With more than a hundred thousand commercial businesses and a resident population of about 618,000, Washington DC is ideal for local artists pursuing careers in graphic design, also known as communications design. Washington DC graphic designers are continouosly hired to perform all kinds of visual commercial tasks.
Washington DC Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
Quite a few colleges and Universities in Washington DC offer degree programs in graphic design. Top DC design schools include American University, Gallaudet University, Howard University, George Washington University and Strayer University, to name a few. Also, many Washington DC graphic designers earn their 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 Washington DC colleges typically major in Communications Design or Fine Arts. Courses usually include website design, digital art, photography, animation, technical drawing, typography, printmaking and software applications, among other relevant topics.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Washington DC
Washington DC graphic designers are in relatively high demand. Available employment opportunities include developing brand logos, sketching new inventions, creating promotional art and publishing educational materials, as well as designing book covers, web pages, product packaging, street signs, home interiors, textiles, assembly instructions and more.
Some graphic designers work for top Washington DC advertising firms like Adelstein-Liston, Adworks, Bomstein Agency, Face Time and Financial Dynamics, for instance. Other local designers create film credits and promotional materials for leading Washington DC motion picture producers. These include Atlantic Creative, Hillmann & Carr, Streamsage, Ventana Productions and White House Video, among others.
Additional Washington DC businesses in need of communications designers include news syndicates, patent offices, software developers, colleges, book publishers, retailers, equipment manufacturers, industrial contractors, architects, real estate agents and internet start-ups.
Companies throughout the United States support more than a quarter million graphic designers. Starting salaries vary depending mainly on education, expertise and previous professional experience. Hiring decisions are also heavily influenced by the quality of a designer's portfolio, which is a collection of photo images representing the designer's best work. Approximately half of all graphic designers in America earn somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000 a year.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
Graphic design is the communication of messages by way of visual art instead of words, although words may be included in the art. The job often involves page layout, which deals with manipulating the size, color, lighting, location, orientation and motion of images and their backgrounds.
Graphic designers remain acutely aware of subtle visual effects like juxtaposition, or how moods are affected by color and light, or how the physical appearance of a word can change its meaning, or the importance of the location of the observer. Communications design professionals expertly combine psychology and technology with visual arts to produce specific desired reactions from consumers.