What Is a Graphic Design Specialist?

Publishing or advertising for print or the Internet would not be effective without the input from graphic design specialists. A graphic design specialist's understanding and use of combinations of art, words, and color can be applied to designing advertisements, enhancing Web pages, and developing print content. Keep reading to learn more about the different specialties you could pursue. Schools offering Graphic Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

As a graphic design specialist or graphic designer, you'll work to visually communicate ideas and concepts through artistic measures, creative messaging, and computer technology. You can choose from a variety of industries and products that need the services of a talented professional, such as the following:

Important Facts About Graphic Design Specialists

Median Salary (2018) $50,370
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 4%
Professional Certification Voluntary; a variety of certifications are available through Adobe
Similar Occupations Art directors; craft and fine artists; desktop publishers; drafters; industrial designers; multimedia artists and animators; web developers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Print Publications

Newspapers, magazines, guides, and other printed products rely on graphic designers to develop and maintain the overall look of the publication. You'll collaborate with different departments, like editorial, advertising, and marketing, to design special printings, small and large ads, posters, bulletins, and brochures. Many graphic designers also serve as paginators, being responsible for the layout and format of each page for a specific edition.


You can seek a position with an advertising business or a marketing company. Your duties could involve working with sales and creative personnel to develop promotional content, catchy slogans, attractive flyers, and commercials that stick in one's mind; these might appear in print or on television. You might also focus on design for manufacturers, crafting distinctive logos that make people remember the product. For these jobs, you might be working as an independent contractor or find a salaried position.

Web Design

Web pages, Internet ads, and other Internet designs present a large opportunity for graphic designers. Because most graphic design is now done electronically and since traditional print sources are choosing to publish online, graphic designers might find that their talents are the best fit for a career in electronic media; better job prospects are another benefit. You can work for a variety companies and organizations worldwide, arranging animations, photographs, videos, and charts pertinent to their needs inaccessible and aesthetically pleasing websites.


A bachelor's degree is the typical level of education you'll need for employment. Coursework can teach you to address the creative, cultural, and business needs of clients and employers. You'll be thoroughly trained in using the sophisticated technology that is common to this industry. Beginning courses can focus on traditional forms of art, with courses in art history, drawing, and typography. Other topics you can expect to study are design styles, image, form, visual narratives, and visual perception. A good amount of your time is spent in the studio, developing design styles for various outlets. Your best work will go toward building a professional portfolio to showcase your creative talents to potential employers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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