Cool Career: Graphic Designer
Salary Potential: $$,$$$ - The Sky's the Limit...
Graphic design is ALL AROUND US. Seriously!
Did you wash dishes this morning? Somebody created that label on the soap.
The cover of your favorite book…Hello graphic-designer!
The packaging on your latest video game? A graphic artist designed that.
Consumer goods, television, movies, magazines, catalogs, websites… almost everything we interact with has had the touch of a graphic artist...
What is Graphic Design?
This definition says: Graphic Design integrates technology and art to communicate an idea, information or statement.
Graphic designers create visual concepts - using computer software or by hand - to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.
It's the art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect. (Dictionary.com)
What do Graphic designers do?
Graphic designers are ambassadors of meaning. They define commercial identity through trademarks and logos. They broker understanding across language barriers. They clarify the messages of authors, advertisers, organizations, and the media with type, image, and space. They meet with clients or the art director to determine what the client and the project need (source)
Every day is different! A Graphic Designer's also...
Uses digital illustration, photo-editing software, and layout software to create designs
Creates visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message
Designs layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces/fonts to use
Presents design concepts to clients or art directors
Incorporates changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
Reviews designs for errors before printing or publishing them
Different job types:
You can work as an Independent Contractor or Part of a team
Typographer, Creative Director , Art Director, Web Design Engineer, Production Designer
Think you might be interested in a career in Graphic Design?
We interviewed Brion Issacs of Rivington Design Studio in New York City to get an idea of what it takes. Have a peek. We've also included all the tips tricks and websites you can check out now.
Creative Director and Graphic Designer, Brion Isaacs (left), founder of 'Rivington Design House'.
He and his team create Designs That Solve Problems.
Take a look at BRION'S (curvy) CAREER PATH (Hint: It's not always a straight line to to 'the finish'.)
Brion Isaacs has a problem solving mind.
Even a bottle of dish washing soap - feet away from him - catches his eye and he immediately gives it a mental re-design. Maybe he can't help it… Diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) when he was a young boy, Brion was not a typical student. He new he learned differently. However, he also liked teaching himself - And he was good at it. Brion has taught himself everything from drumming to writing code.
At 10 years old - Brion went to work in an art store. He did everything from unloading boxes on the dock to delicately loading art-pens in their display. From the stock room, he moved to the Fine Art area and then the Framing department. All this greatly contributed to cultivating his “EYE” for art and for the creative process.
At 14 years old – one of the kids at school asked him to draw their name in his “cool technique”. His first client.
After school, on his way home, Brion would cut through Bloomindales - the famous New York department store. Because of that shortcut, he was constantly being exposed to creativity. It was in the fashion and the new designs, the merchandising of the store itself and even the customers - always showing off their personal style.
TIP! Be open and open minded as an artist. Expose yourself to art and new ideas, things, sights and experiences. Fuel your creativity!
From age 17 and on, Brion played in several bands and in such historic night clubs as CBGB AND COUCHELL. He toured the world as a D.J., a drummer and an all-around musician.
During his time touring, Brion and his friend made their flyers to promote their gigs. Brion looks back now and realizes that although they didn't realize it at the time - they were doing graphic design even then.
Later, Brion pursued his design at F.I.T. but stresses that it's not so much a 'traditional education' that you need - rather a critical eye, the ability to collaborate well, and the commitment to put in the time and effort to create the work.
Brion was determined to succeed as a designer but also had to keep the money coming in. He created a grueling schedule where from 12pm to 9pm – he would do GRAPHIC DESIGN then from 10pm – 4- 6am in the morning he would DJ.
His hard work paid off and he was able to design full time and has even opened his own studio in a trendy downtown neighborhood in Downtown New York City.
KEY! Brion says one of the keys to his success is 'Saying YES – and then be willing to put in the hours to learn it and actually get it done!!
BRION'S TOP TIPS
"Ask for help!" Brion spent a lot of time teaching himself everything from Photoshop and Illustrator to How to Code, drumming and even how to D.J. After attempting to fix his own computer - he realized "You can make things worse!" and realized the value of 'ASKING FOR HELP'.
Be a sponge. Start to see the world through the eye of a Graphic Designer. Take note of package design you admire. Snap a photo of a magazine cover who's TYPEOGRAPHY you love. Start an Inspiration Board. Ideas: The Art of: The Mood Board
Brion's Top Tip: RESEARCH! Do you research. Be a sponge and take note of everything around you. Great design and ideas are all around you and the key is to looking beyond what the average eye sees. See with a CREATIVE MIND AND EYE.
"A better solution" – is that at the heart of his approach to design.
Collaborate! Work with friends and fellow students on projects. 'Creatives' are inspired by each other. 'Bouncing off ideas' with each other leads to brilliant, collaborative design. (And think of the things you could learn!)
BE A TEAM PLAYER! Design is a COLLABORATIVE process
"Its not just about drawing it's about your means of SPEAKING. It's your “STYLE”.
TOP TIP! Absolutely know the Adobe Creative Suite! Check out these online tutorials. (NOTE: These programs allow you to do the same task – many different ways. Be open to learning new tips and tricks).
Check out how this GRAPHIC DESIGNER created her first design at 8, did logo work at 11 and designed websites for local businesses as a senior in high-shcool. Her hard work has made her "Design's IT Girl (PrintMag.com)
This Boston Non-Profit can help YOU get your start in Graphic Design. YouthDesign.org
Top Tip from Graphic Designer: Gwen W.
"I recommend (all students) read the Steve Jobs Autobiography. It is so good.... and it reinforces the simplicity design factor that too many designers seem to miss. Elegance and simplicity."
WHAT YOU CAN BE DOING NOW
Then, START YOUR OWN PINTEREST AND INSTAGRAM accounts showcasing the work you're doing (even if it's just a hobby for now). 'Pin' other designs that inspire you. (This is a cool one).
Insider Tip! This is you building your first online portfolio!
WHERE TO START
Any Age: Start your own "Graphic Design" Business.
Create your own business cards and let neighbors, teachers, local business owners, friends and family know that YOUR SERVICES ARE FOR HIRE!
Don't forget to add ALL of your work (paid or not) to your resume.
- Create flyers for a local business.
- Join your school's newspaper for outstanding learning opportunities and access to computers, software programs and tons of experience.
- Create flyers for your school's fundraisers and athletic events.
- Do the same for your church or a local non-profit.
Make sure you add 'Graphic Designer' to your resume! This shows self-motivation, ingenuity and creative thinking.
Next Step: Is there a business you love? Create a logo, an ad or flyer for them on your own and present it to them! You never know… They may love it and BOOM! You've just landed your first client.
Note: You may not get paid at first - but it's a great way to be on the 'inside' when jobs open up. Be a sponge and learn everything you can!
ALWAYS have your business cards and resume with you - because you never know who you might meet.
TIME TO LEARN
Check out these links to get you started on your Graphic Design career.
50 Brilliant Pinterest Boards (including the famous, Joy Chou of 'Oh Joy' (17 million followers!)
Certificate Programs that have NO academic course requirements (Like this one.)
Graphic Design Degree Titles
Search these different titles for Graphic Design jobs and careers:
Visual communication design
Learn more about the GRAPHIC DESIGN Industry by reading and subscribing to 'GRAPHIC DESIGN' websites and newsletters such as:
Got questions? Email us at: ILoveThis@TheAList.com
Good Luck in your new career! xx The A-Team