Two Ways to Become a High-Paid Graphic Designer

There are few self-taught graphic designers, so most people rely on a quality program at an accredited graphic design school to learn the skills of the trade. By utilizing the resources available at a college or training program near you, there are two ways to become a high-paid graphic designer: through a long-term commitment to education or through a long-term commitment to work.

In essence, students have the choice of becoming a successful and well-paid graphic designer through an advanced graduate program at a graphic design college or by completing an undergraduate program and working their way to a higher-paying job. Both methods are feasible ways to earn a great income in the field of graphic design and each carries its own set of benefits and sacrifices.

Regardless of the path a graphic design student takes, the traits of a graphic designer remain the same. Successful graphic design school students and professionals are creative individuals with artistic talent. They are able to take an idea or emotion and translate it into a visual retelling that motivates buyers, motivates a person to pick up a magazine, call a phone number, or simply click on a banner ad on the internet.

Graphic design schools, regardless of the level of the degree program, will arm students with the skills they need to work toward their personal and career goals. It is important for graphic designers to remain flexible because the industry and the standards in the profession can change rapidly. Graphic designers for print publications must be ready to take on the role of an online graphic designer. Likewise, graphic designers who specialize in online publications need to be always ready to take on a billboard or store advertising challenge.

The success of a professional graphic designer hinges on his or her ability to take a larger portion of the graphic design industries client-base. However, many graphic designers find great success by focusing on a niche within their profession, provided that there is little competition or that the designer has proven himself worthy of higher-paying jobs or contracts. Graphic design schools prepare students to face these types of challenges and decisions with confidence.

Become a Graphic Design through Long-Term Education vs. Long-Term Work

A long-term commitment to education at a graphic design school can expedite the student’s efforts to find a high-paying job immediately following graduation. By spending less time in the job market, however, the student loses work-experience opportunities. Some internships can help offset this sacrifice, however, and those with a higher degree from an accredited graphic design school often find it easier to land a higher paying job.

Long-term commitments to building a reputation as a graphic designer can help students graduating with a lesser degree earn more money over the long-run. While students who choose this route earn less money immediately following graduation from a graphic design school, they spend more time in the job market making connections and earning higher rate.

Graphic Design News

Graphic Design Teacher Honored at AIGA Awards

A graphic design association will honor four leading industry pioneers in April at an award ceremony in New York; among them a Swiss graphic design school educator.

The AIGA will present Armin Hofmann with the AIGA Medal, a huge honor in the graphic design profession, at the Bright Lights: The AIGA Awards ceremony on April 19th in New York. Hofmann is being awarded the prestigious AIGA Me
dal for his role as a visionary work both as an artist and as an educator of artists and for his “immeasurable influence on generations of designers, teaching the power and elegance of simplicity and clarity through a timeless aesthetic, always informed by context” according to the AIGA press release.

As a professional of graphic arts, Hofmann’s body of work is expansive. He designed posters in the middle of the century for brands, theaters, and ballets among many other graphic design projects. He is best known for thoughtful use of typography, simplicity, and classic presentation of complicated (often controversial) subjects. He is an accomplished writer and artist who new generations of graphic designers attempt to emulate in their own provoking and innovative works.

Armin Hofmann is well-known and recognized among graphic designers for producing generation after generation of passionate and informed graphic designers. Many of his former students have now become graphic designers and educators at graphic design schools and are considered to be at the top of the game in their industries. During his vast career as an educator at graphic design schools, Hofmann taught at the School of Arts and Crafts (Zurich), Basel School of Arts and Crafts (Basel), Philadelphia College of Art (United States), and Yale University (United Stated) until he resigned in 1991.

The AIGA Medal will be presented to all four award recipients at the Altman Building in New York City, New York. Tickets are available to the pubic starting at $200.

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CA Graphic Design School Student Wins Logo Contest

A student from a California school’s graphic design program designed a winning logo for an area water company this month.

Melissa Kuo, graphic design student at California Institute of Arts designed the logo that won first place in a competition held by the Santa Clarita Valley Family of Water Suppliers.

