Graphic design has been a part of human expression for centuries; From the first person who made some kind of drawing on a rock wall or cave wall, graphic design has been instrumental in conveying ideas to others through visual representation. Today, designers are responsible for bringing together text, images, and concepts across a variety of media, typically advertisements, websites, and publications.
Many graphic designers begin working as assistants or apprentices, learning essentials on the job, such as creating drop-shipping designs and making logos. Although many works for a wide range of companies, many also work as freelancers and entrepreneurs. It is important to stay flexible, keep learning and expanding; The demand for good graphic designers is always on the rise, and by keeping your skills fresh and up-to-date, you can keep up with what an employer needs.
The most critical skills that a good graphic design professional has, in addition to a “keen eye” for what is visually effective and appealing, is good communication and interpersonal skills. Graphic designers often need to make presentations for their clients; These presentations should illustrate a deep understanding of the design, why particular elements were chosen, and why the design is effective.
A good education from a school or university, with a foundation formed at the high school level, is also recommended. Interest in a graphic design career can be piqued through a high school or college internship, where the prospective graphic designer can be mentored by a more experienced one. Graphic design students can earn credits for their educational careers, as well as valuable insights and perspectives.
Training to become a graphic designer can be accomplished at a variety of schools and universities, many of them online. Associate’s and bachelor’s degrees can be earned in a wide variety of fields, such as digital multimedia, web design, and art and advertising, and can be completed in two years, allowing quick entry into the graphic design work as an assistant.
Going on to receive additional training at a four-year university will help you become more marketable, and these schools can often help you find employment or at least provide you with a fruitful networking environment. Another critical piece of the career puzzle is your portfolio; This collection of pieces of your original work allows employers to see your best efforts. The school you choose can often instruct you on building an effective portfolio. It is recommended that you continue to add to your portfolio as you gain experience to keep it relevant.
Expect to work at least three years as a graphic designer before moving up the corporate ladder; According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasoned graphic designers can advance to positions such as a chief designer or art or creative director.
And it will be a while before you can splurge on a vacation, too: In May 2008, the median salary for graphic designers was $42,400, and just $35,000 for beginning designers, according to the American Institute of Graphic Arts. If you are on the ground floor or have just finished graphic design school, the best cities to work as a graphic designer are New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Even with the growing demand for good graphic designers, the competition is still fierce, but with the right preparation and skills, it’s a career worth investing in.
If there is one thing that a large number of entrepreneurs and sole proprietors seem to know, it is graphic design. Norfolk has a large number of graphic designers, and yet several companies still seem to think that graphic design is little more than making something look good by adding some colors, maybe a border, maybe an image (hey, why not Just insert some Clip Art?) and then Robert is your mother’s brother, you are a graphic designer!
Who should pay those expensive studios for providing unnecessary graphic design? Norwich has several graphic studios of varying skill and experience, and even this shows that there are many people so sure of the idea of graphic design, and the fact that it seems so easy that anyone can do it, that almost everyone is doing it. That, with studies being created by people with little experience other than a quick trip to PC World, a quick installation of a graphics program, and ordering a few business cards.
So if graphic design isn’t as easy as some people seem to assume, what are so many people missing? Many companies seem to overlook the need for professional graphic design, thinking that by doing everything in-house, they are demonstrating a remarkable ability to adapt to any marketing need while saving a ton of money.
But what is it that they are overlooking?
The fact is that graphic design is an incredibly diverse business that covers just about every imaginable aspect of a business’s marketing and communications.
To begin, let’s take a simple example and see how some companies approach the challenge and how a graphic designer might approach it. Let’s say you’re putting together a brochure and you’re planning the cover. It should have a title at the top of the first page, so write something short and catchy.
You feel like it should be very clear, so you write it in capital letters. Then you put it in bold and perhaps think about the contrast of the color of the writing with the color of the background. Then you start thinking about the rest of the brochure cover. Maybe a large image and maybe a few overlapping images or notable words or prices?
This may sound very familiar to you. Certainly, those schoolchildren tasked with creating a brochure before their biology class with Mr. Perkins will find it very familiar. Sadly, it won’t accomplish much.
Far from attracting sales and enhancing the image of the company, it is more likely to give a very amateur impression to an increasingly demanding and more skeptical audience.
So how would a graphic designer approach it differently? They almost certainly wouldn’t even begin the design process until they had explored the business itself, appreciating what its values are, its goals, what makes it different from other businesses, which is its target audience, why are they trying to reach that audience and what they are trying to achieve by using the brochure.
Simply having a “drive sales” goal is invariably not a good thing. To be successful, it is important to have a very specific goal in mind. The more specific the goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. It’s a bit like shooting an arrow with a bow. Without a target to aim for, your arrow could really go anywhere. Maybe hit a tree. Maybe that’s a good thing; maybe it’s not.
But with a goal to aim for, you may not get it the first time, but with practice, dedication, research, and preparation, you will get very close. This is why a graphic designer values research and understanding first. Then they will take all the assumptions you made and every oversight and think about it carefully.