Graphic Designer Kaihoahoa Whakairoiro

Graphic designers create artwork or designs for published, printed or electronic media such as magazines, brochures, television advertisements and websites. 

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Graphic designers may do some or all of the following:

  • discuss project requirements with their client
  • discuss the project with colleagues
  • develop design ideas by researching and brainstorming with colleagues
  • prepare sketches, instructions and layout diagrams
  • create designs for different media
  • suggest production methods, materials and costs
  • show design ideas to the client
  • receive client feedback and alter the design accordingly.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for graphic designers includes:

  • art or design work 
  • advertising or marketing work
  • publishing or printing work
  • media production work
  • typographic work (working with type, font and page layout).

Personal Qualities

Graphic designers need to be:

  • organised
  • motivated
  • creative
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to accept criticism
  • able to work well under pressure
  • problem solvers
  • good at communicating, and able to work well in a team.

Skills

Graphic designers need to have:

  • knowledge of art materials and techniques
  • the ability to use colour and design effectively
  • expertise in printing and production methods
  • knowledge of advertising and marketing, and how people think and react to visual images
  • awareness of current market trends
  • artistic ability, including good sketching, drawing and painting skills
  • the ability to use computed-aided design (CAD) and creative software
  • the ability to understand clients' needs and turn them into suitable designs.

Conditions

Graphic designers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines
  • usually work in offices and studios, but may also work from home or travel locally to attend photo shoots
  • work in conditions that may be stressful due to deadlines.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include design and visual communication (graphics), digital technologies, English, te reo Māori, art history, maths and painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking combined.

Graphic Designers can earn around $42K-$65K per year.

Pay for graphic designers varies depending on skills, experience and employer.

  • Graduate graphic designers usually earn between $42,000 and $50,000 a year.
  • Intermediate graphic designers with three to five years' experience usually earn between $50,000 and $65,000.
  • Senior graphic designers with more than five years' experience can earn between $65,000 and $90,000.

Source: Hays, 'Hays Salary Guide', 2018.

Graphic designers may progress to set up their own graphic design business, or move into management roles at graphic design companies.

Graphic designers may specialise in a particular area, such as:

  • advertising
  • animation
  • digital design
  • illustration
  • print publishing
  • user experience design
  • visual effects
  • web design.

Years Of Training

3 years of training usually required.

To become a graphic designer, you need to have a tertiary qualification in graphic design, media arts or visual communication.

You also need to have a portfolio of work to show potential employers.

Graphic Designer

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