Graphic designer

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Website Global Genius Trust

Graphic designers/artists design graphics for use in media and multi-media products such as magazines, labels, CD-ROMs, advertising and signage. Typical activities include:

  • Liaising with clients to determine their requirements and budget
  • Designing client proposals from typesetting (taking a word document, designing it in Quark etc) through to design, print and production
  • Working with clients, briefing and advising them with regard to proposal style, format, print production and timescales
  • Developing concepts, graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and internet website
  • Determining size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, and font style and size
  • Preparing rough drafts of material based on agreed brief
  • Reviewing final layouts and suggesting improvements if required
  • Liaising with external printers on a regular basis to ensure deadlines are met and material is printed to the highest quality.

Graphic designers work mainly nine-to-five, but deadlines may require working additional hours. Opportunities for graphic designers exist mainly in towns or cities throughout the country, although freelance designers can work from home.

Career development will more than likely require frequent job movement to widen your experience and develop your portfolio.

Typical employers of graphic designers

  • Advertising agencies
  • Large print houses
  • Brand agencies
  • Signage companies
  • Book and magazine and newspaper publishers
  • Multimedia companies including the games industry and web development
  • Television and broadcasting companies
  • The packaging industry
  • In-house graphic design services of major national and international organisations and companies.

Qualifications and training required

While entry is open to non graduates, subjects that include the visual arts may increase your chances. Preference will more than likely be given to those with relevant degrees, including:

  • Advertising and marketing communications
  • Animation
  • Art/fine art
  • Communication design
  • Digital media engineering
  • Media arts
  • Multimedia systems/web engineering
  • Photography
  • Print and digital media management
  • Visual communication and design

A range of industry relevant taught postgraduate programmes are on offer across colleges that provide similar programmes at undergraduate level.

A portfolio of work may be requested, particularly for entry to postgraduate programmes.

Key skills for graphic designers

  • Excellent IT skills
  • Exceptional creative flair and design
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • An understanding of the latest trends and their role within a commercial environment
  • Proven competence in design and image processing software
  • Professional approach to time, costs and deadlines.

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