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Graphic designer

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Graphic designers create visual branding, adverts, brochures, magazines, website designs, product packaging and displays.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. You'll usually need a foundation degree, HND or degree in graphic design or other visual art subject.

You'll need a portfolio of work to demonstrate your creativity.

Some relevant work experience, especially on a live project, will help when looking for a job.

You could get into this career through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent communication, IT and writing skills
  • attention to detail
  • design and presentation skills
  • organisational and budgeting skills

3. What you'll do

You could work in print or online, in marketing, publishing, product or games design.

Depending on your role, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • discussing the client's requirements and coming up with creative ideas
  • working out budgets and deadlines
  • producing rough drafts and presenting your ideas
  • preparing designs using specialist software
  • making presentations to clients for feedback and approval
  • producing a final layout
  • explaining requirements to photographers, printers, manufacturers or games developers
  • keeping up with design trends and developments in software tools

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 to £50,000 (senior designer)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work around 37 hours a week in a studio or office. You may need to work longer hours to meet deadlines.

You may go out to visit clients.

6. Career path and progression

You could become a senior designer, creative director or move into management.

You could go freelance or start your own design agency.

The Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) and the International Society of Typographical Designers (ISTD) have resources to help you progress your career.

Another option is to move into teaching or lecturing.

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Last updated: 02 April 2018