What Is a Graphic Designer?

A graphic designer is a trained artist who creates visual concepts. They use computer software and their own hands to build concepts that communicate visual ideas that intrigue, educate and engage the public.

Responsibilities of Graphic Designers

General tasks and responsibilities of a graphic designer include

  • Creating logos, images, illustrations and other visuals that convey a specific message or idea
  • Using digital illustration, layout and photo editing tools and software to create images and design
  • Meeting with clients or supervisors to determine what kind of image is needed or what idea needs to be expressed
  • Communicating with clients and supervisors to change or edit designs as needed

Graphic design combines art with technology in order to convey messages through Web and printed media. Graphic designers use both text and images to create their designs, including type, font, size, color and more.

Graphic designers work in marketing, public relations, advertising, print and publishing and wholesale. They work in studios and use drafting tables, computers and software. Some work for specialized graphic design firms or as part of a design team. They can work independently or as a team. About one in every five graphic designers is self-employed.

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Career Outlook for Graphic Designer

Employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 4 percent through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishing industries are experiencing a decline of about 22 percent.

However, prospects are good for employment in computer systems design and related services. Growth is projected to be 20 percent by 2026. This is due to the increasing emphasis on digital marketing and advertising. In addition to having skills in design and art, many graphic designers acquire skills and knowledge relating to web design in order to meet this demand and convey a diverse background.

Graphic Designer Salary

The median salary for a graphic designer is $48,700. Those who work in advertising and public relations make the highest median salary at $49,530, followed by specialized design services at $48,360 and newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers at $42,180.

Become a Graphic Designer

Most entry-level graphic design positions require a bachelor’s degree such as SEU’s online bachelor’s in digital media and design. Students should create a portfolio that conveys their talent and best work.