What does a Graphic Designer do?
Graphic design is more than just business logos and typography – it’s about using visual communication to inspire, inform and problem-solve. It’s the role of a Graphic Designer to determine how to send a message and evoke a response through colour, texture, images and symbols.
A Graphic Designer could be responsible for all aspects of a design process, or they might specialise in a particular field e.g. advertising, digital and web-based design, illustration or branding.
Graphic Designers may work independently as consultants or freelancers, or as part of a larger team in an advertising agency, corporate company, or design studio.
Career progression opportunities for a Graphic Designer include positions as Studio Manager, Art Director or Creative Director.
Daily tasks for a Graphic Designer
As a Graphic Designer, you’ll be responsible for visually communicating ideas through a combination of art and technology. On a daily basis, this could involve:
- Meeting with clients to interpret the concepts they want to communicate and note their requirements.
- Determining strategies to deliver a clear message to a particular target audience.
- Preparing layouts or mock-ups of a design using illustration, text, photography, colour and computer generated imagery, either by hand or using computer software.
- Presenting designs for client approval and feedback.
- Organising the production of proofs and liaising with suppliers.
- Preparing designs for digital or print publication.
For more information on the skills and qualifications you’ll need to work as a Graphic Designer, check out how to become a Graphic Designer.
A day in the life of a Graphic Designer
Working hours of a Graphic Designer
As graphic design work is usually project-based and involves working to deadlines, you’ll need to have a degree of flexibility when it comes to your work day. Rather than set ‘9 to 5’ hours, Graphic Designers can be required to work longer or more flexible hours in order to deliver projects, work on pitches, and meet client needs. Travel or telecommuting could also be involved, depending on your client’s location.
What does a Web Designer do?
As a Graphic Designer, you may choose to focus your expertise and specialise in web design. Alternatively, you might choose to study and work in web design specifically.
Web Designers plan and design websites using software packages and web design technologies. Like in graphic design, this involves consulting with customers to understand their requirements including what information they want to communicate to their target audience. Web design requires a blend of creative and technical skills – you will need to be able to create functional web content that meets user needs while being engaging and visually appealing.
Design aspects of websites include graphics, links and forms, and as a Web Designer you’ll decide how these elements should work together to create a cohesive user experience and fulfil the purpose of the website. This might involve working with writers, system administrators, IT staff and other designers in order to understand technological limitations and how to create the best user experience.
In addition to designing, some Web Designers also have programming skills in various internet languages and use these to implement and maintain their web designs. While this isn’t always part of a Web Designer’s position, some programming and coding knowledge is usually advantageous.