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Career Summary


Nature of the Work

Graphics Designers (Graphic Artists) plan, analyze, and create visual solutions to most effectively get the message across in print and electronic media by utilizing color, type, illustration, photography, animation, as well as various print and layout techniques. They create the overall layout and production design of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports, and other publications. They also produce promotional displays, packaging, and marketing brochures for products and services, design distinctive logos for products and businesses, and develop signs and signage systems (a.ka. environmental graphics) for business and government. A large number of graphic designers also develop material for Web pages, interactive media, multimedia projects, and sometimes produce the credits that appear before and after television programs and movies. The average annual wage for a graphic designer is $42,400.


Working Conditions

Working conditions and places of employment vary based on whether the graphic designer works for a company or is a freelancer. Graphics designers who are employed by a company usually work in a comfortable, well-lighted environment. Freelancers work on a contract/job basis and frequently adjust the work schedule to better suit their clients' schedule. Freelancers generally work longer hours in a smaller, more congested environment.



A bachelor's degree is normally required for entry-level and advanced positions in graphics design. Many colleges, universities, and private design schools offer fine arts and graphic design programs for a bachelor's degrees. Graphic Designers must also be able to keep up with new programs and technology they will utilize in their job. Postsecondary training is also important. It takes about 1-3 years before a beginning graphics designer can advance to higher positions.


Employment & Job Outlook

Most Graphic Designers work in specialized areas such as advertising or printing, while a small number also held jobs creating computer graphics for computer system design firms. In 2008, 286,100 jobs were held by graphic designers, and there is an expected 13% growth within the next 10 years. Web site design and animation is also expected to increase in demand over the next 10 years.


Information is from bls.gov

Copyright Shelby A. Lowe