The water suppliers group asked graphic design schools and students to create a logo design that they felt would “make conservation cool”, while conveying the group’s mission and values. For her efforts, Kuo was awarded a $2,500 check by the group at the March 1st reception at the Castaic Lake Water Agency headquarters building.

There were over twenty logos entered into the contest, but Kuo’s logo design will be the new logo of the SCV Family of Water Suppliers. Her design features a teardrop shaped water droplet, with a group of three figures holding hands along the bottom rim and the brand “SCV Family of Water Suppliers above them inside the droplet. “The values of family, water and community — I broke those down into different words that I thought of, that related to those values,” she said in a press release.

In the press release about the new logo design, the Water Conservation Program Coordinator for the group said, ““We’re thrilled that Melissa submitted her logo. We were taken by how she managed to elegantly combine the idea of ‘family’ with water. We also want to emphasize the degree of local talent that was available to us at the college level. It was truly impressive.”

Kuo said that she used the skills she learned in her graphic design courses recently about using negative space and using symbolism in design aesthetics. Kuo said that she will use the prize money to help pay for her continued education at the graphic design school at California Arts Institute.


How to Become an Advertising Graphic Designer

Graphic design schools are a great place to learn the art of advertising as it relates to graphic design. Nearly every piece of advertising we see on the internet, in the mailbox, at a retail outlet, on the television, and on billboards was created by a graphic design school graduate. It is a lucrative market that is highly competitive, but obtainable for students who complete an advanced graphic design program that specializes in advertising.

The U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics estimates that there were nearly 300,000 graphic designers working in the U.S. in 2008. This number is likely well over 300,000 by now. They also estimate that the job market will continue to grow through the rest of the decade, but that there will be keen competition among employees.

Although it is a competitive market, there are ways to make it easier to become a graphic designer that specializes in marketing; especially if he or she intends to become an online marketing graphic designer. The BLS says that those with specialized training in animation and web design have the best chances of landing a high paying job. But at minimum, hiring companies typically look for a graphic design school graduate who has earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

A bachelor’s degree program at a graphic design school typically incorporates print and advertising classes into the program’s curriculum. These classes are designed to teach graphic design students the principles and theories behind the graphic advertising profession and build confidence in their ability to apply what they’ve learned in a real-world market.

After completing a bachelor’s program at a graphic design school, graduates will be able to develop and clearly present graphic design solution to a client. This is a key principle in advertising, where pitching ideas is the common method of getting a contract for an advertising campaign. Research and analyzing a graphic design project for a marketing campaign is another core function of the graphic designer specializing in marketing and advertising, so many of a programs classes will be geared toward fine-tuning these skill sets.

The remaining classes in an advertising focused graphic design program will revolve around the art of graphic design; without which the other classes are unimportant. Therefore, schools include heavy art studies in the curriculum.

Art studies in a graphic design school include drawing skills that help with items such as logo development, communication of ideas, portfolio development according to the industry’s standards, typography and using type sets and fonts to influence emotion and behavior, and colors and composition classes. Colors and compositions will enable graphic design students to balance colors and designs within a graphic design concept as well as using layout and flow to influence the end user or viewer.

Graphic Design News

Graphic Design Schools’ Gaming Programs Recognized in Review

An industry publication that reviews graphic design schools and other educational institution programs recently released its list of the best programs for video game designs in 2012.

The Princeton Review published its Top Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2012 and listed the University of Southern California as the top pick for graphic design schools with a game design program.

Notable at 5th place is The Art Institute of Vancouver, which has appeared on the Princeton Review’s list of best schools for game design programs three times already. The graphic design school placed with nine other schools on the list which shows the best of 150 graphic design and art design schools in the United States and Canada.

To make their determination on the best gaming programs in a school, The Princeton Review surveyed 150 colleges in North America and asked questions about their program’s academics and facilities, as well as their faculty’s experience and the career placement opportunities following graduation.

