Graphic Designer Job Description

A graphic designer does many things in the course of a day's work. 

graphic design tools

Graphic design is all around us. If you take a moment to notice design in the objects around you, you'll see that someone put thought into making them both functional and appealing. A quick survey of almost any room, city block or town square will reveal several examples of graphic designers' work.

Professionals in graphic design jobs influence how we perceive the world using colors, illustrations, photos and fonts.

Look at a book or magazine, go to a coffee shop, or take a drive. When you do, you'll encounter graphic design. From company logos, to road signs, to product packaging, design is an integral part of modern life.

Common Graphic Designer Job Tasks

Your graphic design job description will likely include the following kinds of tasks:

  • Brainstorming and mocking up design ideas
  • Presenting ideas to clients and art director 
  • Projecting budgets and schedules
  • Choosing photos, illustrations, colors, typography and layout
  • Creating illustrations, logos and other graphics for print and online publications 
  • Using computer software to execute designs
  • Meeting with clients and adjusting designs to fit their needs or taste
  • Working with art directors, printers, programmers, developers or other technicians to complete the final product
  • Ensuring designs are error-free before final product is printed or published

Skills Needed

Artistic Sensibility – In the last few decades, computer software and technology have drastically changed the graphic design industry. Even so, there is no substitute for artistic sensibility. Knowledge about design elements, such as color and composition, is vital for graphic designers.

Technical Skill – A graphic design job requires the technical skills to use design software programs such as Photoshop or Quark Xpress. You may learn other specific software in graphic design school; however, a general interest in computers and an aptitude for learning new technology will be necessary.

Communication Ability – Sometimes known as visual communication, graphic design requires the ability to effectively present ideas—both verbally and visually. You'll need to be able to sell your ideas to clients and work with them to achieve the end product they want.

Organization – Graphic designers need to be organized in order to meet deadlines and stay within a budget. General business skills will come in handy, since many graphic designers work on a freelance or contract basis.

Problem Solving Ability – Choosing just the right fonts, colors and lines to create a balanced composition, while simultaneously conveying meaning, is complicated. In order to succeed in a graphic design job, you'll need to have strong problem solving skills and love a good challenge.