What Is the Job Description of a Visual Communications Designer?

Do you believe you'd be good at conveying messages with eye-catching images or design concepts? If so, perhaps a career as a visual communications designer is right for you. Visual communications designers create graphics, organize page layouts, or animate moving images, among other duties. Read on to see if a career as a visual communications designer may be right for you. Schools offering Communication Design & Interactive Media degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Visual communications designers conceive and design visual concepts to best convey clients' messages to their intended audiences. In other words, as a visual communications designer you'll use visual stimuli to persuade your audience to do or feel something.

You'll work with marketing executives or other designers to create an art piece or series of pieces that convey the message that the company wants. You'll then decide the best way to create your work using color, typesetting, images, illustration, or photography. Finally, you'll check in with your clients at various stages of design to make sure your work meets their expectations.

To do this job well, you'll need creativity, good business sense, technological skills, and a strong understanding of your audience.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Key Skills Analytical, communication, and time-management skills, as well as creativity; computer skills for technical work
Work Environment Typically full-time in a studio or design office with access to the appropriate software, sometimes on a deadline
Required Education A bachelor's degree accompanied by a professional portfolio

Employment Possibilities

Visual communications designers work at advertising agencies, web firms, publishing houses, or marketing departments; freelancing is another option for a designer. Job titles related to visual communications designers include:

  • Advertising designer
  • Book designer
  • Motion graphic designer
  • Type designer
  • Environmental designer
  • Multimedia designer
  • Type designers
  • Television graphics designer

Physical Design Jobs

Visual communications projects can focus on tangible products, such as books, magazines, signs, and brochures. When designing these objects, you'll complete your work on a computer and then consult with printers and other vendors to size and create your layout on the physical object. You may also work on more traditional illustration projects like book illustrations, court illustrations, and storyboards for film and television.

Technology Design Jobs

Media design work can include creating website interfaces, video game programs, and animated films. As a visual communications designer, you'll choose all aspects of multimedia design for web programs, including colors, sound, text, and animation. You may be called on to create video clips for use on websites or software programs. You might also work with digital images, including photographs or graphics you've created, and use software to tweak the images and put them into various visual campaigns.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to visual communications design, it does publish data pertinent to both graphic designers and multimedia artists. The BLS predicts that the employment of graphic designers will likely grow by about 7% between 2012 and 2022, while job opportunities available to multimedia artists and animators will grow by about 6% during the same time frame. Graphic designers were reported to have earned median salaries of $45,900 in May 2014 by the BLS; the same source indicated that multimedia artists and animators earned a median of $63,630 a year.

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