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How to Become a Graphic Designer in Cleveland, Ohio

Written by ACR StaffFebruary 22, 2012
Graphic Designer in Cleveland, Ohio
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The city of Cleveland, Ohio, with a population of nearly 400,000 and about 100,000 commercial businesses, is home to hundreds of professional graphic designers.  Companies all over Cleveland recruit graphic design professionals for visual solutions to a great number of communication problems.

Cleveland Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design

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Several excellent colleges and Universities in Cleveland, Ohio offer degree programs in graphic design.  Cleveland features such renowned institutions as Bryant-and-Stratton College, Cleveland State University, Cleveland Institute of Art and the College of Notre Dame.  Alternatively to Cleveland's many “brick & mortar” schools, aspiring Ohio graphic artists often earn degrees online.  Among the most widespread design colleges with online degree programs are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry.  Each of these schools is a franchise with many physical locations nationwide

Graphic artists at design schools in Ohio are usually Communications Design majors.  A typical degree program can include computer science, mass communications, online marketing and psychology, as well as life drawing, technical drawing, color studies, photography, digital graphics, animation and typography.

Working as a Graphic Designer in Cleveland, Ohio

Some Ohio graphic designers work for leading local advertising agencies.  Well regarded Cleveland ad firms include Auto Trader, the David Group and Medical Collections.  Other local artists design film credits, cartoon characters and promotional illustrations for top Cleveland motion picture producers like Classic Worldwide, Pearl Dakota and Telo's Productions. 

Communications designers in Cleveland, Ohio are also hired by art galleries, event coordinators, wedding planners, museums, colleges, software developers and many other commercial businesses.  Local graphic design jobs in Cleveland include clinical charts, instructional diagrams, video games, brand logos, book covers, web pages and street signs, to name only a few. 

American companies currently issue paychecks to more than 280,000 graphic designers.  Salaries for communications design professionals depend on education, experience, skills, availability, geographic location and a few other factors.  Recent data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the mean yearly income for graphic designer employed in the state of Ohio is around $42,950, with an average hourly rate of approximately $20.75.  Roughly half of all professional graphic designers working for USA businesses earn between $30,000 and $60,000 a year.  Ohio lands somewhere in the middle among states in terms of pay rates for graphic designers, although designers who are residents of big cities like Cleveland earn more, on average, than designers in rural regions. 

Skills of a Graphic Designer

Basic qualifications for professional graphic design work include sharp communication skills, design software expertise, basic photography skills and a solid understanding of typography.  Also important, though all too frequently ignored, is web page design.  For employment-seeking graphic designers, the usefulness of web design skills cannot be overstated.  Although graphic designers do not build websites as a rule, web design is useful for self-promotion, and also looks good to potential employers when hiring decisions are made.  Personality-wise, professional graphic designers must display concentration, patience, tranquility under pressure and extreme attention to detail.