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What does a Graphic Designer do? Where does a Graphic Designer work? ACR takes a look:
About Graphic Designers
Graphic designers use art and technology to create catchy graphics for websites, logos, and illustrations in everything from advertising to aerospace. Thanks to the wide variety of exciting industries graphic designers serve, graphic design is number 18 on the list of Top 20 Best Jobs for People Interested in Arts and Communications and number eight on the list of Best Jobs for People with an Artistic Personality Type by JIST Publishing. Most graphic designers will agree that there is never a dull moment in this dynamic career field.
Graphic Designer Jobs
Graphic designers design or create graphics to meet specific needs such as packaging, logos, displays, websites, publications, and more. Some graphic designers even design the overall look for film and television credits. They work with sound, colors, artwork, photography, software, and even animation to produce whatever the project calls for.
Graphic designers work in manufacturing, specialized design services, publishing, advertising, public relations, computer systems design and related services, wholesale trade, government, aerospace, securities and commodities, and scientific research and development services. Some graphic designers work independently in an office or studio setting, while others are part of a design team. Some designers telecommute, while others are self-employed. In 2012, around 24 percent of graphic designers were self-employed.
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Graphic Designer Salaries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for graphic designers is $44,150. Wages were $42,400 in May 2008. The lowest 10 percent earns less than $26,250 per year, and the top 10 percent earns more than $77,490. It is important to note that individual salaries vary by experience, education, industry, the size of the company, and even geographic location. For example, at $71,520 per year, DC-based graphic designers earn the highest average salary for graphic designers, while North Dakota-based designers average $33,360 per year.
Further, the top paying industries for graphic designers are government (average $76,530 per year), aerospace ($68,790), securities ($67,160), other financial investments ($61,890), and scientific research and development services ($60,910).
Becoming a Graphic Designer
A bachelor’s degree in graphic design, graphic arts, communications design, or related degree is required for entry into this field—no matter which industry you would like to break into. Some employer’s may even require an advanced degree. If you want to increase your chances of securing a position with a creative firm that produces animated projects, consider a major in animation with a minor in graphic design or vice versa. In addition to a degree in graphic design or animation, these employers (and others) look for creativity, an eye for detail, self-discipline, and advanced knowledge of the latest computer graphics, design, and animation software. Examples include Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Autodesk3ds Max, and Autodesk Maya.
Job Trends for Graphic Designers
Back in 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that website graphic designers with an animation background would be in high demand and have the most job opportunities for the 2008-2018 decade. The Bureau also reported that “graphic designers with website design and animation experience will especially be needed as demand increases for design projects for interactive media—websites, mobile phones, and other technology.” The most recent Bureau report projects a seven percent increase in employment overall for the 2012-2022 decade, with a whopping 35 percent increase for graphic designers in computer systems design and related services.
The Bureau says, “with the increased use of the Internet, graphic designers will be needed to create designs and images for portable devices, websites, electronic publications, and video entertainment media.” On the downside, employment of graphic designers in book, directory, newspaper, and periodical publishers is projected to decline 16 percent for the 2012-2022 decade, according to the Bureau.
Awesome Animation Fact: One of the first software formats used for producing animation on the Internet was Netscape Navigator 2's GIF89. It allowed a user to animate GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) images, but it was not intended as a medium for full animation. As a response to this (in part) DHMTL (Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language) was born. –Encyclopedia.com