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What does a career in graphic design entail?

I have started doing some graphic designing lately during the summer of 2022, making overlays and some slides for my streamer friends. I might wanna get into this professionally, but for now, am preparing to do this as a side thing. But what does being a professional graphic designer look like in terms of workplace, salary, how designs are made, etc.?

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Zobair’s Answer

Hi Katie

1. Start watching youtube tutorials on these softwares. I would also recommend paid Treehouse courses. (Fast, hand-on, and backed by "Certificates". Collect as many certificates as you can from different places like Harward, Coursera, Stanford, Alison, etc. :

Illustrator
Photoshop
InDesign

Become a master of these softwares.

2. Always focus on the basics.
Color palettes, typeface, font, typography, spacing, layout, grid, shapes, form, texture, alignment, contrast, design principles. Follow best designers on dribble and Instagram.

3. Simulate. Pick a nice looking image/design and build your version of it. Could be same, could be 80% same, etc. Build at least 20 of such projects. Then experiment freely and frankly with your own designs. Make at least 50 of them.

4. Make accounts on Dribble, Instagram and LinkedIn. Start uploading your journey of design there. Dribble & Insta for displaying your designs and following the big names there for inspiration. And LinkedIn to create a network with clients, employers, and other freelance designers. Optimize LinkedIn profile to the next level.

Zobair recommends the following next steps:

Build your portfolio website. A minimal design website.
Offer real life projects to local businesses. Restaurants, shops, academies, schools, doctors, ecommerce, agenct, etc
Now it's time to get a job. Apply on LinkedIn. At least 20 jobs per day.
From here, new ways will appear on their own. No advice needed. Play free, take chances, fly, get bruised, dust off, run, start again. Anything.
Don't be a big fan of rules.
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Allusia "Lucy"’s Answer

Hi Katie,

On a day to day basis, depending on the company and projects, you might be working with an Art Director, and Creative Director. You might also have a project manager or producer to help prioritize tasks and provide schedules (due dates and milestones). Your daily task can range from being briefed on a project, research, concept development, brainstorming, design presentation/critique, and execution.

Typically, to make the actual design, there are software and tools that can be utilized: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Figma, Sketch, and more. Hope that helps!

Allusia "Lucy" recommends the following next steps:

Research job postings for graphic designers in your area to get an understanding of the role and responsibilities
Research salaries via Glassdoor
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Wayne’s Answer

Hi Katie. A graphic designer creates useful, meaningful, and functional visuals using various means of technology. The work depends largely on a client's or company's needs, but general designer responsibilities may include: developing visual assets to support a marketing campaign, designing a graphic overlay for social media posts, formalizing the layout for a print ad, and retouching photos for digital signage.

Graphic design is a form of communication that uses colors, shapes, images, and words to create visual content that surrounds us in many forms—namely, print and digital media. Effective designs communicate information in a way that inspires and informs consumers, making it a critical element for any business' success.

Graphic designers create images and layouts for some of the following:
- Company brand identity (logos, typography, and color palettes)
- User interfaces on apps and websites
- Books, magazines, newspapers, and other publications
- Product packaging
- Advertisements and commercials
- Signage for stores, transportation, stadiums, and event spaces
- Video games

Since graphic designers can work in many settings, your tasks and responsibilities may vary. You may work in-house at a company or agency, or at home as a freelancer. Graphic designers often work in:
- Ad agencies
- Web design firms
- Marketing firms
- Print and online publishers
- Online and brick-and-mortar retailers
- Non-profit organizations

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for graphic designers is $50,710 as of 2021, or $24.38 per hour.
Those working in advertising and public relations tended to earn on the higher end of the pay scale.

Many graphic designers have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Earning a degree not only helps you build foundational skills for a career, it also gives you opportunities to begin building a portfolio of work to show potential employers. Look for programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Coursework in these programs generally includes principles of design, computerized design, printing techniques, studio art, and website design.

Hope this help.

Good luck!
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William’s Answer

Hi Katie!

Graphics Design is a branch of Art that uses visual communication.

It involves extensive use of texts, symbols, forms and pictures for designing contents for the following:

Advertisement design
Motion graphics
Interface design / Web design
Branding design
Packaging design
Print media
Publishing design
Environmental design
Animation design

It can be done manually or digitally. Some software like Adobe Creative Cloud and Corel Suite is good for achieving digital graphic design.

You can work for any organization.
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