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Graphic Designer - Career Profile
What does a Graphic Designer do? Where does a Graphic Designer work? ACR takes a look:
About Graphic Designers
Today’s graphic designer does more than production design for publications. Graphic designers also develop material for websites, interactive media, and multimedia projects. In fact, graphic designers with an animation background will have more job opportunities than designers with no animation experience.
Graphic Designer Jobs
Graphic designers are responsible for developing the overall layout and production design of publications. They design and produce packaging for products, logos, and signs for businesses and some even design the overall look for film and television credits. Graphic designers work with sound, colors, artwork, photography, and animation to produce whatever the project calls for.
Graphic designers work in a variety of settings including advertising agencies, web design companies, public relations firms, animation studios, film and video production studios, graphic design firms, and multimedia firms.
Graphic Designer Salaries
Individual salaries for graphic designers vary greatly depending on location, size of company, experience, education, position, and other factors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports average earnings for salaried designers. According to the Bureau, median annual wages for graphic designers were $42,400 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $32,600 and $56,620. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,110, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,660.
The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) published its own salary findings for graphic designers. The report lists salaries by level of experience. According to the report, median annual cash compensation for entry-level designers was $35,000 in 2008. Staff-level graphic designers earned a median of $45,000. Senior designers earned a median of $60,000 and solo designers who freelanced or worked under contract to another company reported median earnings of $57,000.
Design directors, the creative heads of design firms or in-house corporate design departments earned $95,000. Graphic designers with ownership or partnership interests in a firm or who were principals of the firm in some other capacity earned $95,000.
Becoming a Graphic Designer
A bachelor’s degree in graphic design is required for entry into this field, but if you want to increase your chances of securing a position with a creative firm that deals with animation, multimedia, and more, consider a major in animation with a minor in graphic design or vice versa. In addition to a degree in animation or graphic design, employers look for creativity, an eye for detail, self-discipline, and advanced knowledge of the latest computer graphics and design software and animation software. Just a few include Adobe, Anime, and Maya.
Job Trends for Graphic Designers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, website graphic designers with an animation background are in high demand and will have the most job opportunities for the 2008-2018 decade. The Bureau reports that “graphic designers with web site design and animation experience will especially be needed as demand increases for design projects for interactive media—web sites, mobile phones, and other technology.”