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How to Become a Graphic Designer in Seattle, Washington

Written by ACR StaffFebruary 27, 2012
Graphic Designer in Seattle, Washington
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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More than 300 professional graphic designers occupy full time positions at businesses in the city of Seattle, Washington.  With a population of more than 612,000 local residents and no less than a hundred thousand commercial entities, Seattle is ideal for local artists seeking employment in the filed of graphic design, also known as communications design.

Seattle Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design

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An increasing economic demand causes many colleges and Universities in the state of Washington to offer degree programs in graphic design.  Most graphic artists attending Seattle design colleges major in photography or visual arts.  Successful Seattle graphic design schools include Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Community College, International Academy of Design and Technology, Seattle Pacific University and University of Washington.

Aside from the numerous Seattle-based design colleges, various accredited online degree opportunities are available nationwide.  Among the most popular accredited colleges featuring online degree programs in graphic design are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry.  All of these schools feature physical campuses all over America in addition to their online offerings.  The Art Institutes and ITT Tech both have convenient locations in Seattle. 

Working as a Graphic Designer in Seattle, Washington

Graphic artists in Seattle work for book publishers, news syndicates, software developers, colleges, animation studios, travel agents, event coordinators and countless other commercial businesses.  Local graphic design jobs available to Seattle artists include brochures, travel guides, local maps, company logos, medical illustrations, educational diagrams, web pages, street signs and storyboard development, to name only a sample.  Many Seattle-based graphic design professionals work for leading local advertising agencies.  Top Seattle ad firms include Matale-Line, OMD-USA and Passage-Events.  Some local artists team up with Washington motion picture companies.  Leading Seattle movie producers include PBJS-Incorporated, Smashing-Ideas and Victory-Studios, among others. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the average annual salary for a graphic designer employed in the state of Washington is about $50,200, with mean hourly rate of around $24.15.  Artists in big cities like Seattle earn higher incomes, on average, than artists in more remote regions of the state.  Roughly half of all graphic designers working for companies in the United States earn between $30,000 and $60,000 annually.  Washington ranks tenth among states in terms of average annual income for graphic designers.  However, none of this data takes into account the unreported incomes of self employed Washington artists.

Skills of a Graphic Designer

Although the bulk of graphic design work involves layout, a professional communications designer is expected to show talent in many areas.  Basic required skills for professional graphic design work include drawing, digital art, photography, typography and web design.  More advanced communication design skills include animation, interactive media, information design, online marketing and social networking.