No less than a hundred graphic designers live and work in the city of Tacoma, Washington, which supports well over 200,000 local residents and about 28,000 commercial businesses. Corporations and community organizations throughout Tacoma recruit local graphic artists for an ongoing assortment of visual design tasks.
Tacoma Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
Many colleges and Universities in the state of Washington offer degree programs in communication design. Graphic artists attending design colleges in Tacoma typically major in fine arts, photography or visual communications. Top Tacoma colleges for graphic design include Tacoma Community College and Bates Technical College.
Beyond Tacoma-based design colleges are an ever-expanding array of online degree programs available nationwide. Among the most successful accredited design colleges featuring online degree programs are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry. Each of these four schools also maintains many physical locations across the United States. University of Phoenix has a campus in Tacoma.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Tacoma, Washington
Many dozen graphic design professionals in Washington work for leading local advertising agencies. Top Tacoma ad firms include Really-Smart-Advertising, Sage-Media and Vision-Service-Group. Some local artists team up with renowned Washington motion picture companies. Leading Tacoma movie producers include Pyro-Press, Total-Offense and Way-Out-Records.
Graphic artists in Tacoma, Washington can also work for real estate developers, aircraft manufacturers, retailers, software firms, colleges, animation studios, travel agents and an endless variety of other commercial businesses. Local graphic design jobs for Tacoma artists include book, magazine and newspaper layout, local maps, brand logos, company brochures, medical illustrations, educational diagrams, web pages, road signs and more.
On average, a graphic designer in the state of Washington earns about $50,200 a year, with mean hourly rate of around $24.15. American businesses employ more than 280,000 graphic design professionals. Roughly half of them earn between $30,000 and $60,000 annually. Washington ranks tenth among states in terms of average annual income for graphic designers. However, this data does not account for the unreported incomes of self employed professional local artists.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
Basic graphic design skills include drawing and photography, but typography and digital design are even more essential, as most professional graphic design work involves layout. Also preferred are knowledge of web design, animation, interactive design and online marketing. This is why many employers require a degree in visual arts, even for entry level positions in the field. Project management skills are also crucial, not to mention highly developed communication skills and true artistic talent.