Is it not true that graphic designers have grown to be one of the more sought-after (if not essential) skills for any professional? Especially with the increasing number of specialist roles in today’s VUCA world, having some know how on the technical and practical use of graphic design is a huge plus. To have an eye for good graphic design is an automatic edge as well. So, for any individual looking for employment, having the tools and skills to execute designs pretty much ensures that freelancing is also an option.
If becoming a graphic designer or working to provide graphic solutions design is something that you have been thinking of, then it is important that you know what to expect. As mentioned earlier, graphic designers has become an invaluable skill. Many young professionals have had some experience dabbling in it, whether as creatives or in corporate. Creating visuals for a presentation is one example of graphic design manifesting in other job roles.
Can I make a career out of graphic design?
The short answer to this question is: yes. Definitely, one can turn their passion for graphic design into a full-time career that pays the bills. Paula Scher, for example, is a legendary graphic designer who has worked on many of the world’s leading brands. Scher has successfully created branding identity systems, series of posters, album art covers, and promotional materials. Her work has been effective on different levels: from the design of a logo to the strategy behind it. One example is the campaign for The Public Theater in the 90s, wherein New York’s street style is referenced and appropriated into the branding design, creating its character and identity. It is important to take note that back then, graphic design wasn’t that in-demand as a profession.
The long answer, on the other hand, is: yes, anyone can become a professional graphic designer. And while the outlook for those looking to enter this field seems a hundred percent positive, it is not that easy to hit the jackpot. With graphic design’s popularity, it may come off as a basic skill on the same level as navigating the internet, email, or Microsoft Office. The competition in the job market can be fierce due to the increasing mastery in graphic design.
What are the paths available to a graphic designer?
Having some degree of expertise in graphic design, when coupled with solid time and experience, can open a variety of career paths. Among these options, having the technical design knowledge and ability for typography and 3D modeling are some specialized skill sets that the industry values. Combining years of experience in project management and general business knowledge with such technical capabilities are solid foundations for an agency owner. Excelling in an area of graphic design, from UI/UX design to branding, packaging design, web design, photography, and illustration — among many others — is another key to becoming successful in the industry.
For people who enjoy taking the lead in team projects, becoming a creative director or art director, or holding positions in management is a viable path for a graphic designer as well. Providing vision and ensuring progress on a project while providing feedback or coaching staff are the usual tasks for a supervisory role. If you’re uncertain about which career trajectory to go for, there is nothing to worry about. Soaking up as much experience and understanding the end-to-end operations as a graphic designer will eventually open up these career opportunities.
As a graphic designer, here are some of the leading skill sets one can develop in 2020, as they continue to trend: illustration, motion design, image editing, and coding and UI design. The common denominator for these? They are all reflective of what technology has to offer us in the future — a more immersive experience.
What is the industry’s future like for a graphic designer?
In the end, marketing and advertising demands will always necessitate the need for graphic design. That being said, while the pandemic has slowed down businesses in 2020, the demand for design — especially, online — can only increase. With the shift towards contactless purchases, businesses are looking at moving nearly all operations online. And as innovations shape and reshape these platforms, the need for graphic design will keep existing. For freelancers, depending on their mastery and network, the future remains clear as the sky; there is opportunity to be made in the industry.