Graphic designers, also known as graphic artists, are employed by advertising firms, publishers, and other companies that work with visual communications. Graphic design education requirements are designed to teach students how to get their messages across in print and electronic media.
Graphic design students learn to work with illustration, photography, animation, color, type, and layout techniques. Graphic design requirements vary from one program to another, but courses that graphic design majors typically take include the following:
- Principles of design
- Studio art
- Commercial graphics production
- Web design
- Computerized design
- Art history
- Digital design
- Print design
Keep in mind that graphic designers with expertise in web design and animation will have the best job prospects in coming years. In addition to meeting standard graphic design requirements, students are recommended to take a variety of elective courses at graphic design schools and obtain a broad liberal arts education. Courses that are beneficial to graphic design majors include writing, sociology, psychology, business, marketing, and cultural studies.
Other Graphic Design Requirements
Graphic design falls under the umbrella of IT careers because it combines creativity with technology. Graphic designers must know how to create their own designs and layouts using specialized computer graphics and design software, such as Quark, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Graphic designers also need to possess strong creative, communication, and problem-solving skills.
What You Can Do with a Graphic Design Degree
The graphic design education requirements for most employers typically include a bachelor’s degree in the field for entry-level positions. An associate’s degree may qualify you for some positions, providing that you also possess technical skills and prior work experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for graphic designers was $42,400 in May 2008. Employment in graphic design is expected to grow about as fast as average. Many of the new jobs that will become available in graphic design will be associated with interactive media, so web design skills will be considered a huge asset in the field.
As a graphic designer, you may be responsible for producing packaging, promotional displays or marketing brochures for companies. You may also develop logos and signage for businesses or the government. In addition, graphic designers layout and produce the design of magazines, corporate reports, newspapers, and journals. In interactive media, graphic designers develop material for web pages. They also produce graphics that are used in the movies and television.
Having marketing and business knowledge is beneficial in graphic design, because it is your job to determine the needs of the client and create a design that appeals to the end user. Graphic designers must take a variety of factors into consideration when creating designs, including the psychological, social, and cultural. Additionally, graphic designers must be able to work as part of a team because they often interact with clients and creative directors.
Remember: it is difficult to find work in the graphic design field without formal training. If you’re interested in pursuing an exciting and creative career in graphic design, your best bet would be to meet the minimum graphic design education requirements of a bachelor’s degree, which is likely to help open more doors.