The other schools landing on the top ten list included MIT, University of Utah, DigiPen Institute of Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology, Shawnee State University, Savannah College of Art and Design, the University of New Mexico, and Becker College. Honorable mentions included Bradley University, Champlain College, Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Drexel University, Ferris State University, and Full Sail University among many others.

In a press release by the Princeton Review, Senior VP and Publisher for Princeton Review Robert Franek said “Academic and professional programs in video game design studies – from very specialized college majors to highly concentrated graduate degrees – have evolved tremendously over the past 10 years.” Graphic design schools, art institutes, and specialized college programs are preparing students for an industry that is $10.5 billion strong, according to Franek.

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Graphic Design Students Impress Judges

Students of graphic design at a Wyoming School took home some of the top honors in a recent competition targeted at showcasing up and coming graphic designers.

The annual Student Show and competition was hosted at the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design and sponsored by the Art Director’s Club of Denver out of Colorado.

The exhibition and competition portion of the event ended at 7, but culminated with an awards ceremony called The One Show at 7 PM. The One Show is way for area schools and the Art Director’s Club of Denver to recognize companies and brands that delve into all areas of the arts, including television, print productions, and interactive advertising. The graphic design awards included a Gold, Silver, or Bronze “one show” pencil presented by Kevin Swanepoel.

Students from the University of Wyoming’s graphic design program won praise in the categories of Best Logo Design and Best Publication Design for their exemplary graphic designs during the student show. The purpose of the Art Director’s Club of Denver Student Exhibition is to show off the work of graphic design and advertising students in the areas in and around Colorado.

The students at UW’s graphic design school worked on their graphic design presentations since they first started the program at the school. According to the school’s news report, they spent plenty of long nights in the studio preparing for this one event where they could showcase their skills to the public and the Art Director’s Club of Denver. All of that work paid off according to one of the competition judges, Ryan Bramwell.

The scope of work this year was stunning, specifically in packaging and poster design categories,” Bramwell said. He went on to say that all of the graphic design schools did well in the exhibit, making it hard for judges to come to a decision on the finalists.

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Graphic Design Teachers’ Work on Display at School

It is common for students at graphic design colleges to display their art work to other students and even to the public through exhibition events and gallery showcases; it is not common for faculty members to get the opportunity to do the same.

However, that is the opportunity afforded to three faculty members at the Alfred University School of Art and Design in New York. Their works of art will be on display through the end of this month and promises t be an exquisite gallery of high-quality work from those teaching the next generation of students.

According to Alfred University’s website, teachers from the schools programs in printmaking, graphic design, and sculpture have been on display at the school since the end of February; closing only for the college’s spring break period this week. One of the teachers is a graduate of the School of Art and Design at Alfred University while the others graduated from equally prestigious colleges in the country.

The graphic design teacher, Nick Kuder, is a graduate of Brown University and serves as the assistant professor of graphic design at Alfred. His qualifications include his studies in printmaking at Brown and he is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in graphic design arts. Kuder went on to earn his MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

The graphic design teacher’s message about the work he has on display at the school is one of fusion between what humanity considers to be technology and what it considers to be biology and features printed works of art that take biological forms and morphs them into digital and technological influenced images.

The arts programs and graphic design school at Alfred is supported by state-of-the-art technology through computer labs, image output equipment, and various advanced tools in animation and others forms of artistic design. The school offers graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as MFA’s in integrated electronics and other unique art disciplines.


Earning a Master’s Degree from a Graphic Design School

A master’s degree from an accredited graphic design school is a lot of work, but can pay off in big ways following graduation and landing that first job. A master’s degree in graphic design allows graduates to enter their profession at executive and managerial levels, as well as provides entry into educational fields. Graphic design graduates with this level of degree have reached the maximum in education for their field and are well qualified to teach university level graphic design classes, open a graphic design business of their own, or set out to invent the next “big thing” in graphic design.

