The tiny state of Rhode Island supports more than a million people, one fairly large city, many thousand commercial enterprises and hundreds of professional graphic designers. Companies and community organizations all over Rhode Island recruit graphic designers to perform all kinds of visual tasks. For many Rhode Island artists, being within easy commuting range of Boston also helps.
Rhode Island Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
Rhode Island is renowned for its many good schools. Quite a few Rhode Island colleges and Universities offer degree programs in graphic design. Popular design schools in Providence include Providence College, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. Similar educational options in other parts of the state include the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, Roger Williams University in Bristol and University of Rhode Island in Kingston. As an alternative to state-based design colleges, many aspiring Rhode Island artists earn their degrees online. Among the largest design schools with online degree programs are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry.
Visual Communications is the major of choice for graphic artists enrolled at design schools in Rhode Island. A typical core curriculum includes an introduction to art and a review of art history, as well as computer graphics, photography, drawing, digital imaging and other related topics.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Rhode Island
Some Rhode Island graphic design pros work for leading local advertising agencies like Stauch-Vertromile-Mitchell and World Ways Social Marketing in Providence, Marketing and Media Service in Warwick or Martel Marketing Communications in Bristol, to name a few. Some local artists team up with top Rhode Island motion picture companies. Leading local movie producers include CBTV and Imag Technologies in Providence, Star Trak Studios in Warwick, City Pound Productions in Bristol and many more.
Other Rhode Island graphic designers work for colleges, community groups, art galleries, museums, news syndicates, publishers, software developers and other commercial businesses. Statewide graphic design jobs include technical illustrations, company logos, educational materials, book covers, web pages, product packaging, road signs and other visual solutions to the world's communication problems.
Companies in the USA today support well over a quarter million professionals in the field of communications design. Starting salaries depend on schooling, experience, expertise and commitment, among other things. Despite worldwide internet access, geographic location still plays a role in salary determination. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income of a graphic designer employed in Rhode Island is around $52,050, with an average hourly rate of about $25.05. Roughly half of all U.S. graphic designers earn between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. Rhode Island ranks sixth among states for average incomes of graphic designers, behind only California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
The basic required skill set for most professional graphic design work includes proficiency with both printed and web-based graphic design software, as well as demonstrated skills in photography and typography.
Personality-wise, a graphic designer needs to be highly detail-oriented and competent under pressure. Excellent communication skills are a must, as designers need to articulate and understand very specific instructions. Critical thinking skills are crucial to the kind of problem-solving activities involved in graphic design work. Also essential is mental flexibility. Designers must remain open to fresh new concepts and aware of shifting commercial trends. Lastly, professional graphic designers must somehow preserve the artistic integrity and individual style that makes each artist unique.