Graphic design is literally everywhere you go. When you drive past a billboard, a street sign, or a bus stop sign – those were all created by graphic designers. Pick up a book, a newspaper or a magazine; the layout, placement of the photos, choice of font and general appearance was put together by graphic designers. When you visit any website, or open an app on your phone, graphic designers who specialize in web design created those items. Look at a company logo – that was also designed by someone in this field.
A versatile set of opportunities
If you are a creative person, love to draw, paint or otherwise create some sort of media, then a graphic design degree might fit your personality and your future career goals. A degree in this field can help a web designer, someone who wants to get into publishing, or someone who wants to design signs and other advertisements. Taking this degree to a graduate degree could help you become a creative director, someone who directs and organizes the creative process of many other artists and graphic designers. Marketing specialists and marketing managers often have degrees in graphic design. Artists who are involved with multimedia or animation often obtain this degree.
A note on the marketing side of graphic design
The creative aspect of graphic design can be fun and challenging, but that is not the only step towards becoming successful in a career in graphic design. Like we said before, it is everywhere you go and so there is plenty of opportunity. There are also a lot of talented graphic designers out there, so along with the opportunity comes plenty of competition. This is important to be aware of as you start out in your graphic design education, because graphic design is more than just creating art. You must creatively market yourself, prepare for rejection and become comfortable with people criticizing your work.
In the course of your degree, you will learn how to make a portfolio, which you will develop and use throughout your career in order to market yourself. It is advisable to take some marketing courses so that you can learn methods and practices that will get your work in front of clients or hiring managers.
Like any other job search or search for clients, when you get out of college and start looking for positions or contract work, you’ll likely have to apply for several positions before you find a good fit. This means that you’ll experience rejection. This can be hard for an artist. When your heart and soul went into the art that you provided in your portfolio, it may be difficult to hear from someone, “you are just not what we are looking for.”
Graphic artists we’ve spoken to have mentioned that a good graphic designer will develop a certain detachment from their work. Often in your future career, you will create something that is absolutely perfect – a masterpiece! Then you take it to your boss or your client and they want you to make changes to it, possibly changes you don’t agree with. Developing a detachment from your work will help you do two things. First, it will allow you to diplomatically discuss your work and come up with the best solution that satisfies your client or boss. Second it will allow you to make changes that you might not prefer to make, without any internal conflict.
A place to make your creativity shine
With the proper marketing skills, a graphic design degree is a great way to take your natural creativity and use it in a professional way. Once you have learned how to navigate this competitive field, you can find career opportunities in a variety of places. Many positions exist in both the private and public sectors. Or, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can strike out on your own and start your own design business. Either way, with a positive attitude and some perseverance, a you can be a success in your industry.
More Degrees in Graphic Design: