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What does a Graphic Designer do?

Graphic designers are visual communicators. They use a variety of print, video and electronic media to create designs that meet clients’ advertising or promotional needs. Many graphic designers provide layout and overall design for newspapers, magazines, publications, or corporate reports. Others produce messages and visuals for Internet pages, mobile phones and electronic devices. These professionals may also do any number of the following duties:

  • produce promotional displays and marketing brochures
  • design distinctive company logos for products and businesses
  • develop signs and signage systems–called environmental graphics
  • produce the credits that appear before and after television programs and movies

graphic designer

Most graphic designers use computer software for selecting and arranging design elements and for presenting their sketches or rough drafts to clients. With the increased use of interactive media for advertising and communication, it is increasingly important that career graphic designers keep up with the latest computerized graphic design programs. Some graphic artists specialize in the digital areas of animation, video game, web site or multimedia design.

What to expect in graphics design training

In this competitive field, some formal training in fine arts or graphic design is essential. An associate degree may lead to an entry-level position as an assistant, but employers generally prefer individuals with a bachelor’s degree, with a portfolio demonstrating strength in conceptual design and computer graphics.

Many public and private colleges offer two and four-year degree programs in fine arts or graphic design. Look for graphic design programs that offer grounding in technical skills, like color and composition, drawing board skills and conceptual design. The curriculum should include training in the latest computer graphics and electronic imaging software.

Key graphics design courses include:

  • Drawing, Painting, Perspective
  • Color Theory
  • Fundamentals of Design
  • Illustration, Digital Illustration
  • History of Art, History of Design
  • Advertising Design
  • Web Site Design
  • Professional Development
  • Typography, Print production

Students profit by real world projects that they can turn into professional quality portfolios. The combination of technical and professional development courses in the better graphic design schools help students develop skills in critical thinking, communication, and problem solving while offering career counseling and hands-on experience.

Employment outlook for graphic designers

Most career designers are employed by specialized design firms, advertising agencies, printing and publishing firms and computer systems companies. Due to increased demand for multimedia marketing by ad agencies and computer design firms, job growth of about 13 percent is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What does an Instructional Designer do?

Are you interested in learning, teaching, and education, but prefer a non-classroom role that focuses more on interaction with adult professionals than with students? If this sounds appealing, becoming an instructional designer could be the right match for your career ambitions.

instructional designer

Instructional designers are highly skilled experts who play a central role in shaping the curriculum, testing requirements, teaching materials, and even teaching methods that are used in public school classrooms and other learning environments. Though these jobs are highly demanding and require extensive formal education, they are also prestigious and well compensated positions.

Instructional designer: Day-to-day duties

The everyday job responsibilities of an instructional designer can vary significantly. On a general level, instructional designers are charged with the task of helping to create and implement educational curricula, so the specific duties assigned to this role can be virtually any task that helps achieve the larger goal. This can include activities such as analyzing test scores, observing classroom instruction, evaluating textbooks, assessing classroom technology, training teachers and administrators, and helping to implement and execute any new programs or technologies.

Although there are some instructional designers who are generalists, many school systems now prefer to hire instructional designers who specialize in particular subject areas, especially those identified as core subject areas under curricular requirements.

Instructional designer: Education requirements

Because of the high-level responsibilities given to instructional designers, most positions in this field require substantial formal education. Most mid- to high-level positions in instructional design require a master’s degree, while top jobs in the field may demand a doctoral degree. In addition, many public school positions may require instructional designers to maintain current teacher certification in their area of specialization.

Instructional designer: Job outlook and salary potential

Information gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that instructional designers are poised to experience excellent professional prospects. Based on BLS data, it is predicted that the rate of growth in the field of instructional design will far exceed the average for all fields. In return for long hours and high educational requirements that these positions often entail, most instructional designers are well compensated.

Take aim for the top of the education field–explore your educational options in the field of instructional design today.

What does an Interior Designer do?

Being an interior designer allows you to make the most of your creative abilities. Along with making interior spaces more beautiful, an interior designer also works at bringing functionality to the overall effect.

interior designer

Functionality includes bringing about optimum use of space, accessibility and safety while enhancing the environmental aspect of the surroundings and ultimately benefiting all who make contact with the final product.

Technology is a major component of the tools you have available. The computer can provide a graphic view of what you propose in order to facilitate feedback, modifications and approval from clients.

Basic requirements: must have flair

Although creativity is a driving force in becoming an interior designer, the career requires training and development of your skills. An associate degree gets you started on basic concepts and a bachelor’s degree rounds out the necessary coursework you need to attain professional status.

Courses include some of the following basics:

  • Architectural concepts
  • Computer aided design
  • Drafting
  • Lighting
  • Acoustics
  • Ergonomics

Detailed planning for residential, office, restaurant and special buildings are also skills you are likely to learn during your studies. Aesthetics continue to play a large role and your artistic abilities are very important. Business courses provide the knowledge to make your work financially practical.

Career paths for interior designers

Going to work for a design firm helps you gain valuable experience. A one- to three-year apprenticeship working with expert designers, architects and construction engineers provides you with real world experience and a feel for the career. Drawing on that guided experience, you can specialize in areas such as large office buildings, restaurants, theaters or individual residences.

Many interior designers become independent while others prefer the security of working for a company. Home furnishing stores use interior designers to provide individual services to clients. Different regions of the country also attract designers who specialize in designs specifically tailored to those regions.

Setting up: career and salary outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment for interior designers will increase 19, exceeding the average for expected national job growth. Nevertheless, job openings are competitive, so thorough training and experience provide the edge required to land the best jobs. You can also obtain certification from the National Council for Interior Design. This credential gives you additional stature in obtaining employment or bidding on jobs. You can find the necessary information at the ncidq.org website.