Graphics are all around you. Product labels, billboards, pamphlets, logos, ads, and websites are all graphics. Those printed and digital designs you see that brands use to promote their products or services are also graphics. Thanks to graphic designers, you can enjoy these beautiful images that are pleasing to the eyes. But what does a graphic designer do exactly?
Graphic designers are communicators and problem-solvers with images as their primary tools of the trade. When put simply, they combine images, texts, and various design elements using art and technology to convey messages that inform, educate, inspire, or attract an audience. They are visual communicators that are masters at expressing ideas in an effective and eye-catching manner.
Being a graphic designer is a promising future career. It’s an exciting job where you get to create beautiful things. But there is certainly more to what a graphic designer does than being creative. All designers have some things in common, but their job responsibilities, skill sets, salary ranges, and work environment can vary dramatically. So exploring these areas should help you gain a better understanding of what graphic design is.
This post has been updated in September 2021.
Graphic Designer Job Description
Graphic designers utilize their artistic skills to convey a message or communicate an idea that informs the audience or solves their problems. This is the general description of what a graphic designer does, but specifically, it can involve just about anything. Their tasks can range from drawing logos to creating animated design elements, depending on individual skill sets and goals of a project.
One of the exciting things about graphic designers is they work in many industries. They can be in publishing, manufacturing, design services, computer systems design, and many more. Since you can find graphics literally everywhere, it’s not surprising that a graphic designer works in many fields. This is why many graphic designers are self-employed and work for clients independently.
Some graphic designers handle the entire design process. However, they can also specialize in a single field, such as illustration, advertising, or branding. They can work independently as a freelancer or be a part of a creative agency, design studio, or corporate entity. They generally need at least a Bachelor’s degree, but creativity is their most important qualification.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Graphic Designer
What does a graphic designer do? They have many duties to perform and roles to play depending on skills, experience, specialties, and assigned tasks. This being said, a graphic designer’s work usually involves any of the following:
- Meet with clients or an art director to find out the scope of a project.
- Advise clients on what best to do to reach their audience in terms of graphic design.
- Determine the goals of a project and the message the design should convey.
- Create a design that communicates the idea or message the client intends to relay.
- Design logos, book covers, magazine covers, brochures, advertisements, web pages, etc. to use as marketing materials
- Create designs or communication materials by hand or through computer software.
- Choose the correct images, colors, layout, and text style that enhances the design’s readability.
- Produce drafts and present them to an art director or client.
- Make changes based on recommendations and revisions asked by a client before producing the final design.
- Check the designs for errors before publishing or printing.
The job of a graphic designer typically involves the tasks mentioned above. Some slight changes may be needed depending on the nature of the project. But either way, it is a long process that involves the cooperation of various individuals besides the graphic designer. It’s a lot easier if the designer is part of a team, but they’ll be taking on a lot more responsibilities if they work solo.
Qualifications of a Graphic Designer
What are the qualifications of a graphic designer that makes them a great addition to your team? For one, they are properly trained. Most graphic designers are degree holders with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Associate Degree in Graphic Design, or a relevant certificate. This ensures they have the knowledge and skills to help with your graphics needs.
There are also a number of important factors when choosing a graphic designer for your next project.
A Ready Portfolio
The best professional graphic designers won’t just tell you to “trust them.” They’ll show you their skills instead through a fantastic portfolio. Their portfolio includes sketches, artwork, and past works that serve as their resume.
You can choose to work with novice designers, of course. They’re typically cheaper, and hiring them will help build their portfolio. But if you don’t want to risk a bad experience, you can always hire experienced graphic designers. Not only do they’ve taken art and design courses that last at least a year. Professional designers have worked with numerous clients, who should be able to vouch or deny their skills.
One of the best things about graphic designers is they have excellent technical and artistic skills. They are also adept at using various software and tools. Graphic designers have also learned about various topics such as studio art, commercial art, and computer-assisted design.
Notable Skills of a Graphic Designer
Graphic design is, technically, visual communication. This means graphic designers have both the skills in design and communication to be able to present information effectively. They have a wide range of skillset that a business in any industry can make use of. The following skills are what makes a graphic designer an essential asset to you and your company.
What does a graphic designer do? They convey ideas creatively through images, texts, and other design elements. They solve problems through creative methods, such as designing a product label that helps sell it. Graphic designers are creative problem solvers with an excellent understanding of aesthetics, good perceptivity, and attention to detail.
Graphic designers communicate via images and texts. It means they must have excellent communication skills. They can articulate and communicate ideas to employers and clients through various means, mainly through the visuals they create. For this reason, they must be especially good at verbal communication, understanding client preferences, and sales.
Graphic designers often perform their work using various forms of technology. This makes it essential for a graphic designer to be familiar with graphic design software like Adobe and Quark. Sometimes, a graphic design task means website development. This means a graphic designer must know about web design, programming languages such CSS and HTM, and content management systems like WordPress.
When designing, it’s a given that all output must be legible. The consumer who sees it must be able to read it well and must not hurt their eyes. This makes typography skills crucial for graphic designers so that they can develop well-designed, aesthetically pleasing materials. A graphic designer must also know about fonts, line height, layouts, spacing, tracking, storyboard creation, balanced perspective, and other vital elements.
These are the top four most important skills of a graphic designer. But of course, there are still more skills they need to be able to deliver high-quality results. Such skills include:
- Time management
- Project management
- Strategic thinking
- Analytical skills
What Does a Graphic Designer Do in an In-House Setting?
When you are an in-house graphic designer, you work solely to produce creative communication materials specifically for the company. And you work strictly to develop their brand. In this case, you can enjoy a more traditional work environment and the stability that comes with it. But in this work setting, the graphic designer typically has to handle different types of projects even outside their specialty.
What does a Graphic Designer Do as part of an Agency?
In this case, you become part of a company that provides design services to individuals or smaller businesses. You will likely have to juggle various projects of different sizes from different clients. The workflow depends on the contracts, so they can proceed slowly or very quickly. What’s great about being part of an agency is there are usually other specialists that handle different aspects of the project.
What does a Graphic Designer Do as a Freelancer?
Graphic designers with a streak of independence and know-how about how business works often go out on their own as freelancers. So this means they are essentially self-employed and can work comfortably anywhere, including their home. Freelance graphic designers can choose projects to take, how many hours to work, or which clients to work with. However, they also have to handle marketing, operations, and finances.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Graphic Designer?
The market rates are mostly what set the salaries of graphic designers, depending on how the economy is doing. It also depends on the existing demand for their skills as well as basic supply and demand factors.
Graphic design is an industry that will experience remarkable growth moving forward. After all, the global graphic design industry is growing and is expected to reach $45.8 billion in 2021.
More and more businesses realize the importance of graphic design in the digital era. Graphic designers are necessary for companies that need effective marketing materials. Graphic designers handle everything, from a simple logo to a complex web design. You will need their help to build your brand identity in this competitive world.
Get Your Graphic Design Needs at Bunny Studio
What does a graphic designer do? As you can see, they’re a jack of all trades that can handle a simple illustration to designing you an aesthetically pleasing website. It’s also a lucrative career projected to continue being in demand in the future. Our graphic designers at Bunny Studio are always happy to help with your design needs.
So, don’t hesitate to hire a graphic designer today!