All throughout their time in graphic design school, students learn how to be creative and develop the skills they need to grow in their industry. That includes research techniques, trending markets and consumer buying trends. It also includes the philosophy of art and graphic design, the theory of conceptualizing design work, and how to execute and present unique ideas to supervisors, clients, and business partners.

Graphic designers are part artist and part communicators, so a lot of emphasis is placed on the way that a design student’s art will come across to an audience. Will it make the audience want to buy a product? Believe in a program enough to make a donation? Choose the client’s services over the services offered by the competition? It is the graphic designer’s job to answer all of those questions within a single artistic creation, so graphic design schools weigh heavily the students ability to convey the message that the client intends to put out to the public.

A master’s degree in graphic design is an “MA” degree, or “Master of Arts”, and can set new designers ahead of the pack right out of college. Getting to graduation day may look like a long road when first entering into a graphic design program, but the rewards are certainly worth it. In order to enroll into an MA in Graphic Design program at a school, students need to have already built a strong portfolio of work and completed all of the prerequisite programs required by the graphic design school.

This means that students who want to enter into the MA program will first have to obtain lesser degrees successfully, while building their overall set of skills and the coveted “full” portfolio exhibiting their success as graphic design students. A master thesis project is the culmination of the graphic design degree and will require all of the student’s knowledge to complete successfully. The end of the program will typically require students to create an entire graphic design campaign that is totally unique and fresh, taking into account the trends of the contemporary market and the skills they will use in the real-world of graphic design as a designer.

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Graphic Design Students Premier Artwork at School Gallery

Students in a school teaching vocational courses in the arts, including graphic design and general art, are hosting a showcase exhibit at their school this month.

Some of the students of Scotts Valley High School are also participating in an International Baccalaureate program at the school, where the dual enrolled students and others have the culmination of their years in the art program on display.

The graphic design work and other forms of art will be on display at the school through April, but on last Friday, the students hosted a meet and greet between the artists (themselves) and their admiring public.

The dual enrolled students in the graphic design program at the school had to opportunity to discuss their motivation for their artistic creations. The sessions served as a pre-test for the IB students who will soon take an hour-long exam as part of the dual enrollment program. (Students in dual enrollment are earning college and high school credits simultaneously.)

The event was coordinated by the art teachers at the school and exhibited the work of students in the school’s Art I and II classes in addition to the IB student submissions. Many of the presented works had been in process for several years and represent all of the skills students have learned throughout their time at the school.

While the non-IB students were given open ended projects to be build to a certain specification, the dual enrolled students were allow to be more creative with their designs.  College level courses in graphic design and art are more focused on project management and creativity, so there was plenty of room for artistic expression among those students. According to other reports of the event, teachers say that many of the students are enthusiastic about their studies and some intend to attend a graphic design college.

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School offer New Graphic Design Class Programs

Colleges offering graphic design classes typically offer a minimum certificate program and higher levels of degrees to students and one such college is taking the step to offer new graphic design programs to students in the area.

McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL recently announced that it will offer an Associate of Applied Science Degree as well as three certificates in graphic design.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, graphic design schools are preparing students for a growing industry. The average wage for a graphic design is $20.92 per hour or $43,500 annually.

The new programs at this school are expected to prepare students for careers in graphic design, art direction, art education, multimedia and animation, and all other careers relating to the arts. The degree program can be completed in 2-years by full time students and prepares students for all forms of graphic design and communication.

Ancillary classes are standard to the type of degree being offered and include subjects such as English Composition, Speech and Public Speaking, Creative Writing, Ethics, Interpersonal Communication, Computer Literacy and electives.

Graphic design classes will include a vast array of specialized courses to prepare students for a career in graphic design. Those include subjects such as internet technology, typography, color and art theory, portfolio design, the history of graphic design, digital drawing, and animation. Student will also need to purchase and take classes on graphic design software programs such as Adobe Design Suite.

Students in graphic design also take classes that focus on web design since the majority of graphic designers work on web based projects. The degree program at the school will also include training in web design and principles of advertising, to include web design aesthetics, scripting, logic, and programming languages.