Graphic Design

The field of design is the strongest growing field in the world. Everything you see, touch, and interact with is increasingly designed to create visual impact, inspire emotional response, and provoke thought. The graphic design program will prepare students to enter the exciting and competitive world of graphic design. In graphic design, students have room to unleash their own ideas and watch them come true by creating their own universe of places, object, and characters.

Graphic Design Careers

Top graphic designers are well paid, but they work hard. If you think it’s easy to earn big money in graphic design, think again. Yet, it can be a rewarding and exciting career.

Usually the people who get into the profession at a high level are passionate about design. They love doing it; they almost have to do it and are willing to commit their drive and focus to creating quality work. They have something to say and take pride in what they do.

Show Your Stuff!

The market worth of a graphic designer is in his or her portfolio, skills, and the value those skills have to an employer. You are judged by your portfolio. It is very much a “show me what you can do” profession. Anyone considering it as a career needs to realize this. There are no excuses in professional graphic design, and no one owes you anything. Respect in the industry is earned. The quality of your work is your calling card, and you must perform in an atmosphere of deadlines. Being a “team player” is also important, as this is a service industry.

The Graphic Design Industry

Salaries vary according to geography and experience. just as with nearly every high-level profession. An experienced, top art director in a New York agency can earn $100,000 or more annually. A young designer at an entry-level position in another area may start at only $25,000 a year.

Agencies and studios can have various levels of hierarchy within their structure—interns, production artists, junior designers, senior designers, art directors, and at the top, the creative director(s). To get a more accurate range of salaries, look for annual nationwide graphic design salary surveys in issues of Communication Arts or HOWmagazine. The designer who grasps this concept has the upper hand, can advance further, and can earn more in the right situation. Los Angeles studio owner John Martinez says, “I look for people who have ideas and understand concepts.”

Graphic Designers Need Many Skills

Creative direction has often been thought of as a writer’s domain in the advertising world, but in today’s hybrid world of high-powered communications, the visual aesthetic is huge. An artist who can visualize, design, and write has the best chance of rising to the position of creative director.

The best graphic designers are aware individuals, well-rounded, sensitive to the world around them, can assimilate and prioritize information, and in essence tell a concise story through images and words.

Industry wags are predicting a growing trend in entrepreneurial activities for design professionals, originating their own products, etc. Bottom line: Successful graphic designers understand their role and influence in the world they live in. They sense its pulse. They know how to communicate effectively.

For more information about how much graphic designers make, AIGA has an annual survey of designer’s salaries at