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General Graphic Design Info


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#1 -MAKA-

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:31 PM

Hey guys how is everyone doing? I'm new to the forums so i figured i would say hello, ask a few questions :thumbsup:

I'm looking to get into Graphic Design and was wondering, in general how it is, in terms of job availability, growth, salary, the best city to start as a graphic designer etc etc.
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#2 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:14 PM

Hi there! :flowers:

I am currently taking Visual Communications for college, and I get involved highly in graphic design.

One of the things that instructors discuss with us students is how bad the economy is, to where it would be hard to get a job.

Take this in to perspective, friend -- Big time jobs are limited currently, and people are being laid off left and right in the design field. Designers are the easiest to lay off because the tools used are common with most designers such as Adobe Photoshop and the Creative Suites.

Those who get laid off from a big time job automatically search for a job that is easiest to get. They will apply to a place and get the job because they have experience.

What I am trying to say is, the outlook for graphic designers is somewhat limited. The salary is a basic designer's salary, which depends on your level of experience and workrate. Some designers get $40,000 per year, some can get as high as $120,000 per year. The best place to begin to apply is southern California. Near Los Angeles or Hollywood. Go straight to the home of making movies and the need for graphic designers!

Good luck friend! :thumbsup:

#3 stevealmighty

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:06 PM

You'd be better off to go with a multimedia (photo, video, graphic design) degree of sorts-that'll make you more marketable and more valuable to employees. It's better to higher one person that can do three things than hire 3 people to do each individual thing. Make sense?
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#4 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 11:40 PM

The degree that I am taking involves multimedia. Visual Communications is a great field now!

#5 txtchr

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 08:32 PM

Register on mediabistro. This is where so many jobs are posted in the media market. You can see exactly where the jobs are and what the requirements are for those jobs. Even if you're not going into the job market right now, this will at least give you an idea of where you may potentially need to relocate to find employment and what skills and experience you will need.

No matter where you are, intern. Even if you have to work for free, take an internship. That experience will help land you a job. It gives you one up on the other applicants who come in for the same position. Plus, the contacts you make while you intern could assist you in landing a position, even in a tight market.

#6 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:04 PM

Hey there txtchr, thank you for commenting.

I will definitely check that out as well.

There is also a website that teaches principles and elements of design, and also shows you jobs, competitions you can join, and some more. The website is called Graphic Design Basics.

#7 txtchr

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:37 AM

I'll take a look, Jay. Thanks for the link.

I know that when my daughter was looking to get into the job market (she's a copy editor), mediabistro was where she found all of the relevant job postings. She currently works for a publication in Manhattan. Obviously she works with graphic designers at her job, and she's ended up doing a great deal of layout and web design work herself.

Most, if not all, of the opportunities are either in New York or in California. She relocated from Texas, as there was very little here for her.

One other thing -- I hope you're proficient on a Mac. Most of what is done (at least for print and design work) is done on a Mac. My son found this out as well, as he was a graphic arts major in college. Big adjustment for him, since he was a Windows guy.

#8 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 03:21 PM

Yes, Macs are a very good add on to using graphic design tools. However, the tool available for Mac are always available for Windows. Keep in mind that Microsoft has new design tools.

#9 txtchr

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:27 PM

Agreed on the Microsoft design tool availability. Just wanted to let you know, though, that if you're looking to go into anything related to print media (publications), many offices are equipped almost exclusively with Macs.

I teach high school desktop publishing, layout, and design. We use InDesign and the Adobe Suite -- on the Windows platform, though. Everything that my son had learned in high school (3D work, architectural graphics, engineering graphics, digital animation) was all done on the Windows platform, too. But when he got to collegiate level work, though, the labs were all equipped with Macs.

That's something you probably should see what the specific industries require. Better to be able to handle both platforms and prepare for that. That's exactly what my daughter did; both magazines that she interned at in Austin used a combo of Win/Mac; the national publication that she's at in NY uses Mac only.

#10 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 08:45 PM

many offices are equipped almost exclusively with Macs.


This is true, I fully know this especially. With computer security experience, I came to know that Macs are more stable than Windows based machines, security-wise.

I was told that a great idea for equipping the office, would be to install Macs.

#11 Venek

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 11:20 PM

I've been working as a graphic designer now for almost 10 years. It's a highly competitive market and the pay depends on the area and your experience. I'm still not making much even after all these years, but then again, I live in Cleveland which is utterly devoid of creative jobs. Mind you, I don't do the actual creation of artwork, I do production graphic design, an entirely different aspect of graphic design. Known as prepress, I'm responsible for taking the customers' artwork and making it printable (think color trapping, color correction, re-positioning, etc.)

As for the best city, well, the bigger it is, the better, so that'd probably have to be the usual suspects of NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, and L.A.

Oh, and stick with Macs. For books, I recommend the Real World Illustrator and Photoshop (and Color Management if you want to become more specialized).
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#12 dark messenger

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 12:43 PM

Although I do not know much about what cities to go looking in, I would suggest a place like deviantart.com to set up a portfolio, also within that website, is a forum dedicated to freelance graphics designers. You could always start off doign freelance stuff to get an idea of how the industry seems to run.

THen again, it depends on what sort of graphics design... Doing a multimedia based course like stevealmighty said is good if you want to learn the basics of all the the editing programs. I am on a multimedia course, and I've learnt how to use many types of cameras, photoshop, after effects, illustrator, logic, reason, audition etc..

(Edit: And on the mac subject, at uni, we ALL use macs for editing, whether it be graphics or audio, so I would suggest you learn the ways of a mac, as that is most likely the workstation you will be using in the professional industry)

I know of one top end job in the industry which is a special effects supervisor (or something similar) and he/she can earn upto 120,000 pa (pounds, not dollars) and then there are other jobs where designers earn 15,000 pa.. So the scope of salaries/location/position depends so much on your expertise, amount of time in the industry, contacts and experience. It is a very hard industry, in my opinion, to be at the top, or earning a nice salary... But thats just my 2 pence worht...

Edited by dark messenger, 04 March 2009 - 12:45 PM.





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