To be a good designer in any field takes practice, skill and patience; however, a graphic designer must also be able to work under extreme deadlines and within a well-defined budget, as most of their work is done on a project-to-project basis. The designer must be able to gather feedback from many different sources and turn it into a unique finished product.
In graphic design, the designer must be able to use whatever materials that are prepared for them and stay within the budget given. This takes a person who can listen well, has a flair for color, a good eye for pleasing design and an understanding of what the client wants. In short, graphic design is not one job, it is 20.
Graphic designers typically have a four-year degree, usually in art, product design or art history and are familiar with most computer graphics software programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, etc. A good mixture of coursework usually involves drawing, computer art and design.
It should also include any type of specific knowledge, such as anatomy for medical designers, which directly relates to a specific area. It is not a field for the faint of heart, as of the 25,000 people who try to enter the field each year, only about 60% last the first two years and about 30% remain in the field at five years.
There is also the chance of many lean years. A graphic designer may decide they are tired of a lifestyle where they are more like salesmen than artists; constantly having to pursue new clients for work. Or they may choose to become magazine layout editors or as in-house design consultants.
There may be some, though certainly not many that make it in the industry on talent alone. However, most need some sort of a certificate or degree to land a job in graphic designs. Many employers will not even bother to look at you if you lack the piece of paper that shows you have been trained and seasoned by some sort of graphic design related program. Getting a degree or certificate does not reflect your talent, but it does show that you have a good firm base of knowledge and that you take the industry seriously.
So, you have made the decision to suck it up, get past the lean years and work hard to become a graphic artist; eager to use the cutting edge software programs to create some great new designs. It is a great career choice and if you specialize in technology or advertising, then your chances of becoming a good graphic designer increases. There is no better field to get into that will allow you to use your technical skills and creativity to its fullest extent.
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