A graphic design degree and a careers in the arts is based on being creative in both print and digital media. The career focuses on relaying a message to an audience in an efficient and aesthetically pleasing way using visual creations. Graphic artists use their talent to organize color, font, illustration, photography, and layout to create images and visual effects. Graphic designers work on sketches and layouts by hand or using computer software for visual illustration. They select colors, sound, artwork, photography, and animation.The expanding market for web design, multimedia projects, and video entertainment has made graphic design an increasingly important field. Graphic designers use graphics and animation software to create layouts and design elements and to program animated graphics.
Graphic Design Education and Training
To get into an arts or graphics career you would need to have at least an associates or bachelors graphic design degree for an entry level job. With a masters graphic design degree you would take higher level courses in design and design management. With an associates online graphic design degree you can work to help established professionals with many of the technical aspects of the job.
While in school, be sure to get into an internship or working part time to get some experience as you learn more about the career path. That way you get to also create a professional portfolio, which is an absolute key to advancing in your career and getting better positions. Graphic design class requirements vary depending on one’s area of concentraton but may include:
- Digital Imaging
- Computers in Visual Arts
- New Media
- 2D/3D/4D courses
- Digital Photography
If you go for a bachelor graphic design degree you can estimate about four years to graduate while with an associate degrees and certificate programs you would spend about two to three yeas. Graduates of 2-year online graphic design degree programs normally qualify to work as assistants to graphic designers or for positions requiring technical skills.
Graphic Design Careers
Graphic designer, also known as graphic artists plan, analyze, and create visual solutions to communications issues. They look for effective ways to transmit a messages via print and electronic media using color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and print and layout techniques. These are skills that are learned in a graphic design degree program.
Graphic designers are also known as graphic artists. Regardless of the graphic design degree program of study, their job is to plan, analyze, and create visual solutions in order to ensure effective communication and message delivery. They do so using print, electronic, and film media, where they use various methods and techniques that include color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and layout techniques.
Graphic designers work for magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports, and other publications to develop the overall layout and production design for visual communication. They also work in positions where they produce promotional displays, packaging, and marketing brochures for products and services, design distinctive logos for products and businesses, and develop signs and signage systems for various businesses and organizations.
An increasing number of graphic designers also work to develop material for the Internet, interactive media, and multimedia and in turn graphic design degree programs are offering more and more graphic design courses in these areas.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
On average, with an online graphic design degree, graphic designers make around $40,000 a year, although there is a wide range depending on where you end up working. This can be anywhere from $23,200 to $100,000. Higher salaries are usually the result of owning or partially owning a graphic design firm. Many graphic designers are self-employed or do freelance work in addition to holding a regular job.
As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage of graphic designers was $43,500 in 2010. The lowest 10% earned less than $26,200, and the top 10% earned more over $76,910. The employment of graphic designers is expected to increase by 13% between 2010 and 2020.
The median annual wage of multimedia artists and animators was $58,510. The lowest 10% below $33,840, while top 10% earned more than $99,830. The employment of multimedia artists and animators is expected to grow by 8% from 2010 to 2020.
As computers and the Internet continue to there are expected to be more new jobs in the field of graphic design. Those with web site design experience are likely to have the best opportunities although many graphic designers can be employed by advertising, desktop publishing, publishing, or design firms or by smaller design consulting firms. Others with an online graphic design degree work in architectural firms and printing companies.
Graphic Design Programs
- Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
- Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
- Students can choose from courses that cover areas such as advertising concepts, art direction, experience design, and online marketing
- Over 50 locations nationwide, with a student support team dedicated to helping students grow
- Graphic & Web Design (BFA)
- Graphic & Web Design (AA)
- Media Arts and Animation (BFA)
- Campus-based and online degrees include Computer Animation (BS), Digital Arts and Design (BS), Graphic Design (BS), and more
- Students take ongoing portfolio courses that allow them to build and refine their design portfolio
- Courses teach skills such as advertising, branding, visual messaging, and concept design
- Curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement
- Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
- Web Design and Development, Bachelor of Science (Online)
- Game Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
- And more...
- Bachelor’s program options include Communication, Political Communication, Cinema-Television, and more.
- Several concentrations available, including Rhetoric and Public Culture, Strategic Communication, Theatre, Journalism, Internet and Social Media, and more.
- All concentrations are designed to teach students the fundamentals of journalism, helping them prepare for careers as reporters and writers.
- Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Master of Arts in Film & TV - Producing
- Master of Arts in Film & TV - Script Writing
- Master of Fine Arts in Film & TV - Script & Screenwriting