What Are the Job Duties of a Graphic Designer?As a graphic designer, you'll need to find the best way to communicate a message by using print, electronic and film media. You'll do so through evaluating color, type, illustration, photography, animation and other print techniques. You may also need to plan the layout and production of magazines, newspapers, journals and corporate reports. Producing promotional material such as displays, packaging or marketing brochures, as well as designing logos for products and businesses, are duties you may have on the job. Additional job duties as a graphic designer include designing websites, interactive media and multimedia projects.
Most graphic design jobs require at least a 4-year bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related discipline. Some positions may be available to candidates with only a two-year associate's degree. In addition to a high school diploma or a GED, postsecondary schools with programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design will often require sketches or other samples demonstrating your artistic ability before you can enroll.
Design layout, illustration, art history, communication methods and problem-solving are just a few subjects you can expect to cover. You'll also need to master a number of computer graphics and design software programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Upon graduation, you might also consider enrolling in a master's or doctorate degree program in graphic design.
Animators create animation, special effects and other visual images using video, computers, film and other electronic media for use in movies, music videos, commercials and computer games. Typically, an animator draws these images by hand and use computers to compile these images into a series of pictures that create the illusion of movement. Some animators create stroyboards for the various media in which they work. These storyboards resemble comic strips and allow the artists involved to evaluate the effectiveness of the drawings to convey a certain idea or emotion.
Many animators will find it useful to obtain a bachelor's or master's degree in the fine arts from a college or university. Courses involved with this education include art history, studio art and core subjects. Successful animators will need to obtain some sort of formal training with computer techniques to formulate their knowledge in computer graphics and other visual display software. Many independent schools offer curricula focused solely on art and offer bachelor's or master's degrees in art and design or art.
Art Teachers may be found teaching kindergarten through 12th grade in schools all across America. Art Teachers can also be found teaching in summer programs, day care centers, hospitals, museums, prisons and elder care facilities. Most of these positions require a bachelor's degree in Art Education. Additionally, in order to teach in public schools throughout America, Art Teachers must pass the National Teacher Examination (NTE) and any state-related exams as required. Continuing education credits are also required periodically throughout an Art Teacher's career in order to maintain proper education certification.
A bachelor's degree in Art Teacher Education prepares students to teach art to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Students in an Art Education bachelor's degree program take courses in both art and education. These may include art criticism, art history, ceramics, introduction to design and drawing, graphic design, photography and studio art. Additional courses in education, such as teacher methods, educational psychology, instructional technology and philosophy of education, are also required in order to teach Art Education.
Prospective Art Teachers also observe Art classes in local schools and test their mock lesson plans on fellow classmates. However, their formal training culminates towards the end of the bachelor's degree program with a student-teacher experience. This course is a supervised independent study. During this course, prospective Art Teachers go into the classroom of a participating local school district and demonstrate their teaching skills under the supervision of a cooperating teacher. This experience usually lasts at least one semester. Upon completion, students are ready for graduation and the NTE.
Interior Design is the profession that focuses on the layout, design and beautification of interior spaces, buildings and other structures. Interior designers work in a wide range of settings, including residential, commercial, hospitality and institutional environments. Many interior designers receive formal training from Interior Design degree programs, such as the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design
A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program is typically geared toward those who wish to hone their artistic craft and who want to become professionals in art, music, theater, photography and other creative fields. BFA programs are often quite selective, and you may need to audition or present a portfolio of your work to get admitted. A fine arts bachelor's degree program usually allows you to work closely with instructors, and much of your time is spent in art studios, music lessons or theater productions.
You can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in many creative areas. Studio arts, including sculpture, painting, printmaking, ceramics and drawing, are common BFA programs. If you play an instrument, you can pursue a music BFA that trains you to perform professionally. If your passion is acting and theater, there are Bachelor of Fine Arts programs for you, as well. Online fine arts bachelor's degree programs aren't offered, because they require you to spend so much time practicing your art and working closely with instructors.
Fundamentally, Web Designers develop the layout and the overall look of a website. They create graphic and media essentials using Photoshop, Flash and other media applications. Designers reflect on the aesthetic of the site by considering color and typography. They also ensure that a website is user-friendly and interactive. Working with clients and co-workers, their focus is on designing a site that promotes a company's business, branding and logo. Some Web Designers use Internet tools, social media and e-commerce in promotional campaigns for their sites.
s an illustrator, you might draw pictures for books, advertisements, catalogs, posters, cover art and police sketches, among other things. You can illustrate by hand or with computer software. Although it is possible to be hired based on the strength of your portfolio, candidates who have formal training maintain a competitive edge over those who don't. If you choose to go into the field of graphic illustration or another technical area, you will likely need to be specifically trained in computer-aided design (CAD). If you specialize in areas like medical illustration, you should also be aware of anatomy and physiology.
Creating an Art Portfolio for College Admission/Scholarships
If you have taken a number of art courses, a variety of media should be represented. Pick your best work. Work can come from classroom assignments, sketchbooks, workshops, pre-college programs, or work done “on your own” outside the classroom.
When selecting works, consider:
What to include
Drawing: At least three drawings from direct observation must be included as part of your portfolio.
Drawing from observation means working directly from a real object, environment, or person (not from a photograph, magazine, or copied from a reproduction of another artist’s work.)
The best drawings are:
Can also include works of other media such as Visual Communications designs, painting, photography, digital media, printmaking, and 3-D work
What NOT to include in your portfolio:
(adapted from Ball State University Portfolio requirements)