Graphic Designer’s Job Description: What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

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what does a graphic designer do

For students interested in graphic design, nailing down a complete graphic designer job description means much more than graphic designer requirements skills and qualifications. A graphic designer’s job description also has to take into account just how complex the job is. For example, graphic designers are responsible for designing advertisements, annual reports, books, brochures, logos, magazines, web pages, and other communication materials depending on the company for which they’re working. The main reason is that a graphic designer’s goal is to develop visual communications that convey messages in an aesthetically pleasing and effective manner. Whether it’s done by hand the old-fashioned way, or with the most cutting-edge computer technology, a graphic designer’s job description rises and falls on communication.

What Does a Graphic Designer Do from Day to Day?

On a typical day, graphic designers will meet with clients, produce drafts, create designs, and review final products based on client specifications. Therefore, when you’re looking at a graphic designer job description, it’s critical you’re paying attention to the company’s requirements in addition to the training you already have in the field. For example, you already know what is a freelance graphic designer, and you’ll be selecting typesetting as well as colors. However, the company you’re working for may have additional job requirements necessary for your position.

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What this means is, even though the term graphic designer is a broad one, there are many different careers where it can have applications. For example, you may be working as a graphic designer for a book publisher or a website. As you can see, these are two very different careers. Therefore, the day-to-day duties for each will have many differences and similarities. While you’ll still be required to meet with clients and work toward achieving their goals, the scope of your work will have differences.

Whether you work for a distinguished agency or a freelance graphic designer working for yourself, the workplace will more than likely be characterized by flexible schedules within an unstructured environment. (A full pot of coffee running 24/7 is a plus.) Graphic designers tend to work independently; however specialists do on occasion collaborate ideas with co-workers or a team made up of copywriters, marketing managers, creative design specialists, packaging designers and material scientists, and programmers. The types of software programs most used by a graphic design specialist are InDesign, Creative Cloud, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Many designers work for advertising agencies, publishing companies, or printing businesses.

What are the Main Graphic Designer Qualifications?

When researching roles as a graphic designer, it isn’t uncommon to wonder about graphic designer qualifications and to look at freelance graphic designer websites for ideas and inspiration. Those who are new to the field may wonder, “what is a freelance graphic designer?” Those working as freelance graphic designers choose not to work in-house and instead have independent careers. Therefore, they need to set up freelance graphic designer websites showcasing their services, skills, and portfolios. These freelance graphic designer websites help answer the question, “what is a freelance graphic designer” in a comprehensive way because they show graphic designers how to showcase their best work, the importance of client recommendations, and why potential clients need to see professionalism.

Under most circumstances, no matter if you’re working with a company in-house or on a freelance basis, companies are looking for the same graphic designer qualifications. Therefore, it’s essential you have strong communication, time management, teamwork, and technical skills. Also, many companies look for graphic designer qualifications that include analytical skills, artistic ability, computer skills, and creativity. Adaptability is key, especially as technology infiltrates every occupational sector in the era of the Internet of Things. You’ll find that, when looking at one graphic job description to another, each will have a specific set of qualifications, skills, and requirements based on the company’s standards, goals, and objectives.

What Education Do I Need to Become a Graphic Designer?

The best option for a career path in Graphic Design is to receive a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. There are opportunities at some schools for an associate’s degree. Certificates are also available in graphic design as well. Community colleges or junior college schools may offer these degrees. However, the job growth is better for higher education students and those with more experience. The reason being is due to the slow growth rate of the field. However, the creative industry has shown some progression over the last few years.

The skills learned in graphic design degree programs are the ability to work with others, make presentations, pay attention to details, conduct research on art designs, and creative thinking. For those working towards a supervisory position, leadership, sales, and management skills will benefit the student as well. Verbal and communication skills are commonly required at most advertising firms or marketing corporations. A graduate of the BFA degree in Graphic Design should always have a portfolio handy of all updated work experience. Showing your work is the best way to make new clients and expand your business as a graphic designer.

What Industries Do Graphic Designers Most Commonly Work In?

You’ll find that graphic designer requirements skills translate to a variety of work environments and career prospects. These include advertising firms, as well as working in public relations. Some graphic designer requirements skills also translate into careers in communication departments in government agencies, colleges, businesses, non-profits, and other companies. It isn’t uncommon to find graphic designers working at magazine companies, for websites, book publishers, the packaging industry, in tech as user experience designers, and more.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the employment outlook for graphic designers is projected to experience a 4% growth between 2016 and 2026. The main reason is graphic artists will continue to be an essential part of the economy regarding marketing products. These statistics will vary according to industry, however. Graphic designers who are working in the computer industry will see a 20% growth in employment opportunities during this same period. However, those working in publishing will see a decline of 22% according to these same statistics.

The job outlook for graphic designers is also very broad. Some of the best job positions for graphic designers are product developers, multimedia artists, creative directors, or marketing specialists. The average pay scale for graphic designers is $49,396, according to This amount is probably the entry-level rate. As time goes by, so does your work experience. For those with senior-level experience or at least several years in the art and creative industry, the pay may reach as much as $70,000.

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

Find your perfect value college is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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