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Graphic Design: Creative Futures

May 23, 2008
Graphic design is a line of work offering a variety of profitable opportunities in just about every industry. An array of companies and organizations need skilled graphic designers for their advertising and marketing departments. This is a fast-paced, creative career that places the graphic designer either in the midst of a marketing team, or alone in more creative confines. Indeed, many graphic designers are self-employed and enjoy the freedom of working from home or telecommuting.

Reputable institutions will teach you how to use color, select type, work with artistic images, manage the design process, collaborate with clients and take advantage of the superior capabilities of three of today's most popular graphic software applications - Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Graphic designers work to produce the artwork for promotional displays, packaging, ads, direct mail, marketing brochures and signs for products and services. They may also be charged with supervising the production of magazines, newspapers, newsletters and other publications.

The need for graphic designers is projected to increase as the demand for Web-based information and design likewise increases. Graduates with hands-on digital design software experience are prone to be in particular demand. Advertising firms, publishing companies and computer design firms are key employers of graphic designers. Creativity, communication, and problem solving skills are all essential traits for the successful graphic designer.

A bachelor's degree is required for most entry-level and advanced graphic design positions; although some entry-level technical positions may only require an associate degree. Most curriculum include such classes as studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. Additionally, a solid liberal arts education should include courses in art history, writing, psychology, sociology, at least one foreign language, as well as classes in cultural studies, marketing, and business. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 250 postsecondary institutions with programs in art and design. Many schools will not allow students to begin their bachelor's program until he or she has successfully finished a year of basic art and design courses.

More and more, employers expect graphic designers to be familiar with computer graphics and design software. Because client tastes change quickly, designers must be well read, open to new ideas and influences, and quick to react to new trends. Students in this field need self-discipline to start projects, budget their time, and meet deadlines and production schedules.

New graphic designers generally receive on-the-job training and typically need between 1 to 3 years of training before they can advance to higher positions. Mature graphic designers tend to advance to chief designer, art or creative director, or other supervisory positions. Some designers also join academia, becoming teachers in design schools or in colleges and universities. Many faculty members continue to consult privately or operate small design studios to complement their classroom activities.
About the Author
If you're interested in enrolling into a reputable graphic design school, make sure you do your research. A new career as a graphic designer could make a click away!
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