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Graphic Design

What can I do with this major?

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Area

Employer


Print Design

 
  • Type Design
  • Magazine Design
  • Newspaper Design
  • Book Publishing
  • Publication Design
  • Brochure/Newsletter Design
  • Cover Design:
    • Book
    • CD
    • Video
  • Label Design
  • Publicity Pieces
  • Advertising Layout
  • Photo Editing/Photoshop Art
  • Illustration
  • Identity Design
    • Logo Design
  • Branding
  • Publishers including:
    • Magazine
    • Periodical
    • Book
    • Directory
    • Newspaper
  • Design firms
  • Advertising agencies
  • Publishing houses
  • Business form companies
  • Publicity firms
  • In-house creative departments
  • Large retail stores
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Universities
  • Self-employed (freelance)

Three Dimensional Design

 
  • Signage
  • Signage Systems
  • Packaging
  • Exhibition Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Promotional Display Design
  • Design firms
  • Product design divisions of large corporations
  • In-house creative departments
  • Advertising agencies
  • Museums and attractions
  • Government agencies
  • Self-employed (freelance)

Electronic Media Design / 4D Design

 
  • Digital
  • Multimedia
  • Film Title
  • Television Graphics
  • Video Games
  • Computer Graphics
  • Motion Graphics
  • Animation
  • Website Design
  • Interactive Media
  • Film studios
  • Motion picture production firms
  • Television stations
  • Computer systems design firms
  • Video game designers
  • Software firms
  • Video production houses
  • Internet media companies
  • Online publishers
  • Online retailers

Advertising

 
  • Creative Services
  • Art Direction
  • Production
  • Copywriting
  • Corporate Identity Design
  • Branding
  • Logo Design
  • Advertising agencies
  • In-house creative departments
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines

General Information and Strategies

  • Carefully research design programs to find one that fits your career goals. Programs vary in terms of the areas taught so not all programs will prepare students for all areas of design.
  • Approximately 3 in 10 graphic designers are self-employed. Freelance designers must develop strong abilities in networking, sales and persuasion.
  • Graphic designers work in countless industries on a wide array of projects. Research the field thoroughly to learn about career options and the experiences and skills necessary to work in those areas. Some graphic designers choose to specialize their work while others complete a variety of projects.
  • Be prepared to start entry-level and work you way up the career ladder. Take a first job based on the industry and type of design you desire to work with because work from your first job will comprise your professional portfolio.
  • Some graphic design areas cross in multiple media such as educational design, identity design, information design and systems design.
  • Graphic designers must be able to tolerate criticism and direction in their work, since much of their work involves creating a product for a customer.
  • Graphic designers are typically artistically skilled, imaginative, and effective problem-solvers.
  • Develop a solid background in communications theory.
  • Learn to listen effectively to client needs and communicate ideas effectively.
  • Subscribe to and read graphic design materials such as Print, Eye, Communication Arts, Step into Graphics, Griphis, Computer Graphics and Applications, and others relevant to your interests.
  • Student design magazines such as, CMYK and Creative Convocation, solicit student work and have regular competitions. Try to get your work published.
  • Join major design organizations and societies, e.g. The American Institute of Graphic Arts, The Society of Publication Designers, University and College Design Association, New York Directors Club, Society of Illustrators, or the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation.
  • Become familiar with as many computer graphics and design software packages such as Quark, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Plan to stay up-to-date on new developments in the industry.
  • Successful graphic designers are well-read and in-touch with changing consumer preferences and can react to new trends. Learn about your product and who will use it. A liberal arts education helps designers learn a little about a lot of things. Additionally, graphic designers should develop good research skills, work well on a team, and learn a foreign language if working in international design.
  • Graphic design is moving towards a more user/viewer way of thinking that allows the user/viewer to contribute to the design.
  • Many design schools are shifting towards a more activist attitude teaching ethical behavior, green-uses of design, and using the power of design to rally people behind causes that affect us all.