Graphic designer job description

The graphic designer is part of the communication sector. Posters, magazines, packaging, flyers, websites, almost all printed documents and digital visuals go through the hands of a graphic designer. Choice of typography, colors, support, the graphic designer finds and shapes the original idea that will catch the eye of the client.

What does a graphic designer do? What is his role ?

The graphic designer responds to a client need in terms of graphic identity. He must first understand what his client really wants, sometimes read between the lines and be proactive. Then the graphic designer imagines the best solution to visually transpose the message that his client wants to deliver.

Not all graphic designers have the same vision of their profession. However, they all work on shapes, colors, materials, typography to express an identity, convey an idea, generate an emotion, attract attention.

There are 3 main “families” of graphic designers:

  • The graphic designer or print designer : dedicated to printing, to “print” (in English), it declines a graphic charter on all paper supports.
  • The web designer : graphic designer specializing in creations for digital media and websites.
  • The 360 ​​graphic designer : versatile, he masters both on and off-line and deals with graphic communication issues as a whole.

Whatever his specialization, the graphic designer is required to:

  • Analyze customer needs
  • Translate a concept or script into a visual representation
  • Create graphic elements by drawing and then using computer tools: logo, visual, web banner, poster, packaging, advertising brochure, signage, etc.
  • Process digital images (colorimetry, framing, …) for print or the web
  • Design the layout and enrich the document (integration of text, image, correction, etc.) according to typographic rules and the graphic charter

What are the expected skills ?

Both creative and technical, the profession of graphic designer calls on a wide range of technical knowledge and artistic skills and interpersonal skills. :

  • Curiosity, creativity
  • Flexibility, good adaptability
  • mastery of drawing
  • Knowledge of printing processes and constraints (print)
  • Knowledge of intellectual property law
  • Mastery of computer graphics, multimedia editing, editing and photo creation software
  • Proficiency in DTP (Computer Aided Publishing)
  • More and more: basic knowledge of Html/CSS languages ​​for more Webdesigner profiles

The pros and cons of being a graphic designer

Most :

    • creative profession
    • Opportunity to work in all areas
    • Team work

LessThe lessers :

    • Area a little blocked
    • Highly digitized business
    • Prolonged work in a seated position

How to become a graphic designer? What training?

There are several courses accessible from different levels of study.

To be able to work as a graphic designer, obtaining a Bac +2 at least is essential. There are many training courses both in public establishments and in private schools.

  • Bac +2 :
    • BTS Graphic Design, Communication and Printed Media option (last intake in 2019)
    • BTS Graphic Design, Communication and Digital Media option
  • Tray 3 :
    • Bachelor Web Design and Graphic Communication
    • cartoon school certificate
    • Bachelor’s degreeVisual Communication
    • Digital creation
    • DN MADE (National Diploma of Art and Design Professions) mention: Event, Graphic Design, Social Innovation, Book or Digital
    • DNA (National Diploma of Art), option: Art, Communication or Design
    • Motion designer (Ecole des Gobelins, Paris)
    • Video game designer
  • Degree 4 :
    • Draftsman-designer, option: Multimedia publishing or Video games
    • DSAA mention graphics
  • Bac +5 :
    • Masters in Graphics
    • Higher National Diploma of Decorative Arts (ENSAD)
    • Artistic director in visual and multimedia communication
    • Image and Media Art Director
    • DNSEP (Higher National Diploma in Plastic Expression) option: Art, Communication or Design

To note : to integrate a BTS, the DMA, or before embarking on the entrance examination of a private school, it is necessary to go through 1 year of preparation. Either a prep AA: Applied Arts, or a MANAA: Upgrade in Applied Art.

What salary for a graphic designer?

A junior graphic designer can receive between 1,800 and 2,300 € gross per month and up to around 3,000 € at the end of their career.

In freelance, income is very variable and there are big differences depending on the type of client (small individual company, start-up, large group, etc.) but also depending on the geographical location (Paris or province).

A freelance graphic designer working regularly can earn €1,900 gross monthly on average.

What are the career paths?

A print graphic designer can evolve for example towards web design if he acquires digital skills.

After a few years of experience, it is also possible for a graphic designer to become Artistic Director “DA”. It is then he who supervises the design of the graphic identity project by supervising his team which can be composed of graphic designers, graphic designers, copywriters, web designer, …

Who employs a graphic designer?

The advantage of the graphic designer is that he can work in all sectors and therefore in many types of companies:

  • In a communication agency, graphic design, advertising
  • In a graphic design studio, video games
  • In publishing house, newspaper, magazine
  • In business communication services
  • In local communities
  • As a freelancer…

In summary

Sector Communication
Minimum level of study Bac +2
Diploma recommended BTS Graphic design
Alternation Yes
Occupational integration Hard
Starting salary Between €1,800 and €2,300 gross/month

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