What designer could you be?
Graphic design is an area that is full of many different career paths. Thanks to the Internet, smartphones and portable computer technology, graphic design careers now reach far beyond the traditional realm of print. Yes, there is a never-ending list of job titles available but essentially there a few broad job categories that graphic designers can go into.
Publishing and entertainment:
Many graphic design jobs come into the publishing and entertainment sphere. Of course, projects will vary greatly depending on which company you work for, but really sought after skills in these areas are: Flash animation skills and print expertise. Publishing includes a vast number of companies that produce both electronic and print versions of their material. So, graphic design jobs in this area would involve typesetting, layout, creating advertisements, as well as photo editing. In the entertainment sector companies mostly employ graphic designers for creating credit and title sequences as well as printed and electronic promotional materials.
While this is the best opportunity to work with well-known brands, the work can be extremely demanding due to having to meet client’s expectations. The work can be fast-paced, exciting and diverse; but if you want a normal 9-5 role, this is not for you. Smaller agencies, however, often specialize in a few services. These include brand development or online marketing, and those that do offer full services, tend to have a smaller client base. Whatever the size of the agency, if you want your work to be seen, this is the area to go into.
Design agencies will more often than not specialize in graphic design and visual communication strategies. Size does vary from place to place but in general these are smaller agencies with fewer than 100 people. If you love packaging design, logos, and brochure design, then this is the place for you.
Corporate Marketing has its’ advantages and disadvantages. While you can get to know the needs of the client extremely well and only have to deal with one client at a time, the scope for variety is also minimized. Graphic designers at these companies will help produce brochures, training materials, and promotional campaigns.
The freedom to select projects, build a client base and have a flexible schedule is often what attracts many people to become a freelancer, but the reality can be very different. Being a freelance graphic designer may not be for everyone as there is no guaranteed monthly salary, longer work hours and projects that may not reach a very wide audience. Nevertheless, when starting out it may be best to freelance on the side whilst working for a full-time employer so that you can get a feel for the freelance way of working and bring some diversity and depth to your portfolio. You can also combine freelance work with a part-time role so that way you get the best of both worlds, until you built up the confidence and client base to go it alone.