Let your imagination be your guide. Life as a designer allows your creative personality to thrive as you bring to life either your own ideas or those of a client.
Just be warned, it’s not all working on pioneering websites or cutting edge magazines... you could find yourself producing toilet signs or packaging logos. Can you handle it?
So, what will I actually be doing?
Graphic designers usually work with clients to design a huge range of products, from websites and magazines to computer games, packaging and even signage (exciting, no?). Usually you will need to stick to strict branding guidelines, although this depends on exactly what you’re working on.
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The nitty gritty
Graphic design jobs may sometimes be seen as ‘fun’ but while the work is certainly creative and often interesting, there’s also a lot of time management and organisation needed to succeed. Downer.
You may end up doing some of the following…
- Lead client meetings
- Provide business quotes for work
- Develop complex design briefs
- Adapt your designs to meet budget and time constraints
- Keep on top of the latest graphic design computer programmes and technologies
Although this is really just the tip of a Titanic-busting iceberg.
Money, money, money
We won’t lie to you, the pay isn’t amazing as a graphic designer. Starting salaries tend to sit at £14,000 - £22,000, but it’s not all bad news. Senior designers can earn as much as £70,000 a year at good firms.
Of course, if you go freelance then your fees can earn you a lot more, but this doesn’t offer a lot in the way of job security.
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The good points...
Few people can say that they love their jobs but many graphic designers are able to do just that. This is a difficult industry to get into but one that can be very creatively rewarding.
It’s likely that design is your passion and building a career around what you love is usually a sure-fire way of staying happy at work.
...and the bad
If you are precious – in the slightest – then this is not the job for you. You are there to interpret what your client wants and sometimes you won’t see eye-to-eye on things. This can be incredibly frustrating, particularly when you have to change a design to make it look worse. Walking the line between advising your client and being disrespectful can be tough.
Is there study involved?
A degree or HND will greatly improve your chances of getting a foot in the door and there’s a huge choice of subjects to choose from, including general graphic design or more specific courses such as 3D design or illustration. It goes without saying that ANY work experience is pretty-much essential, even if it’s just building your own example portfolio of work.
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OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
Creativity, good negotiation skills and organisation are three personality traits that don’t often go hand-in-hand… but these are what you’ll need to do well as a graphic designer. You have to be tenacious and not too precious over your ‘art’ as, ultimately, it’s the client’s vision that you have to think about – not your own!