Graphic Designer

A graphic designer works on a variety of products and activities, such as websites, advertising, books, magazines, posters, computer games, product packaging, exhibitions and displays, corporate communications and corporate identity, i.e. giving organisations a visual 'brand'.

 

Work Responsibilities

You may need to manage more than one design brief at a time and typical activities include:

  • Meeting clients or account managers to discuss the business objectives and requirements of the job
  • Estimating the time required to complete the work and providing quotes for clients
  • Developing design briefs that suit the client's purpose
  • Thinking creatively to produce new ideas and concepts and developing interactive design
  • Using innovation to redefine a design brief within the constraints of cost and time
  • Presenting finalised ideas and concepts to clients or account managers
  • Working with a range of media, including computer-aided design (CAD) and keeping up to date with emerging technologies
  • Proofreading to produce accurate and high-quality work
  • Demonstrating illustrative skills with rough sketches and working on layouts ready for print
  • Commissioning illustrators and photographers
  • Working as part of a team with printers, copywriters, photographers, stylists, illustrators, other designers, account executives, web developers and marketing specialists.

 

 

Entry Requirements

Relevant subjects for graphic design work include those that involve visual arts. In particular, a degree or HND in the following subjects may increase your chances:

  • 3D design
  • Communication design
  • Film/television
  • Fine art
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Visual art

Any design-based course will give you a good grounding and knowledge of design, art history and printing techniques.

Some roles don't require a degree or HND, as job offers may be based on the standard of portfolio work and not on educational qualifications. However, progress without formal training is extremely difficult, and the vast majority of graphic designers have higher qualifications.

A pre-entry postgraduate qualification isn't needed, but pre-entry experience is essential.

 

 

Skills and Interests

Apart from technical and drawing skills, you will need to show:

  • Passion and enthusiasm for design, with a creative flair
  • A flexible approach when working in a team
  • Excellent communication skills in order to interpret and negotiate briefs with clients
  • Good presentation skills and the confidence to explain and sell ideas to clients and colleagues
  • Time management skills and the ability to cope with several projects at a time
  • Accuracy and attention to detail when finalising designs
  • Being open to feedback and willing to make changes to your designs
  • Effective networking skills to build contacts. 

 


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