Graphic designer

Description

Graphic designers create text and images to communicate ideas. They make visual concepts by hand or using computer software, intended for publishing in paper or online media such as advertisements, websites, and magazines.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to graphic designer:

commercial graphic designer
commercial designer
graphic design expert
graphics designer
advertising artist
graphic artist
graphic design specialist

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as graphic designer. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Graphic designer is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Graphic designer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to graphic designer.

special effects artist
animation director
animator
animation layout artist
cartoonist

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of graphic designer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of graphic designer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of graphic designer.

Graphic design: The techniques to create a visual representation of ideas and messages.
Desktop publishing: The creation of documents using page layout skills on a computer. Desktop publishing software can generate layouts and produce typographic quality text and images.
Copyright legislation: Legislation describing the protection of the rights of original authors over their work, and how others can use it.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of graphic designer.

Respect publication formats: Submit text material for printing purposes. Always respect the required and expected publication formats.
Use creative suite software: Use a creative software suite such as ”Adobe” to aid in graphic designing.
Follow a brief: Interpret and meet requirements and expectations, as discussed and agreed upon with the customers.
Translate requirement concepts into visual design: Develop visual design from given specifications and requirements, based on the analysis of the scope and target audience. Create a visual representation of ideas such as logos, website graphics, digital games and layouts.
Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
Adapt to type of media: Adapt to different types of media such as television, movies, commercials, and others. Adapt work to type of media, scale of production, budget, genres within type of media, and others.
Convert scribbles into virtual sketches: Use software to convert the roughly drawn representation of a design into a two-dimensional geometrical sketch that they can further develop to obtain the final concept.
Finish project within budget: Make sure to stay within budget. Adapt work and materials to budget.
Develop creative ideas: Developing new artistic concepts and creative ideas.
Design prototypes: Design prototypes of products or components of products by applying design and engineering principles.
Design graphics: Apply a variety of visual techniques in order to design graphic material. Combine graphical elements to communicate concepts and ideas.
Perform market research: Gather, assess and represent data about target market and customers in order to facilitate strategic development and feasibility studies. Identify market trends.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of graphic designer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Adobe photoshop: The computer program Adobe Photoshop is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by the software company Adobe.
Adobe illustrator: The computer program Adobe Illustrator CC is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by the software company Adobe.
Photography: Art and practice of creating aesthetically appealing images by recording light or electromagnetic radiation.
Publishing industry: Key stakeholders in the publishing industry. Acquisition, marketing and distribution of newspapers, books, magazines and other informative works, including electronic media.
Digital compositing: The process and software for digitally assembling multiple images to make one, final image.
Gimp (graphics editor software): The computer program GIMP is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by The GIMP Development Team.
Aesthetics: Set of principles based on which something is appealing and beautiful.
3d lighting: The arrangement or digital effect which simulates lighting in a 3D environment.
Sketchbook pro: The computer program SketchBook Pro is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by the software company Autodesk.
Microsoft visio: The computer program Microsoft Visio is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by the software company Microsoft.
Motion graphics: The techniques and software for creating the illusion of motion such as keyframing, Adobe After Effects, and Nuke.
3d modelling: The process of developing a mathematical representation of any three-dimensional surface of an object via specialised software. The product is called a 3D model. It can be displayed as a two-dimensional image through a process called 3D rendering or used in a computer simulation of physical phenomena. The model can also be physically created using 3D printing devices.
Graphics editor software: The field of graphical ICT tools which enable digital editing and composition of graphics, such as GIMP, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, to develop both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics.
Advertising techniques: The communication strategies intended to persuade or encourage an audience, and the different media which are used to achieve this goal.
Synfig: The computer program Synfig is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by Robert Quattlebaum.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of graphic designer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Create 3d environments: Develop a computer-generated 3D representation of a setting such as simulated environment, where the users interact.
Edit negatives: Use different software products and techniques to process photographic negatives and adapt the images to the desired specifications.
Apply 3d imaging techniques: Implement a variety of techniques such as digital sculpting, curve modelling and 3D scanning to create, edit, preserve and use 3D images, such as point clouds, 3D vector graphic and 3D surface shapes.
Create animated narratives: Develop animated narrative sequences and story lines, using computer software and hand drawing techniques.
Use traditional illustration techniques: Create drawings using traditional illustration techniques such as watercolour, pen and ink, airbrush art, oil painting, pastels, wood engraving, and linoleum cuts.
Meet expectations of target audience: Research the needs and expectations of the target audience to ensure the program’s theme meets both.
Apply desktop publishing techniques: Apply desktop publishing techniques and software to create page layouts and typographic quality text.
Brainstorm ideas: Pitch your ideas and concepts to fellow members of the creative team in order to come up with alternatives, solutions and better versions.
Create 3d characters: Develop 3D models by transforming and digitising previously designed characters using specialised 3D tools.
Use digital illustration techniques: Create drawings using digital illustration programmes and techniques.
Manage contracts: Negotiate the terms, conditions, costs and other specifications of a contract while making sure they comply with legal requirements and are legally enforceable. Oversee the execution of the contract, agree on and document any changes.
Edit digital moving images: Use specialised software to edit video images for use in an artistic production.
Create advertisements: Use your creativity to draft advertiments. Keep in mind the costumer’s requirements, target audience, media and marketing objectives.
Use cad software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
Use photographic equipment: Use analogue or digital camera equipment, along with a variety of accessories such as tripods, filters and lenses.
Edit photographs: Resize, enhance and retouche photographs, using airbrushing, editing software and other techniques.
Create moving images: Create and develop two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in motion and animations.
Develop animations: Design and develop visual animations using creativity and computer skills. Make objects or characters appear lifelike by manipulating light, colour, texture, shadow, and transparency, or manipulating static images to give the illusion of motion.
Operate 3d computer graphics software: Use graphical ICT tools, such as Autodesk Maya, Blender which enable digital editing, modelling, rendering and composition of graphics. These tools are based in mathematical representation of three-dimensional objects.
Draw design sketches: Create rough pictures to assist in creating and communicating design concepts.

ISCO group and title

2166 – Graphic and multimedia designers

 

 


 

 

References
  1. Graphic designer – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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