When listening to someone describe an experience they’ve had, does your brain automatically build a mental picture of the scenario? If visual thinking and creativity come naturally to you and you have a keen eye for layout and design coupled with a vivid imagination, a career in graphic design could be the perfect job for you!
See Also: How to Write a Cover Letter for a Graphic Design Job
Graphic design is a fascinating, dynamic and multi-faceted field.
From logo design, branding, advertisements and web design, every business and industry needs and makes use of a graphic designer at some point. A career in graphic design will, therefore, mean you will seldom be out of work as this type of skill is is unlikely to become redundant in the foreseeable future.
What does a graphic designer do?
In a nutshell, Graphic designers are visual communicators and visual problem-solvers. The graphic designer receives a brief from a client and interprets it in a visual way to communicate a message.
Once upon a time graphic design work was more limited, but the digital age has opened up so many more options. While some graphic designers dabble in many aspects of graphic design, to carve out a more successful career the best thing to do is specialise. Pick an area of graphic design that you really enjoy and become an expert in that area.
Illustrators create illustrations in 2D or 3D to present a story or idea. While illustrators can be found in many of the usual places other graphic designers work such as marketing and advertising, they are also used to provide illustrations for books and manuals, greeting cards, calendars, t-shirts and other promotional items. Artistic ability is required to be an illustrator.
2. Brand Identity Developer
One of the most crucial decisions a business makes is choosing their brand identity. The graphic designer works very closely with the client to create a visual identity that represents the company’s business. This includes logo design and applying a cohesive identity across all elements such as stationery, business cards, signage, marketing and branding materials.
3. Visual Journalist
Infographics, charts and maps are examples of what a visual journalist does. They take information and data and create visual representations of the information making it easier for an audience to view and comprehend. Visual journalists could find themselves employed in education and technical fields or working alongside scientists, mathematicians and statisticians.
4. Package Designer
Have you ever stopped to think about why it is you prefer one product over another? Sometimes it is a simple case of your eye visually prefers one design instead of the other. If the design of a product is what caused you to buy it, then the package designer has done a superb job.
Using both creative and technical expertise, a package designer will design and create practical, innovative and attractive packages for products or promotional and marketing items. Knowledge of 3D layout and CAD software is often required.
5. Broadcast Designer
The broadcast designer creates visual designs and electronic media used in television and motion picture productions. For instance, those graphics you see on your TV screen during a news broadcast were created by a broadcast designer. Knowledge in motion graphics, animation, digital media and interactive media is essential.
6. Multimedia Designer
Multimedia designers work across a variety of media (i.e. multiple types of media). This includes TV, videos, video games, motion pictures, interactive media, web, animation, audio and production of CDs and DVDs. The touch-screen information kiosk you find at a shopping mall – that’s an example of the work of a multimedia designer.
7. Web Designer
The terms web designer and web developer are often used interchangeably. This is not correct as the two roles differ and complement each other, working together to create stylish and attractive websites with fluid and easy functionality.
Web developers focus on the back-end and or front end programming and have advanced technical and coding knowledge.
More senior positions include:
8. Art Production Manager
Art production managers oversee and manage the production aspect of art generation with a focus on improving efficiency and cost effectiveness. They manage the production process by supervising artists, adhering to timeframes and deadlines and keeping the project within budget.
9. Art Director
The art director executes the concept and strategy provided by the creative director and oversees the direction of the visual elements of a project, working closely with the creative director, graphic designer /production artist and illustrator. The art director will give input into the concept and make the final decision on what artwork, design, style, colours and photographs to use.
10. Creative Director
The creative director oversees the team of ‘creatives’ that include the art director, graphic designers, copywriters, illustrators and photographers. Creative directors are knowledgeable about marketing and the psychology of advertising. Therefore, they play a crucial role in conceptualising a campaign. They drive the project from concept to final production. They also liaise with the client and make the final decision on what is presented to the client.