Becoming A Graphic Designer

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This week, we are continuing our series on graphic design. In case you missed the first installment, it can be read here

Graphic Design 101

If you are thinking of becoming a graphic designer, it’s important to know before you invest your time, money, and effort what the degree programs and ultimately, the workplace environment will be like.

Here is an introduction of what the graphic design programs pulled from the websites of Bloomington schools.  Please keep in mind that your class schedule may vary from these outlines.

At Ivy Tech, the degree program is called Visual Communications. Some classes you may expect to take include: design, imaging, intro to computer graphics, typography, electronic imaging, web design, electronic illustration, art, history of design, business practices, and portfolio preparation. These classes would take place alongside fundamental math and English credits. Whether you complete the degree at Ivy Tech or transfer credits, a talk with a counselor about your goals will allow you to decide which classes are best for you.

Also in town is LinkedIn’s number five ranked graduate school for graphic designers, Indiana University. In order to receive a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, you will have to take classes such as production for graphic design, design practices, production for graphic design and typography. Additional items and courses needed to earn a Master’s may include additional studio art classes, semester reviews, thesis exhibitions and portfolios.

After you receive your degree, you may be wondering the scope of jobs available to you. With a major in graphic design, you may hold jobs such as; art director, creative director, drafter (for architecture or engineering), film/video director, industrial/product designer, marketing manager, multimedia artist, animator, and of course, graphic designer.

The duties of a graphic designer may vary depending on place of employment, size of company, and various other factors. However, there are some basic tasks that are likely to be experienced regardless of employer. These will include; meeting with clients or the art director, using digital illustration, photo editing, and layout software to create designs, and creating images such as logos, original images, or illustrations that carry the desired message. You will also need to be able to incorporate desired changes to work, and to review for errors.

As of 2014, the median pay for accomplishing those tasks is $45,900 per year.

Last but not least, some essential skills to help you thrive in the graphic design industry include; analytical skills, artistic ability, communication skills, computer skills, creativity, and time management. If you are lacking in any of these skills, you should seriously access those skills and acquire them.

That concludes informational portion of the series. Be sure to check back in next week when we will have interviews from some of the crew at ABR Print.