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Tips on Becoming a Graphic Designer in Houston, Texas
The city of Houston, Texas, with a population of about 2.1 million and more than 300,000 commercial enterprises, is home to over a thousand professional graphic designers. Many thousand businesses in Houston, Texas hire local graphic artists for an enormous variety of visual design tasks.
Houston Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
Many dozen colleges and Universities in Texas offer degree programs in graphic design. Houston features American Intercontinental University, Rice University, Bradford School of Business and University of Houston, among others. Beyond the many Houston-based design colleges are just as many degree program opportunities online. Among the largest design schools offering online degree programs are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry.
Visual Communications is the typical academic focus of graphic artists enrolled at colleges in Houston, Texas. Course work includes an introduction to visual arts and also art history, as well as basic design skills like drawing, photography and computer graphics. More advanced subjects include Typography, New and Interactive Media, Information Technology Design, Packaging Design and Environmental Design.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Houston, Texas
Some Texas-based graphic design professionals work for leading local advertising agencies. Among the most successful Houston advertisers are Adplex, FKM, and Lopez-Negrete Communications. Other local artists design captions, credits, promo sheets and illustrations for top Texas motion picture companies. Leading Houston movie producers include ADV Films, Biography, Whole-9 Entertainment and a whole lot more than can possibly be listed here.
Graphic designers living in Houston also work for art galleries, news syndicates, retailers, landscapers, industrial manufacturers, high tech businesses and many other commercial concerns. Local jobs for graphic artists include technical illustrations, clinical charts, visual product descriptions, interior design, company logos, web pages and more.
Over 280,000 graphic artists occupy paid positions as communications designers for companies across America. Starting salaries vary depending on educational background, work history, proficiency and portfolio quality, not to mention geographic location. The average yearly income of a graphic designer who works in the state of Texas is about $44,600, with an mean hourly wage of about $21.45. Roughly half of all graphic designers employed by United States companies earn between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. Texas ranks somewhere in the middle among states in terms of average annual income for graphic designers. However, artists in major cities like Houston earn more, on average, than similarly employed designers in other parts of the state.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
Among the most basic graphic design skills are drawing and photography. Communications designers need to quickly sketch verbal ideas proficiently enough to predict the finished design. Regarding photography, high-level professional skills may not be needed, but every graphic designer should be able to snap a decent picture with an iPhone or a digital camera.
Other skills needed for graphic design work include proficiency with graphic design software. Web design ability also helps, not only for self-promotion, but such a useful skill often tips the scales in the web designer's favor when hiring decisions are made. Typography expertise is, perhaps, the most crucial skill of professional graphic artists. Typography is the manipulation of linguistic symbols into decisive configurations, and is widely regarded as “the official language” of graphic design.