About Graphic Design

So...what exactly does a graphic designer DO?

♦ Where Do Graphic Designers Work?
Most graphic designers are employed in specialized design services, publishing, or advertising, public relations and related services. In 2010, about 29 percent of graphic designers were self-employed.

Some examples of companies that employ graphic designers include:
• Stores
• Colleges
• Print Shops
• Corporations
• Clip Art Services
• Advertising Agencies
• Public Relations Firms
• Museums and Art Galleries
• Direct-Mail Advertising Companies
• Music Publishers and Record Companies
• Architectural and Interior Design Firms
• Publications – Newspapers, Magazines, etc.

A typical day for a graphic designer may include duties such as:
Creating original designs, developing ideas, preparing layouts, choosing coloring and lettering, writing copy and headlines, preparing art, ordering supplies, reviewing projects, preparing schedules, responding to calls, client meetings, and computer back-up and maintenance.

Be prepared to put in extra time to get the job done! Deadlines are especially important in this field of work!

♦ What is the Job Outlook?
Employment of graphic designers is projected to increase by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. High job turnover should result in numerous openings. However, competition for senior graphic designer positions will be very strong.*

♦ How Much Money Can I Expect to Make?
The median annual wage of graphic designers in the U.S. was $43,500 ($20.92 an hour) in May 2010. For the state of Illinois, the median average salary was $15.78 an hour, with experienced designers earning an average of $24.48 an hour.*

♦ Where do I Get Started?
An associate’s degree, or preferably, a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required for jobs in this field. Candidates should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs.

*Illinois Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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