Graphic Design Degree Careers

The career choices with a graphic design degree can be complex, multilevel options. So you should put some time and effort into looking ahead at the possibilities. A graphic design degree can open up a large range of options which can assist you in achieving your personal and professional goals.

Graphic design is a truly creative field, and the creativity factor often decides the career tracks. However, the dynamics of your study and resulting graphic design degree allow a lot of flexibility. You can pursue multiple sources of income or job opportunities, which can integrate into your career track very effectively.

Career Dynamics

Graphic design operates across the full spectrum of visual media, involving many forms of specialization and a wide range of possible markets. Graphic designers may work in several different modes, as designers, artists, animators, fine artists, contractors and web designers.

The choice of industries defines the career options for graphic designers, which may operate in several skill areas.

For example, in advertising a graphic designer may design any or all of the following:

  • Logos
  • Product icon designs
  • Website graphics and animation
  • Advertisement graphics and presentation layouts

Each design type relates to a wider area of graphic design. The modes are all forms of portfolio materials, which are portable across industries and jobs.

Graphic designers have a lot of scope to use these portable skills as career-building exercises. The website graphics and animation in an advertising gig, for example, can translate into valuable career skills in other industries. As you can see, the dynamics of the profession are flexible.

Industries for a Person with a Graphic Design Degree

The many industries in which graphic design is a primary component are also good descriptors for the range of career options and functions.

  • Television: Titles, logos, captions, TV show stage sets, screen layouts, multimedia
  • Film: Special effects, animation, 3-D animation, design motifs, screen production elements
  • Magazines: Layouts and color schemes, titles, captions, fonts, visual effects, photographic media, editing and formatting of visual materials
  • News media: Similar to magazines, but including cartoons, visual  layouts, multimedia, advertising materials, visual media content
  • Animation: Character creation, operation and development; color; backgrounds; effects; multimedia layouts and production at various levels
  • Web design: Websites, multimedia, visual content of applications, animation, passive and background graphic content
  • Commercial art: Commission and contract work providing a range of graphic designs for businesses and individuals
  • Marketing: Graphic design content across products, visual imagery
  • Merchandising: Product graphics, manuals, promotional materials
  • Advertising: Graphic content, advertising layouts, multimedia
  • Fine arts: Creative product design, pure art, multimedia

The sheer versatility of graphic design careers allows a person with a graphic design degree to operate in multiple career modes and in multiple industries. Many designers do specialize in careers in particular fields and use their skills in other areas to fund their preferred lines of work. Thus they build a career from the different career modes.

Successful freelancers often work as salaried or contract employees on their own terms in several fields. For example, a graphic designer could work as a TV animator, a film graphics artist, a web designer and a commercial artist, simultaneously. He or she accumulates additional portfolio materials in all these areas in the process.