How To Get A Job As A Graphic Designer

Graphic Designers, also called Graphic Artists, use their skill and knowledge to create eye-catching visual images, which communicate a message.  Graphic Designers produce work for television, publishers, movies, brochures, and billboards.  Their work also be seen on web pages, business stationary, corporate logos, banners, packaging, signs, and in newspapers and fliers.

Although some Graphic Designers work for design studios and advertising companies, many are self-employed.  Those that are self-employed must do their own advertising, keep their own records and maintain a business-like space in which to meet clients.

Graphic Designers sometimes work a regular forty hour week, and also must sometimes, as work demands, work overtime, evenings, weekends, and holidays.

There is a demand for skilled Graphic Designers, but competition in this field is keen, so those who hope to succeed must get the best education they can afford.

To be successful Graphic Designers must be good listeners, artistic, creative, observant, dedicated, determined, persuasive, and self-disciplined.  They must have excellent communication skills, and good organizational skills, along with the ability to work well under pressure.  They must have good time management skills in order to meet deadlines.  Both verbal and writing skills are essential.  Graphic Designers must be hard workers, and enjoy a challenge.  They must be comfortable working with a wide variety of individuals, and be confident in their abilities.

Graphic Designers meet personally with clients to determine their needs, how they want the work to appear, and the message they want it to convey.  Deadlines will be set up.  If the Graphic Designer is self employed, costs will be discussed and settled.  The Designer will draw up a manual or computer-generated proposal, including the graphics, fonts, and colors that he hopes will please the client.  They may include photography, animation, or verbal messages, whatever is needed to capture the audience, and lead it to wherever the client wishes.  After the initial proposal is reworked as necessary, and finally accepted, the Designer will complete the project.

Education

If you are still in high school, and would like to become a Graphic Designer, take courses in English, mathematics, a second language, and all available in art, and computers.  Take time to practice sketching, drawing, and painting.

Learn the basics of as many of the relevant software programs as you can.  Begin to develop your own style and concentrate on the programs that best suits you as an individual.  New programs are appearing constantly so keep abreast of the latest trends.

Start building a portfolio.  Offer your services free to some non-profit organizations, and places like your school or church.  When you apply for work, your portfolio should only contain your best work, so it will no doubt change as your skill develops.  Always remember quality over quantity.

Read books on graphic design.  Study the work of successful designers, and ascertain what makes their work successful.

Arrange, through your school councilor to ‘shadow’ a professional designer for a day or two.  Watch, ask questions, and learn what the business is really like.

Once you have your high school diploma, you will need to get some formal training.  There are some Graphic Designers who have little or no formal training, but the trend is towards those who have.  An impressive portfolio, along with a degree, is more likely to land you a job than a portfolio alone.

You can get an associate’s degree or, preferably, a bachelors degree.  You may get a degree in fine arts or advertising, but make sure to include courses in graphic art, and computer graphics.  Get some training in business as well.  The most in-demand Graphic Designers are those that have learned animation, so make this a priority.

If you choose to attend a graphic design school, make sure it is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. http://nasad.arts-accredit.org/

If the program you attend offers a work-experience element, this is your opportunity to shine, and perhaps land a job when your graduate.  Irregardless, keep practicing and keep improving your portfolio.  Hard work and determination are the key to your success.