Graphic design can encompass many different things, from designing business stationery and brochures, to advertising and promotion work and digital design. The good news for those looking to enter this industry is that work is plentiful, the rewards can be high and the perks well worth pursuing!
The majority of people entering graphic design roles are design graduates having left university after studying any number of different design disciplines. But you do not necessarily have to hold a degree to get a job in a design agency. Those with experience of the printing industry or in web design and digital graphics can also find themselves well suited to roles in graphic design.
However, before you begin applying for graphic design jobs it can be a good idea to know just what roles are available and what each entails.
As a graphic designer you will be the creative force within an agency. You will be responsible for coming up with design concepts according to a clients brief. Although you will not be responsible for producing the finished artwork files, you will need to be able to produce drawings, digital images or graphics and be able to give clear direction to the artworker on things such as layout, colour formulas and typography.
A working knowledge of all leading design software and hardware is often deemed essential as well as knowledge of standard practises across the industry. Graphic designers are employed in both senior and junior roles depending on experience and portfolio’s.
This is usually a more senior position requiring you to oversee the entire design department seeing work through from the design brief stage to production. In this role you may be involved with some of the creative work but in general it is a supervisory role. A degree and relative experience is often required for this role and art directors usually will focus only one specific area of design such as magazine layouts, book publishing or digital media.
As the name suggests a Mac operator will have experience of using Apple Mac computers to carry out proofing and editing work on artwork files. This role is often seen as the entry level into design work, however Mac operators do need an eye for detail and knowledge of the processes required to make a design print ready, skills which many design graduates are often lacking. Mac operators are often in high demand and salaries can be competitive.
(Image credit: d-avid.ro)
An artworker takes a creative brief from a graphic designer and brings it to life. They are responsible for creating the artwork files and ensuring they are ready for the print stage. This work is not a creative role but artworkers will need design skills as well as knowledge of leading design software such as Photoshop and Quark. This role is seen as vital to ensuring a job runs to schedule as well as on budget and as such artworker jobs are widely available. Again this can be an entry level position for those looking to gain experience and skills before moving into a graphic design role.
Many designer and artworker jobs can be found on a freelance basis working remotely. One-off projects as well as repeat work can all be found on this basis and if you are not concerned about drawing a regular salary you can find the work varied and flexible to suit your circumstances.
Both freelance designers and artworkers alike will find an abundance of work available across different forms of media including web design and digital artwork.