The state of Nebraska, with around 1.8 million people, two large cities and many thousand commercial businesses, is home to more than 1,300 local artists employed as graphic designers. Companies all throughout Nebraska hire communications design professionals for many assorted visual tasks.
Nebraska Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
Many good Nebraska colleges and Universities feature degree programs in graphic design, with no less than a dozen located in Lincoln and Omaha. Popular Nebraska design schools include Union College, Nebraska Wesleyan University and University of Nebraska in Lincoln, along with College of Saint Mary, Creighton University and Metropolitan Community College in Omaha. Some aspiring Nebraska artists earn communications design degrees online. Among the largest schools offering online degree programs in graphic design are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry.
Graphic designers at colleges in Nebraska often focus on visual communications. A typical graphic arts curriculum might include psychology and commercial marketing, as well as website design, digital art, photography, animation, technical drawing, typography , printmaking and other relevant topics.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Nebraska
Some graphic artists who live in Nebraska work for leading local ad agencies. Among the most highly regarded of these are Archrival, Browne Corporation and Thought District in Lincoln, as well as Redstone Communications, Reader and Yellow Book in Omaha. Other local artists design film credits and promotional art for top Nebraska motion picture producers such as Mark HD Productions, Presentation Services and Van Hoosen Video in Lincoln or Birnstihl Media Arts, Kathy Tyree Productions and Ware House Productions in Omaha.
Nebraska graphic designers also work for museums, art galleries, news syndicates, landscaping professionals, patent offices, software developers and internet start-ups, among others. Statewide graphic design opportunities include company logos, promotional artwork, instruction manuals, book covers, web pages, product packaging, street signs and more.
Over a quarter million graphic designers currently work for United States companies. Salary levels usually depend on education, experience, skill and other factors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average yearly income for a Nebraska graphic designer is approximately $37,650, with an average hourly rate of about $18.20. Roughly half of all graphic designers employed in United States earn between $30,000 to $60,000 yearly. Nebraska's average employment income may be relatively low, but then again, so is Nebraska's average cost of living.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
Graphic design is a form of visual art whose sole purpose is the communication of precise messages. The job of a graphic artist primarily involves layout - manipulating the size, color, location, orientation and motion of visual elements against well-defined backgrounds.
Although they communicate through images, graphic designers must also possess the verbal and written communication skills needed to articulate and understand ideas. Other important qualifications include proficiency with graphic design software, web design skills and typography, which is altering the location and physical appearance of letters, numbers, punctuation and other linguistic symbols. The final ingredient to a truly successful professional graphic design is the artist's uniquely recognizable, “signature” style.