Graphic Designer Job Profile
What is the work like?
Graphic designers use images and lettering to get information across and make an impact. This could be for all kinds of purposes, including advertising, book covers and magazines, television graphics and websites.
As a graphic designer your work would include:
- discussing the project requirements (the ‘brief’) with clients, senior designers or account executives
- providing cost quotations
- choosing the most suitable materials and style
- producing rough sketches or computer visuals to show to the client
- using specialist computer design software to prepare designs
- keeping to budgets and deadlines
- producing a final layout with detailed specifications for typefaces, letter size and colours.
You may also produce 3D (three dimensional) designs for packaging, exhibitions and displays.
What qualifications and experience will employers look for?
There are no set qualifications for becoming a graphic designer. You would usually be employed on the strength of your skills rather than your qualifications. However, most professional graphic designers have a BTEC HND, foundation degree or degree in graphic design or another art or design based subject.
To search for colleges and universities offering HNDs, foundation degrees and degrees, visit the website of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Please check with the individual colleges and universities for their entry requirements.
You will need to keep an up-to-date professional portfolio of your work, and have a working knowledge of computer packages such as:
- Quark Xpress
- 3D Studio
You can do courses in these at local colleges and with private course providers.
Unpaid work experience will give you the chance to develop your portfolio, make contacts and impress potential employers.
You could also create a website to show your work.
What further training and development can I do?
You would need to keep your skills up to date throughout your career as a graphic designer. You may be able to attend short courses, for example in computer packages such as Quark Xpress, FreeHand, Illustrator, Photoshop, 3D Studio, and Flash, but you will also learn new skills on the job to meet the needs of particular projects.
View other print, packaging and design job profiles here.