9 Types of Graphic Design Jobs To Consider

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 August 2022 | Published 25 June 2021

Updated 28 August 2022

Published 25 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Graphic design can be an exciting career as it combines technology, communication and art. Graphic design professionals work on various projects in different fields, including publishing, digital communications, and healthcare. To help you decide about a career in graphic design, it's useful to understand the graphic design careers you can pursue so you can prepare for it. In this article, we explain what a graphic designer is, what they do and look at the duties, requirements and average salaries for nine graphic design jobs.

What is a graphic designer?

Graphic designers are professionals who create visual content to communicate a specific message to a target audience. Graphic designers use visual hierarchy, layout technique, typography and pictures to create visual designs to optimise the user's experience.

What do graphic designers do?

A graphic designer creates graphics and layouts for various products, such as websites, books, games, company logos and user manuals for products. Graphic designers need an excellent knowledge of colour theory, font types, image construction and other artistic principles to determine what would appeal to the organisation's target audience. Then, they use different computer design programmes to create designs and incorporate brand details to lead to innovative designs focused on the brand's target market.

Types of graphic design jobs

If you complete a degree in graphic design, you could choose from a wide range of graphic design careers. You can choose the career that appeals most to your interests, values and career goals. You can consider these nine graphic design-related jobs when you look for a role in graphic design.

1. Photo editor

National average salary: £20,033 per year

Primary duties: A photo editor makes adjustments to real-life images, including correcting colours and combining images to create the desired image. Some photos may require light editing, such as adjusting the colour balance or lighting. In contrast, other images may need more drastic adjustments, such as adding logos, banners or changing the colour of elements in the photo. A career as a photo editor doesn't have such a strong focus on graphic design, but you still need knowledge of photo editing software. Some organisations employ graphic designers who can also edit photos to ensure the image represents the brand's final product.

Requirements: Photo editors need an in-depth knowledge of photo editing software. Many organisations prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in graphic design, photography or product design. In addition, most organisations will require candidates to be experts with photo-editing software and to have an extensive portfolio to show their photo-editing skills.

2. Design Assistant

National average salary: £21,520 per year

Primary duties: A position as a design assistant is an ideal entry-level position for those wanting to have a career in graphic design. Design assistants assist teams of graphic designers with basic design and administrative tasks. In addition, they facilitate communication between the designers, buyers and suppliers on design work. Sometimes they help prepare computer-aided drawings for the designers.

Requirements: To become a design assistant, you need to have experience using popular design software. You need to be organised and able to remain calm under pressure. Excellent written and verbal communication skills will be helpful in this role.

Related: 4 Types of Communication (With Examples)

3. Graphic designer

National average salary: £24,293 per year

Primary duties: A graphic designer produces high-quality designs for digital and print marketing campaigns. In addition, graphic designers work with other teams for creative direction and brand and visual guidelines to adhere to in their designs. They can work as freelancers or work full time for an agency.

Requirements: Some graphic design positions require graphic design experience, while others only require a bachelor's degree in graphic design. Graphic designers need to have a portfolio to show examples of their past creations. In addition, they need excellent communication skills as they interact with other teams and clients to develop designs to meet the organisation's or client's needs.

Related: Breaking Into Full-Time Work With a Contract Background

4. Web designer

National average salary: £27,015 per year

Primary duties: Web designers develop websites by creating individual web pages, designing web page layouts, and creating graphics for the website. In addition, they create the navigation menus and the website's structure. Some web designers have coding and programming skills and can develop a complete website on their own. However, web designers typically work with a brand or marketing team to add content and graphics to the website.

Requirements: Employers are looking for web designers with a sound knowledge of website layout design, programming, graphic design and technology. Most web designer roles require a degree in graphic or web design, previous web design experience and a portfolio of their previous web design work.

5. Multimedia designer

National average salary: £28,698 per year

Primary duties: A multimedia designer develops complex animated videos and images using computer programs and art. They create a sketch and build scale models before animating the design with the computer software. They typically develop the graphics for characters, props and background scenes to help tell a story. Multimedia designers work in various fields, including video game development, television and film production, or set design.

Requirements: To become a multimedia designer, you need to be a creative thinker with a powerful imagination and the ability to develop innovative designs. Multimedia designers usually complete a bachelor's degree in a visually creative field, including web design, user experience design, multimedia digital art or graphic design. In addition, some jobs in multimedia require experience in video production and the use of computer-aided drawing (CAD) software.

Related: How To Become a CAD Technician

6. User interface (UI) designer

National average salary: £42,111 per year

Primary duties: User interface designers ensure that a final product or webpage follows the intent of the user experience (UX) designer. User interface designers typically have basic coding skills and can develop the designer's vision by cooperating with software programming professionals. UI Designers create advertisements and web pages that are easy for the consumer to use.

Requirements: You need a bachelor's degree in graphic design, computer programming or UI design to become a UI designer. All three specialities can help a UI designer to create a functional technological interface with a solid visual design.

7. Use experience (UX) designer

National average salary: £42,670 per year

Primary duties: UX designers make services, websites and products enjoyable and easy to use for users. They consider the end-use of the product and how the consumer perceives the product to ensure that it's user-friendly. They use computers and software to create visual graphics for games and websites. They ensure that a product has a logical flow from beginning to end. Finally, they test the product to resolve inconsistencies in its flow or appearance.

Requirements: To become a UX designer, you need a bachelor's degree in graphic design, UX design or computer programming. Sound knowledge of these three areas helps with the functional and visual design of products.

Related: How To Become a Product Designer

8. Art director

National average salary: £44,876 per year

Primary duties: Art directors are executives responsible for guiding the design team's vision, directing the theme concept and overseeing the design of the artwork. They work in different industries, such as advertising, television and fashion. They may work as freelancers or work full time for a brand, and they work closely with the sales team to understand clients' requirements. In addition, they often coordinate with the marketing and finance directors on projects to maintain the brand image.

Requirements: Art directors need to have extensive experience and an excellent understanding of the organisation's business goals. Art directors need to have a bachelor's degree in art or graphic design. Depending on the position, some employers may require candidates to have a master's degree in art or business.

Related: Freelance Work: Everything You Need to Know About Freelancing

9. Design manager

National average salary: £51,252 per year

Primary duties: Design managers support the design of stores and work with stakeholders to ensure an optimal journey for customers when visiting the store. They often work with construction companies and design agencies in designing and constructing the stores and the presentation of products, such as furniture and clothing, in the stores.

Requirements: Design managers need to have a working knowledge of design assets to incorporate them into the store's design and construction. They need a bachelor's degree in graphic design or architecture and at least five years of relevant experience. Familiarity with design and modelling software is helpful for the role. Design managers need strong organisational skills and attention to detail.

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