Graphic deisgn

Jerry Molina

Career goal (in relation to this career)

My goal to be a game designer at MCAD.

Career overview work environment

Graphic designers held about 259,500 jobs in 2012.

The industries that employed the most graphic designers in 2012 were as follows:


Specialized design services10

Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers9

Advertising, public relations, and related services8

Wholesale trade5

Graphic designers generally work in studios where they have access to drafting tables, computers, and the software necessary to create their designs. Although many graphic designers work independently, those who work for specialized graphic design firms often work as part of a design team. Some designers telecommute. Many graphic designers collaborate with colleagues on projects or work with clients located around the world.

Skill's & quality's

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Graphic designers must be able to look at their work from the point of view of their consumers and examine how the designs they develop will be perceived by the consumer to ensure they convey the client's desired message.

Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using a computer program.

Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately reflect the desired message and effectively express information.

Computer skills. Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs.

Creativity. Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey a recognizable meaning on behalf of their clients.

Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

Work condition's

Most graphic designers work full time, but schedules can vary depending on workload and deadlines.

In 2012, about 24 percent of graphic designers were self-employed. Graphic designers who are self-employed may need to adjust their workday to meet with clients in the evenings or on weekends. In addition, they may spend some of their time looking for new projects or competing with other designers for contracts.


Graphic designers typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
  • Advise clients on strategies to reach a particular audience
  • Determine the message the design should portray
  • Create images that identify a product or convey a message
  • Develop graphics for product illustrations, logos, and websites
  • Select colors, images, text style, and layout
  • Present the design to clients or the art director
  • Incorporate changes recommended by the clients into the final design
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Wages & Outlook

Pay (More salary/earnings info) (To To)

The median annual wage for graphic designers was $44,150 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,250, and the top 10 percent earned more than $77,490.

Most graphic designers work full time, but schedules can vary depending on workload and deadlines.

In 2012, about 24 percent of graphic designers were self-employed. Graphic designers who are self-employed may need to adjust their workday to meet with clients in the evenings or on weekends. In addition, they may spend some of their time looking for new projects or competing with other designers for contracts.

Job Outlook.

Employment of graphic designers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Graphic designers will continue to play important roles in the marketing of products.

The change in employment of graphic designers from 2012 to 2022 is projected to vary by industry. Employment of graphic designers in newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers is projected to decline 16 percent from 2012 to 2022. However, employment of graphic designers in computer systems design and related services is projected to grow 35 percent over the same period. With the increased use of the Internet, graphic designers will be needed to create designs and images for portable devices, websites, electronic publications, and video entertainment media.

Job Prospects

Graphic designers are expected to face strong competition for available positions. Many talented individuals are attracted to careers as graphic designers. Prospects will be better for job applicants who work with various types of media, such as websites and print publications.

Employment projections data for Graphic Designers, 2012-22

Occupational TitleEmployment, 2012Projected Employment, 2022Change, 2012-22


SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Graphic designers


Career related occupations

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in a product or service. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Art Directors

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the overall design of a project and direct others who develop artwork and layouts.

Craft and Fine Artists

Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition. Craft artists create handmade objects, such as pottery, glassware, textiles or other objects that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art for their aesthetic value, rather than for a functional one.

Desktop Publishers

Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items that are printed or put online. They collect the text, graphics, and other materials they will need and format them into a finished product.


Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans. Workers specialize in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.

Industrial Designers

Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Industrial designers focus on the user experience in creating style and function for a particular gadget or appliance.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

Printing Workers

Printing workers produce print material in three stages: prepress, press, and binding and finishing. They review specifications, calibrate color settings on printers, identify and fix problems with printing equipment, and assemble pages.

Technical Writers

Technical writers, also called technical communicators, prepare instruction manuals, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information among customers, designers, and manufacturers.

Web Developers

Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. They also may create content for the site.

To get to my career

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs. This means collecting examples of their designs from classroom projects, internships, or other experiences. Students can use these examples of their work to demonstrate their design skills when applying for jobs and bidding on projects. A good portfolio often is the deciding factor in getting a job.

Students interested in graphic design programs should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor's degree programs require students to complete a year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional associations that specialize in graphic design, such as AIGA and the Graphic Artists Guild, offer courses intended to keep the skills of their members up to date.

Post-secondary program

College graphic design coursework depends on the specific school and degree requirements. There are general coursework requirements for most degree programs. These required classes often include:

  • Principles of design, color theory and page layout
  • Printing and digital techniques
  • Psychology, sociology and personal communication
  • Computerized design and web development
  • Marketing and business

Graduates of Associate's degree programs are usually limited to being assistants or technicians in graphic design under the supervision of graphic designers. Someone who has earned an Associate's degree or a Bachelor's degree in another field can complete a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design with an additional two to three years of study.

Training options

What training is necessary to become a graphic designer?

Anyone who wants to work in the graphic arts can benefit from graphic design training. The best candidates, however, tend to be visual, creative, well-organized and computer-savvy. Professional designers must also be able to work well with others, taking direction from clients and design directors while maintaining productive working relationships with fellow designers and developers. They must also be able and willing to spend long hours in the design studio, particularly in the earlier stages of their careers.

A bachelor's degree in graphic design is generally required to become a graphic designer. According to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, there are approximately 300 accredited art and design institutions in the United States, many of which offer a bachelor's in graphic design. The bachelor's degree generally requires four years of full-time study and includes a range of coursework in the following disciplines:

      • Color theory
      • Composition
      • History of design
      • Typography
      • Basic Web design
      • Symbology
      • Computer-assisted design
      • Print technology
      • Business fundamentals

According to The College Board, graphic design majors master the computer and design skills necessary to create the look of product packaging, magazines, logos, websites and more. Students learn the basics and best practices of good design, a process that requires a solid understanding of how typography, images and page layout can transmit ideas to and affect the viewer in an emotional way. In today's job market, designers must be well-acquainted with cutting-edge graphics software like Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress.

Many design colleges also offer associate degrees and certificates in graphic design, which take between two and three years to complete. An associate's degree is sufficient for many assistant or purely technical graphic design positions. Those who already have a bachelor's degree can often transition into a graphic design career through a two- to three-year certificate program.


Size & location of [MCAD]

Student Population

Our student body includes more than 700 students from 29 states and 12 countries. Of these, 50% are enrolled in design, 25% in media arts, and 25% in fine arts; 40% are men and 60% are women; and the average student is 21 years old.


Our campus, which shares a block with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, comprises classroom buildings, professional facilities, gallery spaces, student housing complexes, artist studios, and a sculptor garden. Our modernist Main Building is one of the only projects in the United States designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Kenzo Tange, and our historical Julia Morrison Memorial Building is just shy of 100 years old.

Admission requirements









College expenses


$6,810on campus room & board

$2,780books and supplies


Financial-aid for MCAD

2,024,701 Annual aid awarded.