The city of Dallas, Texas, with a population of about 1.2 million and at least 177,000 commercial businesses, is an ideal place of residence for the more than 2,000 professional graphic designers who live there. Companies and community organizations all over Dallas hire graphic artists for all kinds of visual design tasks.
Dallas Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
Many dozen colleges and Universities in the state of Texas feature graphic design degree programs. Popular design schools in Dallas include El Centro College, Richland College, Wade College and Westwood College. Above and beyond the Dallas-based colleges are even more degree options available online. Among the most prolific graphic design schools with online degree programs are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry.
Fine Arts and Visual Communications are the popular majors for graphic artists at Dallas, Texas colleges. A core curriculum in graphic design includes drawing and other traditional visual art forms, as well as digital photography, computer graphics and related topics. Advanced courses include Typography, Interactive Media, Information Technology, Product Packaging and Environmental Design.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Dallas, Texas
Some graphic design professionals who live in Texas work for leading Dallas ad agencies like Camelot Communications, KLS Media and Shift Advertising. Other Texas artists design captions, credits and promotional materials for top Dallas motion picture companies. These include America Lifeguide, AMS Pictures, Digi-Matics and literally hundreds more.
Graphic designers living in Dallas can also work for art galleries, retailers, news syndicates, photographers, publishers, software developers and numerous other commercial organizations. Local graphic design jobs in Dallas include product illustrations, clinical charts, company logos, newspapers, educational materials, book covers, web pages, street signs and more.
About 280,000 graphic artists are employed by U.S. companies. Starting salary depends on education, experience, expertise, quality, talent and, to some degree, place of residence. The average income for a graphic designer employed in the state of Texas is about $44,600 per year, with an average hourly wage of approximately $21.45. Roughly fifty percent of all graphic designers employed in the United States earn from $30,000 to $60,000 a year, according to a 2010 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Texas ranks somewhere in the middle among states in terms of average annual income for graphic designers, although artists in a megatropolis like Dallas earn more, on average, then their remotely situated contemporaries.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
Probably the most crucial skill of a professional graphic designer is typographical technique. Typography is the altering and arrangement of letters, numbers, words, punctuation and other linguistic symbols. Typographic experts know when and how to use different font styles, sizes and colors, as well as added special effects. Other basic professional graphic design skills are solid drawing technique and passable proficiency with photography. Communications designers must also be familiar with professional graphic design software for websites and printed artwork.
Desirable traits of professional communications designers include mental flexibility, critical thinking skills and extreme attention to detail, as well as artistic talent with a commercially appropriate style.