New Mexico is known for its innovative approach to fine and experimental art, but did you know that the state has made a name for itself in the world of digital art and design? This means, New Mexico is ripe for the picking if you’re an aspiring graphic designer, game designer, digital artist, or animator! If you’re wondering about the best place to hang your hat in The Land of Enchantment, consider the state’s largest city—Albuquerque or Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, the state capital—Santa Fe, or Roswell. These cities are home to hundreds of design studios, advertising agencies, and multimedia firms of all sizes, as well as a thriving art scene that encourages art forms of all kinds.
When you’re not studying or building your portfolio at a local design studio, you can seek inspiration at beautiful art museums such as the New Mexico Museum of Art (Santa Fe) or at a pristine park such as Carlsbad Caverns National Park. If art base din movement inspires you, take in a show at the Ballet Theatre of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The opportunities to experience recreation and art beyond your wildest dreams are endless.
So, what does New Mexico have to offer in the way of educating the country’s aspiring designers? Plenty. Students will find that most art and design schools (and many traditional colleges) offer a number of unique programs for aspiring graphic designers. Just a few include Santa Fe University of Art and Design (Santa Fe), and Eastern New Mexico University (Portales).
New Mexico Graphic Design Schools
New Mexico is home to dozens of accredited schools that offer multiple degree paths that lead to a career in graphic design. Scroll through the list below to review New Mexico’s best options for aspiring graphic designers, and what they have to offer.
New Mexico State University – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Studio Art with Graphic Design Emphasis; Bachelor of Creative Media in Digital Film Making, Animation and Visual Effects; M. F. A. Studio Art with Graphic Design Emphasis
Eastern New Mexico University – Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Graphic Design, Animation, or Media Arts and Design Emphasis
More Graphic Design related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for New Mexico Graphic Designers
New Mexico is home to hundreds of graphic designers working in advertising, web design, media, and many other industries. In 2010, the state was home to 690 salaried graphic designers down from 770 in 2006. Although the population of graphic designers living in New Mexico decreased between 2006 and 2010, salaries increased significantly. In 2006, New Mexico graphic designers earned an average salary of $34,360 per year. As of 2010, they earned $44,910 per year.
As of 2010, the mean annual wage for graphic designers nationwide was $48,140 per year. The lowest paid graphic designers earned less than $26,110 (median), and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,660 (median). The middle 50 percent earned between $32,600 and $56,620 (median).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “senior designers, who may supervise junior staff or have some decision-making authority that reflects their knowledge of graphic design,” earn a median salary of $60,000. “Solo designers who freelanced or worked under contract reported median earnings of $57,000. Design directors, the creative heads of design firms or in-house corporate design departments,” earn $95,000. “Graphic designers with ownership or partnership interests in a firm or who are principals of the firm in some other capacity” average $95,000 per year.