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How to become a graphic designer in Australia: careers in design

Graphic designers work in a number of artistic and professional disciplines focusing on visual communication and presentation. Their work can include a range of visual media such as drawing, photography, painting, digital media or a combination of all of these to create images, text and symbols. Their work is used to visually represent messages and ideas and is generally found in magazines, advertisements, websites, public display or on product packaging. They prepare comprehensive design layouts, liaise with clients about designs and prepare their designs for print.
Pathways

Being a graphic designer: daily duties

Graphic designers can find themselves employed in a range of industries, from government departments to tiny start-up companies. Depending on where they are employed, their daily duties will vary. Generally, graphic designers develop branding materials such as logos, letterheads and business cards, create concept work, respond to feedback, create unique fonts and symbols and develop graphics standard manuals to ensure consistency in design within their organisations.

Tasks:

  • Create designs
  • Interpret briefs
  • Develop a design portfolio
  • Liaise with clients
  • Advise clients on design trends
Skills

Being a graphic designer: skills for success

Graphic designers need to produce a consistent output of up-to-date work, maintain a portfolio of projects and stay on top of industry-specific trends. They need to have a creative flair and artistic abilities. Effective communication skills are necessary in order to meet client needs. They also need a good attention to detail, the ability to think laterally and come up with creative solutions, and the ability to work well under pressure and to deadlines. Proficiency in a range of graphic design software programs is also essential.
Skills/attributes
  • Able to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Able to deal with stressful deadlines
  • Meticulous attention to detail
Specs

Specialised roles within design

Graphic designers are in high demand across a variety of industries. As such there are a great number of ways a talented graphic designer can specialise and expand their career opportunities.
  • Title designer
    Working in the film industry, title designers work with film directors, producers and editors through the creative process to design title credits for feature films, short films and television shows.
  • Web designer
    Specialising in graphic design that is displayed in a digital form on the internet, web designers come up with website layouts, advertisements banners, thumbnails and other visual communication that is used online.
  • Art director
    Art directors are in charge of visual aesthetics in various print, digital and web-based graphics projects. They liaise with other creative about the visual packaging and display of projects, making decisions about aspects such as layout, colour, font and material types. There are many opportunities for these roles in the advertising industry.
Pathways

Educational pathways for graphic designers

While successful graphic designers need to have a natural aptitude for visual art, completing targeted study to better understand the commercial aspects of the design industry is the best way to find work in this field.
  • Start your career
    Find a course to suit your level of aptitude, skills and interest to kickstart your graphic design career.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Build your professional portfolio while you study and learn invaluable design skills.
  • Build your resume
    Get a head start on your way to working as a graphic designer by completing an industry-recognised course.
  • Industry requirements
    There is no mandatory requirement to register with a professional body to work as a graphic designer in Australia.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your design career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    There is constant demand for graphic designers and the strong growth in this sector is projected to continue over the next five years with job openings expected to increase.

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