4 answers

Do I have to live in a big city to do well in the field of Graphic Design?

Asked Port Huron, Michigan

4 answers

Alwyn’s Answer

Updated Brockton, Massachusetts

No you do not need live in a big city to do well as a graphic designer. The only advantage is having access to lots of clients you can court in person - well planned visits you can be scheduled even if living in a small town. Today’s virtual world allows for people to work anywhere as long as connectivity is good. Publicity and public awareness is key post work on social media (Facebook & Instagram) and on design sites like Dribble and Behance along with a well crafted site of your own. Good luck!

Ellen’s Answer

Updated Woodbridge, Virginia

Hi Lakin


Graphic designers work in may different scenarios---large businesses, design studios, advertising agencies, on their own as freelancers. Good graphic design is needed everywhere, so while you would probably make more money in a large metropolitan area and have more employment opportunities, you could also do OK in a smaller or mid-sized city. (Keep in mind also that big cities are more expensive to live in than smaller ones).


Remember, that graphic designers do not make a lot of money to start with, they often have to work their way up the ladder, but you should eventually be able to make a comfortable living doing what you LOVE. My sister in law just retired as a graphic designer for a utilities company in a medium sized city, and she had a comfortable lifestyle and loved her job.

Mat’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

Not necessarily. You can freelance and build experience. Get your name out there. That’s what I did.

Rachel’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

I have lived in small, middle sized and large cities and the answer is no. There are jobs for designers everywhere. Your best bet is to find a smaller city with a good industry. For example, Raleigh-Durham, NC has a huge technology sector, but you can live in a smaller town and enjoy the benefits of a big city job. It also depends on what exactly you want to do. There are design jobs everywhere.

Rachel recommends the following next steps:

  • Figure out what size city makes sense for you
  • Find the industry in cities you like (healthcare, automotive, technology) and figure out what part of that industry you want to work in. Would you want to design logos or make ads? Do you want to design systems (Ex: technology systems, web sites) or are you more interested in traditional graphic design? (brochures, identity, etc)
  • Enroll in a design program that's right for you. Find a 2 year portfolio school or 4-year college program.
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