Career Outlook for Graphic Designers
According to reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) a graphic design career has a fantastic future potential for prospective students. Recent reports show that the BLS estimates a 13% growth in graphic design jobs through 2020. This percentage translates into over 37,000 new graphic design jobs in the next eight years. The future need for graphic designers, coupled with a median pay of $43,500 per year, is clear evidence of the strength of this job sector.
Specific Roles of Graphic Designers
Designers interested in a career in graphic design, should
- Branding Every corporation, organization, and institution is focused on its brand; a cohesive public presence that relays its aims, mission, and a specific feeling. Graphic designers work on all aspects of branding including logo design, a consistent color palette for all materials, and the related typography that will carry through all design elements. Branding is often much more than a single design; it reaches into a website, promotions and advertising, publications, signage, and all print materials.
- Publications Designers focus on the layout of publication materials to promote ease of reading, a succinct organizational structure, and the effective communication of ideas. It’s also important that a designer convey the voice and spirit of the publication and the client.
- Advertising and Promotions Although these are technically two different areas of expertise they often overlap in graphic design work. A designer may work to design packaging, giveaways, invitations, direct mail, product displays, signage, posters, or banners. The goal of advertising and promotional design work is to capture the attention of prospective customers and clients through engaging, vibrant, and meaningful design.
- Typography A graphic designer is often responsible for the creation of new fonts and specific type treatments. A designer may begin creating by hand and then digitizing for future use, or may create a completely digital design. Fonts are often associated directly with a brand, i.e. Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, or Harry Potter, and the aim of the graphic designer is to relate the spirit of the brand within the font.
- Informational Having great graphic design isn’t enough, a designer should also be focused on helping the client convey the message to its intended audience. Designers may work on websites, technical manuals, or charts and graphs that help a client provide clear and concise information to customers.
Work Environments for Graphic Designers
Since the nature of design work is so varied, there are many different avenues for you to put your new design skills to use. Many graphic designers are self-employed and work on a contract basis for individual clients. This type of work allows you complete control and freedom over the projects you select and the clients you work for. You would have the option to specialize in certain types of design and construct a professional portfolio that is geared toward your strengths. However, freelance work may be inconsistent and requires an energetic, self-promoting designer who is willing to sell himself to gain new clients and secure ongoing project work.
Other designers work for a corporation, organization, or institution as an in-house graphic designer. Working in-house often provides a designer the opportunity to work on many different types of design projects. Designers may work closely with a specific brand and interact with all aspects of its implementation including promotion and advertising design, websites, publication materials, and logo design. Working in-house provides a designer the stability of constant employment and consistent work but designers may feel less freedom to pursue their design passions.
Are you interested in a career in graphic design? How could choosing this career path have a positive impact on your future?