Graphic designers are the creative, artistic wing of the marketing industry. Graphic designers take a variety of roles, from designing print ads and logos to designing huge billboards or branded t-shirts.

A Short History

You could argue that design has been around as long as humankind itself; since humans lived in caves, they’ve been using illustration to tell stories and convey certain messages. The industry in its modern form, however, started in the late 19th century with the Industrial Revolution. As American capitalism began to gain momentum, so did the marketing and advertising to go along with it.

By the twentieth century, logos and other types of visual branding were considered of primary importance. The term “graphic design” came about for the first time in 1922, when William Addison Dwiggins coined the term to describe his job as a type designer, calligrapher, and commercial artist. With the advent of the internet, the use of visual cues to define a brand and appeal to potential customers became even more important.

Getting A Job: Education

Most jobs that involve designing graphics for big companies usually require a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Preparation for jobs in this area is offered at a variety of universities, colleges and private design or art schools. Curriculum tends to include studio art, computerized design, printing techniques, and web design.

Professional schools also offer associate degrees that can lead to later jobs in graphic design. An associate degree is a good option for someone looking for graphic design jobs who already holds a bachelor’s degree in a different field.

Types of Job

As mentioned earlier, jobs in this sector vary greatly, from sign design to website design. Designers should decide which area they wish to specialize in based upon their interests, then learn about specific requirements for those job fields.

Keeping Up with Changing Software

All competent graphic designers must keep up with ever-changing software. Software is different from specialty to specialty; designers should learn what software is standard in their preferred area of expertise, then set about learning that software thoroughly. As new software emerges, graphic designers must be willing to learn new programs in order to stay competitive.

Competing with Others

Technical skills are very important for these professionals, but more and more companies are also looking for designers who can work in a team and who can understand corporate needs in today’s globalized world.

Author: Patricia Carrascosa