With a population of more than 1.3 million and a relatively low unemployment rate, Maine is a fine home state for artists seeking graphic design jobs. Many commercial businesses throughout the state of Maine employ graphic designers for all sorts of visual tasks.
Maine Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
Colleges all over Maine offer degree programs in graphic design, which is technically known as communications design. Among the top Maine design colleges are Central Maine Community College in Auburn, University of Maine in Augusta, York County Community College in Wells and Maine College of Art in Portland.
Many artists living in Maine earn graphic design degrees online. Among the most successful schools offering online degree programs in graphic design are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry.
Graphic designers at Maine colleges typically major in Communications Design or Fine Arts. Aspiring professionals learn about computers, website design, digital art, photography, animation, technical drawing, typography, printmaking and software applications, among other topics.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Maine
Maine graphic designers are in reasonably high demand. State-local job opportunities include designing brand logos, rendering product descriptions, creating promotional art and developing educational materials, as well as fashioning book covers, web pages, product packaging, street signs, home interiors, textiles, assembly instructions and more.
Some graphic designers work for top Maine ad agencies such as BFT International, Burgess Advertising, CD&M Communications and Crystal Reporting Solutions in Portland. Other local designers create film credits, movie posters and promotional media for Maine-based motion picture producers. Among the largest of these are Newborn Pictures, Motion Media and Community Television Network, all located in Portland, where twenty percent of Maine's residents live.
Other Maine businesses needing communications designers include patent offices, software companies, colleges, book publishers, retailers, equipment manufacturers, industrial contractors, architects, real estate agents and internet start-ups.
American businesses employ more than a quarter million graphic designers. Their starting salaries depend mainly on educational level and previous related work. Design portfolios help potential employers select design talent and determine starting incomes. A design portfolio is a carefully selected grouping of photo images created by the designer, preferably for money. About half of all graphic designers in the U.S. earn somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000 a year.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
Graphic design is communication with visual forms, most often for commercial use. The majority of graphic design work involves page layout. Page layout design has to do with the size, color, location, orientation and motion of images, as well as the background against which these images appear.
Professional communications designers are acutely visually attuned to subtle design elements like juxtaposition, or how moods are affected by color and light, or the emotional impact of symbols, or the importance of the location of the observer. Today's graphic designers use a combination of psychology, visual arts and high-tech equipment to produce desired reactions from particular target markets. The most frequently desired reaction is getting consumers to spend money.