Graphic Designer

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Graphic Pre-press Trades Worker

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Practical or MechanicalArtistic or CreativeSkill Level 4Skill Level 5

Graphic designers produce art and layouts of wording for reproduction in print and electronic media such as magazines, newspapers, books and websites, and for corporate identity programs, exhibitions and advertising. Future Growth Strong

Graphic designers specialise in any of a number of artistic and professional disciplines which focus on visual communication and presentation. They work in a range of visual media, including drawing, painting, photography, digital media or a combination of all these to create and combine symbols, images and text. These are used as visual representations of ideas and messages, often for magazines, advertisements, product packaging, websites or public display. They also prepare comprehensive layouts of designs, liaise with clients about a desired design, prepare designs for print and supervise the printing.


ANZSCO description: Plans, designs, develops and prepares information for publication and reproduction using text, symbols, pictures, colours and layout to achieve commercial and communication needs with particular emphasis on tailoring the message for the intended audience.

Alternative names: Graphic Artist

Specialisations: Exhibition Designer, Film and Video Graphics Designer, Publication Designer

Graphic designers may specialise in a number of fields including television, film and computer graphics; set and exhibition design; corporate design; book and magazine design; and advertising and illustration. They may progress to positions as design directors, art directors or creative directors.

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Graphic designers need:

  • a strong visual focus and creative flair
  • the ability to think laterally and come up with creative solutions
  • competency in a range of design programs
  • knowledge of art history, various design styles and their rules
  • the ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines
  • to be able to work to tight deadlines.
  • creative and imaginative
  • understanding of colour and form
  • good communication skills
  • good marketing abilities
  • able to work as part of a team.

Duties and Tasks

Graphic designers may perform the following tasks:
Graphic Designer working

  • talk to clients to get a clear understanding of their visual communication requirements and develop design 'roughs' (sketches)
  • prepare comprehensive layouts of the design using techniques such as photography, illustration and computer-generated imagery
  • give designs to clients for approval
  • prepare designs for print
  • design and set up exhibitions for advertising or educational purposes
  • supervise all design production stages including arranging and supervising printing.

Working Conditions

Graphic designers may work as members of a design team in design studios or advertising agencies, or alone undertaking consultancy or freelance work.

Graphic designers work in an office or studio space, depending on their employer or, if they are self-employed, can work from home. They usually work with computers and need to be proficient with a range of specialist design software. Their work environment should have excellent lighting.

Graphic designers may be required to work long hours if they are on a strict deadline and may be required to produce designs within a quick turnaround period. Graphic designers may either work as part of a larger design team, specialising in one particular aspect of design, or they may work alone, covering all aspects of a design project. As is the case in many creative industries, demand for these designers can vary according to client need.


Tools and technologies

Graphic designers require a strong visual sense, and depending on their specific role or the type of design in which they specialise, they will usually need to know how to use drawing and possibly drafting tools. These tools may include drawing boards, rulers, protractors, compasses, metric templates and other drawing tools, and possibly computer-aided design (CAD).

In addition, graphic designers will also require a working knowledge of design software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Draw, Painter, FireWorks, Flash or 3D Studio Max. Increasingly, graphic designers are also required to be familiar with code used to develop web pages such as HTML and CSS.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a graphic designer, you usually need to complete a formal qualification in graphic design.

The Certificate IV in Design (Graphic Design), the Diploma of Graphic Design and the Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can complete a degree majoring in graphic design or creative advertising and graphic design.

Graphic Designer

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Broadcasting Technician

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Archivist

Librarian

Social Media Manager

Journalist

Applications Programmer

Film Producer

Photographer

Web Designer

Cinematographer

Publisher

Graphic Designer

Multimedia Specialist

Newspaper Editor

Games Developer

IT Analyst

Radio Producer Presenter

Writer

Illustrator

Director

Broadcasting Technician

3D Animator

Archivist

Librarian

Social Media Manager

Journalist

Applications Programmer

Film Producer

Photographer

Web Designer

Cinematographer

Publisher

Graphic Designer

Multimedia Specialist

Newspaper Editor

Games Developer