More about Graphic Design Schools

Education and a good portfolio are important

Graphic designers (also known as graphic artists) use still and motion images, as well as typography, color and layout techniques to create work for film, electronic or print media. As well as being visually appealing, the finished product should make sense to its audience.

Graphic design school graduates work in the marketing and advertising industry creating brochures, logos, product packaging, print and video advertisements and sales displays. Others work for business or government, creating signage or audio visual presentations. The career outlook for most graphic design positions is good.

How long will it take?

A graphic design degree is not essential, but many employers require at least a two-year certificate or associate's degree for entry-level technical positions and a bachelor's degree for more difficult jobs. Certificates in graphic design fundamentals or specialties (such as web design) can take several weeks or months to complete but further education may be necessary for some jobs.

When it comes to getting hired for a graphic designer position, education isn't everything. A portfolio showing range of work and ability can go a long way. Better artists may get hired over those with more education and experience. The same goes for students applying to graphic design programs. Those with promising samples are more likely to be accepted.

Skills and requirements

Graphic designers should posses a number of technical and general skills. First and foremost is artistic ability, creativity and the self discipline that's required to stay on task. Design schools teach students design principles, typography, concept development and how to use computer design software such as Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver. Degree programs will also include liberal arts courses.

All designers, whether working on-staff or contract, must be well organized and able to solve problems effectively.

Typical graphic design jobs:

Depending where they work, graphic designers will first come up with ideas for a design and make mock ups. Ideas are presented to clients or superiors and adjusted as needed. Freelance designers or design firms often follow a client's schedule and stick to a budget.

  • Brand identity developer - These graphic designers form a visual representation or image for the companies they work for. The company's image (including a logo) is incorporated into business cards, signage, product packaging and more.
  • Logo designer - These designers create the logos that make a company or product recognizable.
  • Web designer - From top to bottom, websites are designed and laid out by web designers. They create the style and choose accompanying images and design graphics. They also set up navigation tools and assist in content placement.

find arts and design schools in your state or province!