Graphic design is a career sought after by many people. It is a creative profession that commands a decent salary and is needed by many businesses. However, there are some nuances to the big picture aspiring graphic designers should understand. The following is an in-depth analysis of how in demand graphic designers are.
What Graphic Designers Do
There is some misconception surrounding what graphic designers do and it is important to be clear on that point before delving deeper into the profession’s outlook. Graphic designers primarily create compelling visual designs by using images, fonts and color schemes. This is typical with the intention or informing or promoting. They can work for individual companies, for themselves or dedicated graphic design firms. They work with clients or art directors throughout a project and make changes based on their feedback. They need to be excellent interpersonal communicators, have a creative eye and be detail-oriented. They typically need a bachelor’s degree to work in this field.
Graphic Designer Employment Outlook
Unfortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a slower than average growth rate in the graphic design profession, at 4 percent. However, there is more to it than that. Graphic designers working in different areas face different employment landscapes. For example, a steep decline of 22 percent is expected among graphic designers working with newspapers, books and periodicals. Graphic designers working in digital areas such as computer systems design can expect a 20 percent growth rate. Digital media will undeniably be where most work in this profession comes from in the foreseeable future.
How To Improve Employment Potential
With strong competition expected for positions, aspiring graphic designers should look for ways to increase their value as employees and stand out from other job seekers in the field. For students still in college, securing an internship is incredibly helpful. It affords professional work experience and contacts that will help students land a job upon graduation if the company doesn’t hire them outright. Tech skills will help candidates stand out, such as in specialty software and tablet usage. Graphic designers with a strong understanding of a variety of graphic design-focused software, from Adobe products to CorelDRAW and the open-source Inkscape, will have more flexibility.
The Option To Freelance
While finding a traditional job as a graphic designer may be challenging, the ability to work remotely as a freelancer has opened up a world of possibilities for individuals attracted to this profession. Being a freelancer can capitalize on the tendency for companies to outsource graphic design work as well as afford the freelancer better job security than a traditional job might. This is because freelancers work with many different clients so losing one isn’t as big of a blow as losing a traditional job. Freelancing is challenging, however, and freelance graphic designers must have the skills to run a small business operation, such as accounting, customer service, marketing and more.
The situation for professional graphic designers is rather complicated. Many organizations need graphic designers to help market themselves, yet saturation in the field and outsourcing can make it harder to find stable jobs. Graphic design students should focus on honing their craft, creating a strong portfolio of work and looking for ways to stand out from the competition when job searching.
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