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Graphic Designer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: September 27, 2023

A graphic designer creates aesthetically pleasing images that accompany written text. Their duties include meeting with clients to establish their needs, using design software to complete projects and revising projects based on client feedback. Learning how to write a job description for a graphic designer will help you find candidates that fit your business’s unique needs.

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Graphic designer duties and responsibilities

Designer in profile pose, wearing glasses, with a large monitor in front of them. The monitor lights up the designer's face. Graphics are coming out of the monitor. Text reads:

Graphic designers create images for your website, advertisements and other relevant media. The images they create are often the first thing clients see, which impacts their impression of your company. The primary function of a graphic designer is to make sure your branding is consistent, clear and impactful. 

Graphic designers’ responsibilities include:

  • Working with other creative team members to produce content
  • Creating guidelines for how logos and other branding materials should be displayed and used
  • Helping make design choices, such as fonts and colors, for all content your company will use
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What does a graphic designer do?

Graphic designers work with marketing firms or advertising departments as employees or independent contractors. They collaborate with other creative professionals to oversee a project to completion. Their job is to use graphic design software to develop unique fonts, color schemes, shapes and other design elements that portray a company’s brand. Graphic designers may also need to sketch their ideas on paper before transferring them to a digital format.

Graphic designer skills and qualifications

Graphic designers have a wide range of skills. They take creative tasks, such as choosing colors or fonts for a project, to the next level by ensuring the elements align with your company’s mission and goals. Important skills and qualifications include:

  • Mastery of industry-standard software to create logos, design reports and complete other projects
  • The ability to clearly communicate the reasoning behind design choices
  • A compelling portfolio with projects showcasing skills relevant to your business’s visual content goals

Graphic designer salary expectations

The average salary for a graphic designer is $20.72 per hour. Experience, skills and location impact pay, however. For example, the highest paying entry-level graphic designer positions can pay over $34 an hour but are located in areas with high property values and cost of living. If you’re trying to determine a fair pay rate to offer, consider the amount of experience you prefer and what your competitors are offering for similar roles. 

Graphic designer education and training requirements

Graphic designers have diverse backgrounds. Some hold undergraduate or graduate degrees in art, design or marketing, while others receive their training through online certification programs. 

A good way to judge talent, however, is to ask applicants for examples of their past work. Even inexperienced graphic designers should be able to produce a portfolio of samples that showcase their skills. Keep in mind when setting up interviews with graphic designers that candidates with advanced college degrees may expect higher salaries than those who have less formal training but possess natural talent.

Graphic designer experience requirement

The amount of experience to look for in a candidate can depend on the complexity of your project. Some freelance projects are an ideal opportunity to allow someone new to the profession to prove themselves, while you could require a candidate filling a full-time role to have 1 or more years of experience.

Graphic designer job description intro paragraph

When writing a job description for a graphic designer, you may wish to start by introducing the job and company. Briefly highlight the work environment, what sets your company apart and why the role is important to your company.

For example:

“Company ABC is looking for a creative graphic designer to join our growing marketing team. This is an exciting opportunity to help us build our brand identity from the ground up, as well as support various marketing initiatives and client campaigns. You’ll be working at our downtown office, with the opportunity to work from home a few days per week.

Here at Company ABC, we provide competitive pay and benefits, a collaborative work environment and a generous budget for ongoing education.”

Frequently asked questions about graphic designers

What is the difference between a graphic designer and an illustrator?

Graphic designers and illustrators perform similar functions, but the primary difference is the media they work with. A graphic designer does most of their work with computers, creating digital images. Their work is featured on websites, email marketing campaigns and social media accounts.

Illustrators often work with print media companies such as newspapers, magazines and publishers. They may even require a graphic designer’s assistance if they want to transfer any of their work from print to a computer or the internet.

Aside from these key differences, both jobs have similar fundamental duties. Both graphic designers and illustrators specialize in creating imagery to promote ideas, products and brands.

Do graphic designers need a degree?

This is a topic of great debate. While some employers feel more comfortable requiring their employees to have degrees, they may overlook talented candidates that don’t meet their educational requirements. Taking graphic design courses and having a degree in an artistic field certainly helps graphic designers develop the skills they need to succeed, but many graphic designers build their own businesses without formal education or experience. In this field, it might be better to evaluate candidates’ skills based on their portfolios.

What qualities should I look for in a graphic designer?

There are intangible qualities in a graphic designer that no amount of education or experience can replace. Talented graphic designers have a knack for creating inviting color schemes, choosing or creating eye-catching fonts and knowing how to catch peoples’ attention with their work. They’re also good at using multiple computer programs to create and edit images.

Strong graphic designers can also accept and learn from criticism. Clients often ask them to tweak the graphics before they’re satisfied with the product. Graphic designers need to be willing to take these suggestions in stride and deliver revisions quickly. 

Job description examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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