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What Is a Graphic Designer and How to Become One

What Is a Graphic Designer and How to Become One Image

What Is the Job of a Graphic Designer?

A graphic designer creates visual designs using digital illustrations, images, and typography. Their visual concepts communicate a message that informs, inspires, or captivates customers. Graphic designers help organizations form their brand and express a particular identity or idea for promotional and advertising material. They are skilled in the manipulation of colors, shapes, fonts, images, photography, print design, logos, and animation, and may use computer software or draw by hand. Additionally, they collaborate with multimedia animators, artists, and other creative types to bring visual concepts to life. Examples of their work include layout and design for brochures, corporate reports, magazines, advertisements, and billboards. Graphic designers may work for a design agency, on the staff of a company, or they may choose to be self-employed and seek out their own clients.

How Can I Become a Graphic Designer?

To become a graphic designer, job seekers should take art and design courses starting in high school. Often bachelor’s degree programs will require students to have had at least one year of basic design courses in high school before they are permitted to enter the program. Some applicants are required to also submit sketches or portfolios of their work to show their artistic abilities. A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is typically expected to obtain entry-level jobs, and higher positions may require additional work experience. For graphic designers, a strong portfolio is arguably the biggest factor in securing positions. Many programs will provide students with the opportunity to build and work on their professional portfolios through internships, class projects, and outside experiences.

Top 10 Skills Needed for Graphic Designers

Do your skills line up with what hiring managers are looking for when they are reviewing resumes for a Graphic Designer position? ZipRecruiter scanned over 9,000,000 job postings and created a list of the most commonly required abilities for Graphic Designers below.

Based on our assessment, mastering the skills below and listing them on your resume is critical in getting your Graphic Designer job application to the top of the stack.

  1. Graphic Design Experience
  2. Illustration Design
  3. Adobe Photoshop
  4. Adobe InDesign
  5. Adobe Creative Suite
  6. HTML
  7. Social Media
  8. Typography
  9. Editing
  10. Attention to Detail

Graphic Designer Job Description Sample

With this Graphic Designer job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember though, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for their Graphic Designer position.


We are currently seeking an innovative and dedicated Graphic Designer to join our growing agency. You will collaborate with other designers as well as with our sales and marketing departments to create effective and eye-catching images and campaigns to increase our customer base. Your job duties include developing graphics both for print and digital platforms that enhance our accompanying text and convey an accurate message. Our ideal candidate has a substantial portfolio of successful campaigns and is proficient with Adobe Creative Suite.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with design team on project concepts
  • Determine voice and messaging for graphic design pieces
  • Develop product illustrations, logos, and other graphics as needed
  • Advise on best practices and optimizations throughout design projects
  • Select colors, font, images, and layout
  • Create visualizations (either by hand or via a software program) which convey accurate messaging and undertones as dictated by the project
  • Present designs to stakeholders and applicable teams
  • Implement feedback and changes when appropriate
  • QA designs for errors
  • Pass final design to development or publishing teams for release

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in graphic design, art, design or a related field (preferred)
  • Portfolio of extensive designs used in successful marketing campaigns
  • Proficient with Adobe Creative Suite, Quark Xpress, and PhotoShop
  • Exceptional creativity and innovation
  • Experience with both print and electronic media
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management and organizational skills