Graphic designers and multimedia artists create visual solutions for commercial marketing or entertainment productions in the broadcast, print, and online space. A graphic designer plans and executes the design for newspapers, magazines, websites, advertisements (fliers, brochures, and stationery), packaging, or signs. Multimedia graphic designers create animations for film, video, broadcast, websites, or presentations. They can work for design firms, entertainment companies, publishers, public relations or advertising firms, print shops, or they can work as self-employed private consultants.
How to Prepare for a Career in Graphic Design
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers increasingly favor graphic and multimedia designers who hold a bachelor's degree in graphic design or animation. Graphic design degree programs offer coursework in design theory, design and animation software, graphics production, website animation and design, studio art, advertising design, and art history. Many two- or three-year graphic design programs are available to provide technical training for upcoming designers and artists. Many professionals return to school to keep up with the latest design trends and dedicated design software. Students in multimedia graphic design programs may complete a digital portfolio to show to prospective employers, while graphic design students prepare a print portfolio.
Graphic Design Wages and Job Outlook
The BLS reports that in 2008, the median annual wage for graphic designers was $42,400, with top-tier salaries in the $75,000 range. The highest salaries were paid by employers in computer systems design and related services companies. The BLS predicts a 13 percent increase in wage and salary jobs in graphic design between 2008 and 2018. Designers with website design and animation experience will find the greatest number of opportunities.