Someone holding work laptop next to Campbell's Soup art.

Graphic Designer

Graphic Designers are part of the creative department, within creative agencies, or within organisations themselves (if they have a large marketing team).

The Graphic Designers work in collaboration with the team who has thought of potential ideas, and the Graphic Designer will be given those ideas, and they create images that represent them. They create multiple interpretations of the main ideas. They create artwork or designs that are then published (which can be digital on a website, on social media channels, or can be physically made).

Usually, they know a lot about how things are produced too – the materials needed and the costs behind that as an example. The Graphic Designer interacts mostly with the creative department and the client services teams.

Career progression

Creative roles do not have a defined time period between levels of seniority. Talent defines how quickly you can rise to the top. Graphic designers are also effective as freelancers, supporting clients on a project-by-project basis, and essentially working for themselves.
1. Junior Graphic Designer
2. Graphic Designer
3. Senior Designer
4. Head of Art
1. Junior Graphic Designer
2. Graphic Designer
3. Senior Designer
4. Head of Art

To be successful you'll need...

To enjoy creating beautiful doodles and art - being someone who loves to translate verbal or written communication into art or something visual will be a huge asset within the graphic design space.
To think conceptually, to see the links and opportunities to communicate things visually that others may not see.
Attention to detail and being a little bit perfectionistic; you may have to follow their guidelines to save reworking your ideas multiple times.
To be open to feedback, and the resilience to adapt your work based on that feedback.
To be happy working autonomously, taking time to work on ideas on your own.

Common Study Choices for Graphic Designers

Because there are so many areas to explore as a Graphic Designer, there tends to be a requirement that you do three years of tertiary study. This allows you to be able to learn more about website visual design, studio art, computer design, motion graphics, print, typography, or any other styles and techniques you may use throughout your career. You would also will learn more about design theory and build your understanding of the design process.

For many of the graphic design courses, you may need to have created a portfolio first (for example, showing some of your illustrations, painting, photography, digital design, or video).

At desk in office with a drink looking happy.

Getting a job as a Graphic Designer

Graphic Designers often get their first jobs in advertising by developing a 'book'. This is a portfolio of designs you have created. These don't have to be real things that have appeared in the world. They are speculative - how you would create images which showcase products and brands that you've chosen. A 'book' allows a Creative Director or creative team to see how you think, get a sense of the quality of your creative thinking.

Discover your dream career today!