Graphic Design

(50 .0402)

Program Description

Graphic Design Video 

Essential skills chart Graphic Design

This is an instructional program in the applied visual arts that prepares individuals to use artistic techniques to effectively communicate ideas and information to business and consumer audiences via illustrations and other forms of printed media. This program includes instruction in concept design, layout, paste up and techniques such as engraving, etching, silkscreen, lithography, offset, drawing and cartooning, painting, collage and computer graphics. Graphic designers (graphic artists) plan, analyze, and create visual solutions to communications problems. They use a variety of methods such as color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and various print and layout techniques. Graphic designers develop the overall layout and production design of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports, and other publications. They also produce promotional displays, marketing brochures for products and services, distinctive logos for products and businesses, and signage systems – called environmental graphics – for business and government. An increasing number of graphic designers also develop material for Internet web pages, interactive media, and multimedia projects. Graphic designers also may produce the credits that appear before and after television programs and movies. Multimedia artists, animators, illustrators, and animation directors may create and design two and three dimensional images, create storyboards by editing animation imagery, produce backgrounds for multimedia campaigns, and develop designs and illustrations for television, product labels, cartons, promotional products, technical manuals, and mailings. Commercial and industrial designers may modify, refine, and design home appliances, automobiles and children’s toys. They consult with individuals from engineering, marketing, and sales departments of production firms in order to complete their work. Frequently, they may be requested to evaluate the predicted success of their design ideas, by examining factors such as appearance, market demands, consumer expectations, and functionality. Working conditions and places of employment vary. Graphic designers employed by large advertising, publishing, or design firms generally work regular hours in well lighted and comfortable settings. Designers in smaller design consulting firms and those who freelance generally work on a contract, or job, basis. They frequently adjust their workday to suit their clients’ schedules and deadlines. Consultants and self employed designers tend to work longer hours in smaller, more congested, environments. A bachelor or an associate degree in graphic design is usually required for a job as a graphic designer. Creativity, communication, problem solving skills and familiarity with computer graphics and design software also are important. A bachelor degree is required for most entry level and advanced graphic design positions, although some entry level technical positions may only require an associate degree. Bachelor degree programs in fine arts or graphic design are offered at many colleges, universities, and private design schools. In addition to postsecondary training in graphic design, creativity, communication, and problem solving skills are crucial. Graphic designers must be open to new ideas and influences, quick to react, willing to work independently, creative and able to communicate their ideas visually, verbally, and in writing. They also must have an eye for details. Designers show employers these traits by putting together a portfolio, a collection of examples of a person’s best work. A good portfolio often is the deciding factor in getting a job.

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