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A career guide to becoming a Graphic Designer 

Published: Friday 24th July 2020

The demand for jobs in graphic design are at an all-time high. Across the creative industries, design is one of the most in-demand skills right now and opportunities are opening up everywhere. So, if you are looking to become a graphic designer or illustrator working on exciting projects and with other creatives in the industry, graphic design is a great area to get into. 

The national average salary for a graphic designer is £22,000 per annum. The average starting salarfor junior graphic designers with less than 1 years’ experience is £18,000, whilst senior graphic designers can earn between £24,000 and £40,000. Design directors on average earn up to £50,000 or more. In-house and agency graphic design jobs are available in major cities and towns, with the best paid jobs based in London, the South East, Manchester and Leeds. 

How to get started as a Graphic Designer 

Top view of intelligent stylish young asian graphic designer is working with colors samples, pensive. She is a successful self employed artist. Graphic designer job.

There is a lot of competition for graphic design jobs. Entry into the field usually requires you to have a design qualification, such as a degree or diploma. However, design internships and placements are extremely useful for gaining experience, making connections and building your portfolio.

Employers may ask for a degree in graphic design, art and design or illustrationGraphic designers must have strong design skills and technical knowledge, as well as attention to detail and creative flair. In addition, when applying for graphic design jobs, employers will ask to see your portfolio that shows your creative ideas, skills and work experience. 

Working asGraphic Designer 

Working as a graphic designer involves creating visual branding, adverts, marketing campaignswebsite designs, packaging and print materials for businesses, brands and clients. Depending on your role, day-to-day tasks may include:  

Graphic designers discussing over computer in office

  • Preparing designs using specialist software, such as Adobe. 
  • Presenting your ideas to clients, team members or higher management for feedback and approval. 
  • Working to different client or marketing budgets and deadlines. 
  • Finalising designs and explaining requirements to printers, manufacturers or games developers. 
  • Keeping up with design trends and software developments. 

As a graphic designer, you will work closely on an exciting number of creative projects alongside other creative professionals such as designers, photographers and marketers, as well as managing client expectations. Working as a graphic designer means you have to be able to come up with new ways of working, whilst also embracing criticism of your work from your colleagues and clients. People can be difficult and will ask for several amends or rounds of designs. But if you remain humble and work hard throughout your career you will make good connections, build relationships and your design portfolio. 

Full-time graphic designers typically work 37 hours but there usually is some flexibility around start and finish timesHowever, expect to work extra hours when tight deadlines are approaching. Moreover, graphic designer jobs will involve working in teams or with clients, although you may also work alone on occasions.  

Graphic designer at studio work Creativity renovation and technology concept Color swatch samples for selection

Career progression for Graphic Designers 

The key to moving up your career working as a graphic designer is seizing every creative opportunity along the way. Create work for a diverse number of brands, build strong partnerships and learn from senior designers – this will give you the chance to develop your design portfolio and make connections in the industry. 

In conclusion, career progression from junior to senior graphic designer can take between 5 and 10 years in the industry. You could become a senior designer, creative director or move into management. Setting yourself up as a freelance graphic designer or starting your own design agency is also a popular option once you are established in your career. 

For the latest graphic design job opportunities, try a new job search on Zoek UK.

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