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Graphic Design Schools and Courses

Graphic design school graduates create visually captivating solutions to effectively convey information. The creative output of graphic designers can be seen all around us, from newspapers to television to the internet.

Job Description and Responsibilities of Graphic Design School Graduates

Graduates are expected to generate and execute design concepts that encapsulate information in a visually appealing manner. Some responsibilities include:

  • Identifying the needs of clients
  • Assessing the target audience of clients
  • Thoroughly researching the subject matter
  • Sourcing of images and typefaces
  • Preparing sketches by choosing fonts, colors, shapes, images, text, sounds, and other visual elements
  • Usage of computer software such as Adobe Photoshop, QuarkXPress, Macromedia Fireworks, Flash and Freehand
  • Presentation of final designs to clients

Graphic design is extensively used and we see examples of its application in many ways, some of which include the design of:

  • Logos
  • Posters
  • Brochures
  • Television and print advertisements
  • Magazines
  • Business cards
  • Presentations
  • Electronic marketing material

Graphic design school graduates require creativity, tenacity and flexibility. A flair for art and design is essential. In addition, one must be willing to work long hours, meet tight deadlines and be flexible so as to easily adapt to the changing needs of clients. Having a broad knowledge base and keeping up with current trends are also important attributes that will aid them to excel in their careers.

Career Options After Graphic Design School

After completing graphic design training, you will have a number of career options that include working at advertising agencies, publishing houses, design studios, and corporate marketing and communications departments. Some possible career paths include:

  • Creative director / Art director

  • Multimedia designer

  • Web designer

  • Flash designer

  • Photoshop artist

  • Logo designer

  • Layout artist

  • Illustrator

  • Prepress technician

Whilst the greater percentage of graphic design school graduates work as salaried employees, roughly 3 out of 10 designers are self employed.

Graphic Design Degree and Training

You need to select a suitable school which will provide you with the necessary education and training required to succeed in your career. Most graphic design schools offer a variety of relevant classes that lay the educational foundation which prepares you for a career in graphic design. This includes lessons on the principles of design, understanding of color and composition, typography, sketching, and art. As graphic design training continues, you will learn problem solving techniques useful for the business world. Furthermore, classes on computerized design such as electronic imaging and design software will provide you with the technological edge needed.

Most entry-level positions require a graphic design degree. Graphic design schools such as universities and colleges typically offer a 4-year program that culminates in a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. You may also choose to enroll in a 2 or 3-year associate graphic design degree program which prepares you for technical positions. Graphic design school graduates with associate degrees generally work as assistants to designers.

After completing your graphic design degree, you will undergo training on the job. Typically, graduates require 1-3 years of training prior to attaining higher positions. The more experience you garner, the easier it will be for you to advance your career.

Graphic Design School Program Accreditation

You should be prudent in your selection of a graphic design school by ensuring that it is properly accredited. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design formally accredits over 200 institutions which offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.

Graphic Design School Graduates Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

In 2004, the median yearly income for graphic design school graduates was $38,030. Graduates can expect to earn approximately $30,000 for entry-level jobs. With greater job responsibilities, graphic design school graduates earn more - with staff-level designers earning $42,500 and senior designers earning $56,000 annually. Those with ownership or partnership in firms can make an estimated $100,000.

The graphic design industry is a promising one. Information published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reveals that the field of graphic design will grow faster than the national average for all occupations till 2010. The job market also looks promising as the boom in entertainment and media has sparked a need for graphic design school graduates. Those skilled in website design and animation can look forward to a wide scope of jobs from which to choose.

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