There are many types of graphic designers. Graphic designers design magazines, websites, logos, packaging and just about anything that has type on it. Designers are in essence visual communicators. They help clients communicate their message clearly and persuasively through printed and digital media. Being a graphic design is a wonderful job, but it’s not for everyone. How do you know if you should become a graphic designer?
Do you like to brainstorm or problem solve?
How well do you handle the pressure of a deadline?
Are you detail oriented?
Do you like using computers?
Do you have strong verbal skills?
I’ve heard people say that they want to be a graphic designer so they can get paid to be creative. This maybe true but the trooth is it requires much hard work and pursuverance to be a successful graphic designer. Realize that this industry it’s a very competitive. This means that you need to really be inspired and love doing design work. How can you decide if you want to pursue graphic design? I recommend you get involved in your local graphic design community. The AIGA has social gatherings, design lectures, and other design related events in most majors cities. This will allow you to meet and talk with professional designers. The Advertising Federation is another organization that can help you meet professionals in the communication industry.
As a graphic design professor I’ve seen many students come and go. The ones who tend to be the most successful have the following common characteristics. First, the love what they do and are willing to work very hard. I know this sounds very ordinary, but in graphic design the details make a dramatic difference. A small out of place character of type or one incorrectly spelled word can kill a project. The most successful designers are willing to think and plan ahead. It’s not about getting one idea and moving forward with it. It’s more about getting many ideas, pushing through the lesser ones then choosing the one that best fits the target audience. A certain degree of focus and do whatever it takes to get the job done attitude helps.
Here is the US government occupational handbook on graphic design. It gives a good job outlook overview of graphic design. It also includes basic salary and other information.