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If at any point today you’ve read a book, made an online purchase, put on a t-shirt, or watched a TV commercial, you’ve been exposed to the work of a graphic designer. As great American designer, Paul Rand, once said:
Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.
It’s true–graphic designers basically make the world beautiful, and the rest of us just get to live in it. Lots of companies and organizations are able to benefit from making things beautiful, which is why there are opportunities in the field across a wide variety of industries.
At the most simple level, a graphic designer is a professional who is responsible for presenting information in a way that is both accessible and memorable. This typically involves assembling images, typography, and/or motion graphics together to create a piece of design. Basically, graphic designers focus on solving visual communication problems within the context of a specific audience and media channel. As such, they have the opportunity to work within multiple industries, ranging from publishing to advertising to web development. While it may sound overwhelming, that’s actually a good thing because it means there are plenty of opportunities to put your craft to work!
On most days, a designer receives a brief (an explanation of what someone wants/what problem needs to be solved) from a client or boss. Then the designer brainstorms solutions to the brief, and works out some of their ideas with sketches or rough prototypes. After examining all potential angles, the designer creates the best idea. Executing the idea might entail anything from using computer programs, to photo shoots, to scouting out locations. If you’re a more visual learner, check out this entertaining infographic about a day in the life of a graphic designer.
Now that you’re aware of the ins-and-outs of the job, I know what you’re thinking… show me the money! Well, the salary of graphic artists and designers usually falls in the range of $23,000-$58,000. The entry level will probably be at the lower half of the range, and the upper half is usually for people with a few years of experience. As you gain experience, you may move into positions like Senior Graphic Designer ($34,000-$78,000), Art Director ($33,000-$86,000), and Web Graphic Designer ($25,000-$63,000).
Here are some of the best cities for jobs and internships in Graphic Design:
If graphic design still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
Top books for budding graphic designers.
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