If you are a creative who has always longed for a career where you can thrive and collaborate with other creative people, a career as a graphic designer may be a perfect fit. Graphic designers, also known as graphic artists, use various design elements and techniques to create distinctive visuals for their clients. They develop concepts or accomplish their designs by hand or using graphic design software. Before exploring the roles of a graphic artist, here is a simple description of graphic design.
What is graphic design?
Graphic design is a form of communication that combines various elements, including images, words, colors, and shapes, to create compelling visual content. For example, a graphic artist can use their skill to create images and layouts for a company’s brand identity; this includes logos. They also design visual representations for product packaging, user interface on apps and websites, and publications such as books, magazines and newspapers. The best graphic designers create effective designs that relay information to consumers in an inspiring and informative way. This shows graphic design’s significant impact on any business’s success.
Where do graphic designers work?
More often than not, people in advertising and promotions, marketing, and public relations require the input of graphic designers. Most designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some graphic artists teach in design schools, colleges and universities. Others work with print media and create signs and posters, while some designers create credits for motion pictures. You can also be an on demand graphic designer, whereby you work for an agency. Below are the different work environments of graphic designers
Working in a graphic design agency
Working in a graphic design agency means working with an assortment of brands. The assignments tend to be short-term and limited to a specific campaign. Working at an agency also has several advantages. In this environment, you work with many other graphic designers; therefore, there are high expectations of design excellence and professionalism.
Most agencies have streamlined processes and systems, making learning easier for new designers. Most of your tasks will also be graphic design-based; non-design jobs are rare.
On the downside, there is less job security since agencies hire staff depending on their contracts. There is a risk of layoff if the project list dips. Also, you may need to work for rigorous hours since agencies are fast-paced with tight deadlines.
Working as an in-house graphic artist
As an in-house graphic designer, your work revolves around one brand or a group of related brands since you are employed with an established organization. In-house graphic designers are generalists; they possess a broad range of skills to meet all the company’s creative needs.
There are several perks to working as an in-house graphic designer. Working for an established organization gives you the benefit of a traditional work environment. You can separate home and work and can collaborate with other creative people in a social workplace. Additionally, you have a steady paycheck since you don’t have to build up a clientele. You can advance or climb the corporate career ladder as an in-house artist. Because in-house graphic designers work for one brand or brand set, their singular focus allows them to develop an in-depth understanding of the organization’s brand and style.
Working as an in-house graphic designer also comes with some downsides. For instance, working for an established organization can feel restrictive since you must develop new ideas while adhering to brand guidelines. You are also more likely to explain and justify your designs to non-designers. Furthermore, the work environment may need to be optimized with the designers in mind; there may be fewer creative people to work with.
Working as a freelancer
More than just graphic design, freelance graphic designers are responsible for other aspects of their business, including client relations, bookkeeping, marketing and invoicing. The role also calls for self-discipline and commitment. The main advantage of freelancing is that your workplace is not tied to a workstation. You also have creative freedom and flexibility; you can choose work that challenges or inspires you. Additionally, as a freelance graphic designer, you are in charge of your working hours
Conversely, projects will not land on your desk; you need to hunt and bid for work. Your motivation will be challenged since you need workers. Additionally, pay is unreliable; it varies dramatically from month to month, depending on workflow.
With a career as a graphic designer, you get to exercise your creativity while getting paid for it. Now that you know the perks and limitations of various workplaces for a graphic designer, you can make an informed decision concerning your graphic design project.