Well over 4,000 graphic designers live and work in the state of Wisconsin, home to more than 5.7 million local residents and many thousand commercial enterprises. Companies and community groups all around Wisconsin work with local graphic artists on various visual communication projects.
Wisconsin Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
More and more colleges and Universities in Wisconsin feature communication design degree opportunities. Most graphic artists enrolled at Wisconsin design colleges major in visual communications. Widely known Wisconsin graphic design schools include Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and University of Wisconsin in Green Bay, as well as Edgewood College and University of Wisconsin in Madison, along with Cardinal Stritch University and University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
Beyond the wealth of Wisconsin-based design colleges are a number of accredited online degree programs available nationwide. Widespread accredited colleges featuring online degree programs in graphic design include The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry. Each of these four schools also maintains many physical locations in just about every state. The Art Institutes has a Milwaukee location. DeVry has campuses in Milwaukee and Waukesha. ITT Tech has locations in Green Bay, Germantown, Madison and Greenfield, which is a suburb of the Milwaukee metro area. University of Phoenix has campuses and student resource centers in Brookfield, Grand Chute, Madison and Milwaukee.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Wisconsin
Graphic artists in the state of Wisconsin can work for product manufacturers, software developers, educational organizations, animation studios, event coordinators, book publishers, and many other businesses. Statewide graphic design jobs for Wisconsin designers include video game character development, commercial product development, company logos, web pages, book and magazine layout design, street signs, window displays and more.
A great many graphic design professionals in Wisconsin are employed by leading local advertising agencies. Top Wisconsin ad firms include CKPR and Cramer-Krasselt in Milwaukee, Dunlop Associates and Equifax in Madison and The Karma Group and Insight Creative in Green Bay, among others. Some local artists team up with widely-regarded Wisconsin motion picture companies. Leading local movie producers include Logan Productions and Marx Creative in Milwaukee and Provideo-&-Film and Tweedee Media in Madison, as well as Acoustical Solutions and Balance Studios in Green Bay, to name a few.
Based on reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual income for a Wisconsin graphic designer is currently about $43,000, with mean hourly rate of around $20.25. About half of all graphic designers employed by American businesses earn between $30,000 and $60,000 each year. Wisconsin ranks fair-to-middling among states in terms of average annual income for graphic designers. However, none of this data takes into account the unreported incomes of self employed Wisconsin designers.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
Professional graphic designers must possess patience, be detail-oriented and have highly developed communication skills, not to mention unmistakable artistic talent. However, no amount of talent can take the place of formal visual arts training, which is why a degree is required by so many potential employers. The most frequently required qualifications of a graphic designer are drawing technique, digital art, photography, web design and typography. More advanced communication design skills include animation, interactive media, online marketing and project management.