Graphic artists use a variety of print, electronic, and film media to create art that meets a client’s needs. Most graphic artists use computer software to design new images. Like other art majors, the graphic design artist must be proficient in other forms of art as well. As students, they may also double major in Marketing or Business, making them more marketable.

A typical bachelor’s program has coursework in Figure Drawing, Two-Dimensional Design, Three-Dimensional Design, Art History, Graphic Design, Desktop Publishing, Computer Art Applications, Digital Imaging, Communications, History, Marketing, CAD (computer aid design), and Interactive Media.

Graphic Design

The most obvious job is a graphic designer with your degree in graphic design. However, beyond this glaring statement, there are many different businesses offering jobs in graphic design.

Here are examples of where graphic designers are needed – selected at random from employment sites.


Law firms require graphic designers to design various projects. These include marketing materials, such as invitations, advertisements, client/prospect communications, digital/social graphics, and presentations.

Residential Security

A graphic designer in this business will create visually appealing digital marketing content (web banners, display banners, social graphics, infographics, etc.).

Cyber Security

Companies in the business of thwarting attacks use graphic designers to assist marketing, product management, and research teams in the development of visual solutions to technical concepts. Applicants for this job must thrive on employing color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and various web, print, and layout techniques when designing projects.

Shipping and Packaging

A private corporation seeks a graphic designer to work on various marketing channels including direct mailings, promotions, and advertising materials. Applicants need a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, visual communications, or related field, as wells as expertise in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator.


An organization operates a successful e-commerce website with an emphasis on Search Engine Marketing requires a graphic designer. The individual must have proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite with a focus on Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and InDesign.


A big-box furniture company seeks applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphics/Design or related field. The job entails developing exceptional interactive and graphic design solutions for all their digital experiences. These include, but not limited to their website (homepages and site experiences, mobile applications, email blasts, and digital advertising.

Smaller companies use graphic artists. For example, a California organic foods company uses a graphic designer to work on a variety of project types, from packaging, sales presentations to environmental design.

Apparel and Fashion

This company has global licenses to children’s wear, such as Nike and Levi’s. They are seeking a Graphic Designer to work cross-functionally with Design, Sales, and Merchandising to create and develop seasonal apparel lines.


An example in this category is a company pioneering the next generation of precision medicine, which includes wearable sensors, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and analytics. They need a person who will create visual solutions for web-based applications by working with interaction designers and front-end developers. The job requires a mastery of basics of design including Typography, Color Theory, Layout, and User-Centered Design principles.

Three Work Environments:

  1. Graphic designers in the above examples work in-house. The work revolves around a single brand or a single group of related brands. Graphic designers in these kinds of roles tend to be generalists. They possess a broad range of general design skills to meet all the creative needs of their employer.
  2. Graphic design agencies work for outside clients to produce creative work. In this environment, designers typically work with an assortment of brands. Assignments tend to be short-term, project-based, and limited to a specific campaign. The work variety of work includes the request to create logos, infographics, advertisements, signs, promotional displays, packaging, newspaper and magazine layouts, websites, or images.
  3. There are designers who freelance. They are responsible for every aspect of their business, from marketing and client relations to bookkeeping and invoicing. It can be difficult to have steady work as a freelance designer. Typically, these artists begin by creating an outstanding, creative, and original graphic design portfolio. To build a portfolio, graphic designers find internships or seek entry-level work on freelance websites like Fiverr, Elance, or Guru. Guru is the place to find and hire freelancers in various skill categories. Design is one of them.

Twenty-five percent of graphic designers are self-employed.

For the aspiring freelancer, some experts advise that the degree is not important. Employers are more concerned with what you can do. The best way to demonstrate this–is with your portfolio. In this digital age, you can create a website, post someone a CD, or email him or her work samples. Your portfolio could be your ticket into this profession. Whether it is at a design agency, in-house job or for a freelance work.

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What is the Difference between a Degree in Graphic Design and Web Design?

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