Graphic Design Major 101: Your Guide To A Great Career

graphic design major

All companies, regardless of industry are constantly looking for a creative team that would do the job of effectively getting their message across with high visual impact. Graphic designers work in varied media including websites, books and magazines, product packaging, advertising, exhibitions and displays, computer games, and corporate branding. If you are a graphic design major who is already decided or currently planning to pursue a career in graphic design, here are some tips and major factors to consider.

graphic design major

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is simply defined as the profession or art of visual communication that uses a combination of words, images, and ideas to relay information to a specific audience. Graphic design can be seen all over- from the morning paper that we read, to the packaging of our favorite products.

What are the most common forms of graphic design?

The most common forms of graphic design that we can observe in our everyday lives are the following:

  • Company Logo
  • Web Sites
  • Business Cards
  • Print Ads
  • Book Design and Layout
  • Brochures
  • Outdoor Advertisements
  • Product Packaging
  • Posters
  • Newspaper and Magazine Layout
  • Greeting Cards

Salary and Benefits

Like other occupations, a graphic design major’s salary and other work benefits vary from one company to the other. It also depends on the location. Since graphic design is heavily based on skills and experience, getting up the ladder highly depends on work experience and an artist’s portfolio. Salary range may start from $40,000 and may go as high as more than $100,000 annually.

Why pursue a career in graphic design?

For a lot of graphic design majors, the versatility of work is one of the key factors that influence them to build a career in graphic design. Moreover, the flexibility of a graphic design major’s career option is a key driver in pursuing a career in this industry. A graphic design major may utilize his skills in numerous professional contexts. Graphic designers may opt to work for large companies and organizations, or establish a career on his own, as a freelance designer. While most graphic design majors end up working for other companies or agencies, the number of self-employed graphic designers is steadily increasing, with nearly 30% of graphic designers currently being their own bosses.

graphic design major

What are the most common job postings for graphic design majors?

A major in graphic design greatly expands one’s options that include a very diverse slew of creative careers that can eventually land him in a leadership position in a creative company or organization such as a design firm or an advertising agency.  Here are some of the most common occupations for graphic design majors:

  • Art or Creative Director
  • Creative Strategist
  • Film and Video Editor
  • Product Designer
  • Marketing Manager
  • Multimedia Artist
  • Web Designer
  • Brand Manager

What are the skills and qualities needed to become a graphic designer?

Primarily, a graphic designer must have a creative flair, an eye for style, and a strong visual sense. This may be further honed by taking a variety of courses that will guide you in establishing your own trademark style, and acquiring up-to-date knowledge. Strong computer skills must also be developed, since almost all designs nowadays are made through various imaging and design software.

Being detail-oriented is also important for graphic designers.  They must be able to easily grasp the needs of the clients and balance several projects at once.

Aside from creative and technical skills, graphic design majors must also develop a strong self-confidence and public relations skills. This is important because graphic designers also need to interact with different types of clients and their colleagues when pitching design and concept ideas.

The graphic design industry might not look very appealing when you are just starting to establish a career, but at the end of the day, it is all about dedication and hard work. If you think that you are ready for this type of job, then be a graphic design major now. Start building your portfolio now, and take advantage of all training opportunities that come your way. 

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