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Visual Communications

Graphic Design, Interactive Media, Video, Photography, Web Design, and Illustration

PRINTED: Saturday 19th, January 2019 10:38:05 PM

Career in Graphic Design

DOT #141.061-038, 141.061-018, CIS #4724, OES #34035, 34038

Work Description:

  • Create artwork for newspapers, magazines, books, media,
    display, brochures, logos, packaging, and web design
  • Create original designs and layouts for print or multimedia
  • Operate a variety of computers and digital equipment in the production of design materials
  • Work with photographs, text, and artwork to create original solutions to graphic design challenges
  • Use digital typesetting and prepress production techniques
  • Develop ideas, prepare sketches, select colors and typefaces for print or electronic publishing
  • Produce original illustrations, logos or photographs
  • Work often includes overtime to meet client deadlines
  • Freelance opportunities available to those with business skills

Aptitudes and skills:

  • Ability to visualize finished design
  • Ability to distinguish colors and typefaces
  • Artistic skills
  • Creativity and problem solving
  • Computer skills and ability to learn new technology
  • Ability to make visual comparisons and see slight differences in shapes and shades
  • Knowledge of design, typography, photography, printing and electronic media including internet communications
  • Understanding of copyright laws
  • Command of words to present information and ideas clearly
  • Spelling and ability to proof materials for accuracy
  • Ability to make decisions based on experience
  • Ability to work quickly and accurately
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to communicate clearly and work with a group
  • Respond positively to suggestions from others

Education and training:

  • Training in art, design and digital imaging techniques at a two-year or four-year institution
  • Proven skills learned both on the job and in coursework
  • Portfolios are shown to prospective employers to demonstrate concepts and abilities
  • Working knowledge of a variety of industry standard software must be gained on an ongoing basis

Job outlook:

  • In the long-run, employment of graphic designers is expected to grow rapidly in Oregon.
  • The short-term outlook depends on the economy and the amount of money spent on advertising.
  • There is a surplus of entry-level designers with inadequate training and computer skills.
  • Creative individuals with technical expertise in a variety of software and media face unlimited possibilities. Web design is a growth area, but is often more technical than creative.
  • Employment opportunities are based on the presentation of a portfolio of work demonstrating creativity and technical skills.
  • Freelance and distance working is widely available,
    making it a flexible work environment for those
    willing to work hard to succeed in a competitive field.

Salary range:

  • Pay and availability of benefits varies widely.
  • Entry level wages average $11.25 per hour in Oregon.
  • Top Oregon average is $23 per hour.
  • Wages are generally higher in Portland, with a few top designers earning $90 per hour and more.
  • Nationally, the average wage is about $17.20 per hour.