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Graphic Design Careers

Graphic design is technology driven, thus it is a fast-evolving industry.  Because of this, people with graphic design careers must always keep their skills and technical knowledge updated.  However, while the tools used by graphic artists may evolve the kind of work being done remains basically the same.  Graduates of graphic design can explore any of the following challenging careers:

Graphic Designers

Graphic artists who actually work on designing are hands-on designers.  A large corporation or graphic design agency may have junior and senior artists working together to create graphic designs for their clients and may have several ongoing projects at any one time.  Graphic designers are responsible for selecting the different elements of the design including color, size, sounds, artwork, typeface, animation and visuals.  The completed design is presented to the art director for final approval.

Some graphic designers choose a career outside of the corporate world as freelance designers working under their own name.  They usually work from home.  Being a freelance designer has its advantages and disadvantages.  As a freelancer, you can work from home and set your own hours.  You are also free to choose only those projects that interest you.  On the other hand, it can be difficult finding new clients especially if you are just starting out.  Working long hours and even on weekends to meet deadlines can also be tough.  However, there are many graphic designers who choose this career path because they like being independent and free from corporate structures.

Web Designers

A web designer is not simply a programmer who knows HTML or JavaScript.  Web designers design, build and maintain websites.  They also write, design and edit web page content.  Web designers must stay updated on the latest web technologies, programming practices and graphic design software to be able to provide the best possible service to clients.

Videogame Designer

This is one of the most fun and exciting graphic design careers.  Videogames rely heavily on graphics designs, new technical applications and animations to give players the best graphics.  The videogame design industry has plenty of opportunities for the right person.

Art Director

Art directors or creative directors are responsible for the overall design projects.  It is the job of the art director to review and approve the work done by graphic designers in the creative team.  They confer with clients, the creative department and production team to make sure that the clients’ needs are met.  Art directors work closely with clients and are responsible for their own accounts and budget.  They are often in charge of presenting the final product to the client once the project is completed.

Individuals with artistic skills and creative talents can have a rewarding career in graphic design.  It offers job opportunities for those who like to work on their own in front of the computer as well as for those who like to deal with clients and oversee the work in design projects.

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Graphic Design Training

A graphic designer’s job is to create images, materials and designs that help clients communicate visually with the public.  Graphic designers must be creative and artistic but they also need graphic design training to provide them with the technical and theoretical knowledge required to have a successful career in design.

Everywhere you look, you will see the work of graphic designers.  Magazines, book covers, corporate logos, signage systems and websites are all examples of a designer’s work.  The images they create play an important role in advertising and marketing.  Designers must determine their client’s needs and understand the message they want to communicate.  The designs they make must send the right message across.

To be able to address their client’s needs, graphic designers need more than artistic talent.  They have to understand the principles of communication, design and marketing to work successfully with clients.  They also need technical skills to be able to use computer software to create their designs.  Graphic design training can prepare an individual for the challenges of graphic design.

Degrees and Coursework

There are approximately 300 graphic art and design schools accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design that offer programs in graphic design.  A graphic design training program can lead to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Associate’s Degree

You can earn an associate’s degree in graphic design in two to three years. This level of education can qualify you for a technical or assistant graphic design position.  This program is ideal for someone who already has a bachelor’s degree in another field.  It can give you the skills needed to work in graphic design.

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree program takes four years to complete.  Most graphic design positions require a bachelor’s degree in design.  Colleges, universities, professional schools and art institutes provide graphic design training where you will be exposed to the principles and technical skills required in visual communication.

A bachelor’s degree program includes the following subjects: studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, web site design, printing techniques, psychology, writing, art history, marketing, business and more.

Prerequisites for Graphic Design Training

Most graphic design schools require applicants to be a high school graduate or its equivalent and complete one year of basic art and design.  Most art schools also require applicants to submit a portfolio, sketches or other materials to demonstrate their artistic ability.

Graphic designers must be willing to learn new techniques and technologies, listen to clients’ requests and work with others.  The right graphic design training can provide designers with the theoretical and practical skills they need to build a successful creative career.

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Graphic Design Schools: Are They Necessary?

To be a graphic designer, you have to be gifted with creative and artistic talents.  But your talents have to be honed and perfected, otherwise you will never realize your full potential.  You need a good graphic design school to hone your talent.  It will not be difficult to find and choose the right graphic design school if you have a well thought-out game plan.

A good starting point is location.  Find a graphic arts school in your state or locality.  Also, ask yourself what you would like to do after graduation.  You may want to work in the field of graphic design, multimedia, illustration, animation or any other field of choice.  Once you have decided on what you would like to do, you can begin looking for a school that offers the courses you will need for the kind of job you want.

Graphic design schools offer training on the visual arts which include graphical arts, advertising design, illustration, photography, painting, etc.  Lately, designing game graphics has become institutionalized.

Many graphic design schools offer vocational, undergraduate and graduate courses.  Some schools even offer post-graduate courses.  Find an accredited college that will grant you a bachelor’s degree.  Choosing the right graphic design school will help you hone your talents and lead to a successful future in your chosen field of work.  Different schools offer courses on different fields of specialization.  Choose a school that will maximize your skills and expose you to techniques that will make you a better artist.

There are other things that you must consider in choosing the right graphic design school.  Aside from a curriculum that can educate you for a graphic design career, you must also make sure that classroom facilities are up to date.  Class size and student-to-faculty ratio should be conducive to learning.  In addition, the school should have a good reputation in the graphic design community, with a faculty that can help you find a good graphic design job after graduation.

The school should have good contacts to help you with externship and job placement opportunities.  On the practical side, you will also want to consider cost and scholarship opportunities.

The graphic design field is extremely competitive.  You will find it very difficult to find an entry level position without formal training, much less carve out a successful career on raw talent alone.  Companies want graphic design professionals who can adhere to industry standards.  A degree in graphic design can give you a competitive edge.  Attending a graphic design school allows you to learn from professionals and experts who can teach you what the industry expects of their artists.  A formal education from the right graphic design school will prepare you for these professional companies.