Graphic Designer Careers

How to become graphic designer

What does a graphic designer do?

Graphic designers produce mainly 2D (two-dimensional) designs for a variety of purposes, including advertising, logos, posters, signs, labels, television graphics, websites, book covers and magazines. Some also produce 3D (three dimensional) designs for packaging, exhibitions and displays.

Working from a brief supplied by the client, senior designer or account executive, the graphic designer will choose the right medium and style to suit the product, keeping within budgetary constraints and time limits. Rough sketches or visuals of the design are prepared and presented to the client for approval.

Once the final design is approved, detailed instructions are produced, including specifications for typefaces, sizes and colours for printing.

What's the working environment like for graphic designers?

Designers normally work from 9am - 5pm, but may have to work longer hours to meet deadlines. Part-time work is sometimes possible.

Graphic designers are usually based in a studio or office, but may spend some time visiting clients and printers.

What does it take to become a graphic designer?

Graphic designers should:

  • be creative and imaginative

  • be skilled at using computer design packages

  • have drawing ability

  • have knowledge of printing techniques and photography

  • be able to manage time well, meet deadlines and work within a budget

  • have excellent communication skills

  • be able to take criticism.


Graphic designer career opportunities

Employers include advertising agencies, design agencies, multimedia production companies, publishers, local government, charities, commerce and industry. Although there is a constant demand for graphic designers, those with experience and advanced skills are more likely to find employment. Medium to large- sized agencies offer more opportunities for promotion. Career advancement usually rests on moving from job to job to gain wider experience.

Self-employment is common and is increasing. There are also opportunities to work part-time or from home.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about becoming a graphic designer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Chartered Society of Designers
Bermondsey Exchange
179-181 Bermondsey Street
Tel: 020 7357 8088

The Design Council
34 Bow Street
Tel: 020 7420 5200

Design Trust

Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444

Creative and Cultural Skills
11 Southwark St

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