Graphic designers can take their pick from a wide array of career paths. In years past, of course, they focused on print design. The Internet has changed that, and there are more job opportunities for these professionals than ever. By learning about a few lesser-known career paths for graphic designers, you can more easily choose your own.
1. Package Design
From cereal boxes to soda pop bottles, someone has to design the labels and other packaging that attracts consumers to various products. This area of graphic design requires not only excellent design skills but first-rate marketing skills too. Although you will never see your name in lights, you will enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that your work appears in millions of households and stores. In addition to designing artwork for packaging and labels, these professionals sometimes focus on physical container design, which means they help create custom packaging for products.
2. Front End Web Design
The line between graphic design and web design is increasingly blurring. The “front end” of a website is the part you actually see and interact with; the “back end” is the code and other aspects of its design that aren’t visible to the naked eye. For a long time, front end graphic designers created mockups of how websites were supposed to look and handed them to web designers to make them a reality. More and more, however, graphic designers are expected to have at least basic web development capabilities, including coding in HTML and CSS.
3. UI Design
When a website is especially complex, its design may be broken up into various parts. Web developers may write the code, but someone needs to ensure the interface is intuitive for the people who will actually use it. That’s where UI designers come in, and their work is an indispensable part of creating a site that functions perfectly and looks amazing. To excel in this area, you must be able to put yourself in users’ shoes to develop application and website interfaces that are easy to use, and you must be willing to tweak your designs to accommodate this requirement.
4. Logo and Corporate Identity Design
Many graphic designers make nice livings creating logos for businesses. However, those who really stand out from the crowd don’t stop there. Logo and corporate identity designers’ work revolves around creating strong brand identities for corporations and other businesses. For them, creating a logo is merely one aspect of the process. They work to ensure that all marketing materials properly reflect a company’s desired brand identity. Therefore, they aren’t just graphic designers–they’re marketing experts as well.
5. Editorial Design
Despite the digital revolution, people still read print materials. Books, magazines and other publications still exist, and designers are still needed to make them visually appealing. Many graphic designers end up working in niche areas in the world of editorial design. For example, some focus exclusively on designing book covers. Others are hired by major magazines and help to create seamless designs from the first page to the last. Now that iPads and other tablets are so ubiquitous, many editorial designers are working in both the print and digital worlds. One thing’s for sure: There’s plenty of work out there for talented professionals with the right credentials, and earning a graphic design degree can get you there.
Graphic designers have more career opportunities than most people realize. Their work is a part of our everyday lives, and that includes print and digital realms. If you want a career where you can really spread your wings and explore a variety of options, you won’t regret earning your graphic design degree.