphic Designer resumes. While Senior Graphic Designer responsibilities can utilize skills like "Creative Concepts," "Project Management," "Design Solutions," and "Creative Solutions," some Graphic Artists use skills like "Posters," "Sample Layouts," "PC," and "Desktop."

    Graphic Artists may earn a lower salary than Senior Graphic Designers, but Graphic Artists earn the most pay in the Technology industry with an average salary of $84,010. On the other side of things, Senior Graphic Designers receive higher paychecks in the Technology industry where they earn an average of $78,396.

    In general, Graphic Artists study at similar levels of education than Senior Graphic Designers. They're 0.9% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Designer Compares

    A designer is someone who creates a master plan of the look or workings of something before it will be made. It could be tangible or intangible objects, products, procedures, laws, events, games, graphics, services, and even experiences. Designers are creative thinkers with a great eye to configure the skeletal and structural properties of the targeted output. They work in several fields, such as fashion, architecture, web graphics, and user experience. In spite of the variety of professionals in the design industry, all of them are artistic, passionate, inspiring, and emotionally connected to their projects and brands.

    The Designer profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of Senior Graphic Designers. The difference in salaries is Designers making $1,646 higher than Senior Graphic Designers.

    By looking over several Senior Graphic Designers and Designers resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "Adobe Creative Suite," "Graphic Design," and "Layout." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from Senior Graphic Designers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "Creative Concepts," "Company Website," "Brochures," and "Marketing Collateral." But a Designer might have skills like "Customer Service," "Revit," "Construction Documents," and "Design Projects."

    Interestingly enough, Designers earn the most pay in the Technology industry, where they command an average salary of $83,665. As mentioned previously, Senior Graphic Designers highest annual salary comes from the Technology industry with an average salary of $78,396.

    Designers are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to Senior Graphic Designers. Additionally, they're 2.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Production Designer

    A production designer is responsible for monitoring the visual presentation of a media or theatre production, ensuring the set's adherence to the theme, and presenting visual elements according to the production requirements. Production designers research the current industry trends for creative ideas that would attract the audience, creating outstanding visual pictures throughout the production. In most cases, production designers also operate software systems and tools to suggest graphic effects and support the artistic team for deliverables. A production designer develops all visual plans within the budget goals and discusses adjustments to the production management team as needed.

    Production Designers tend to earn a lower pay than Senior Graphic Designers by about $12,075 per year.

    While both Senior Graphic Designers and Production Designers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like Adobe Creative Suite, Graphic Design, and Layout, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "Company Website," "Brochures," "Photography," and "Design Solutions," which might show up on a Senior Graphic Designer resume. Whereas Production Designer might include skills like "Online," "High Volume," "Production Design," and "Digital Assets."

    Production Designers earn a higher salary in the Internet industry with an average of $85,392. Whereas, Senior Graphic Designers earn the highest salary in the Technology industry.

    The average resume of Production Designers showed that they earn similar levels of education to Senior Graphic Designers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 1.1% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.1%.

    What a Senior Graphic Designer Does FAQs

    How much does a senior graphic designer charge per hour?

    A senior graphic designer will charge about $50 an hour, on average. This means the average salary for freelance senior graphic designers is around $100,000 in a year.

    However, it can be difficult to estimate salaries for freelance or crowdsource senior graphic designers because they get paid job to job rather than a set salary. There are many variables, such as time input versus output and opportunity.

    Is graphic design a dying career?

    No, graphic design is not a dying career. However, it is a rapidly changing industry that will require significant upskilling to keep up with the changes.

    The biggest area of growth in graphic design is in digital graphic design. As businesses transition from print advertising and publishing to digital and online marketing, this will increase.

    What can I do after being a senior graphic designer?

    There are many roles a person can move into after being a senior graphic designer, including the art director and UX designer.

    Since graphic design is a rapidly changing industry, there are numerous opportunities for graphic designers to pivot in their careers, but this does require significant upskilling to keep up with the changes.

    What do you need to be a senior designer?

    You need the right educational background, extensive work portfolio, and several years of work experience to become a senior designer.

    Most senior designers have a bachelor's degree and design or related fields. From there, prospective senior designers will need to put in at least five to eight years working as a designer. Usually, this is the time it takes to advance from a junior designer position into a mid-level designer and finally to a senior designer position.

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