Graphic Designer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: July 28, 2022

 

A Graphic Designer, or Graphic Artist, is responsible for creating 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.

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Graphic Designer Duties and Responsibilities

Graphic Designers handle the visual side of your company. The content that Graphic Designers create is often the first time a customer or client notices your company. Someone may learn about your company from an advertisement, and if your branding isn’t clear, you won’t reach customers. An experienced Graphic Designer, however, can ensure your branding is consistent across all channels and that you’re making the most out of every penny spent on advertising. Other duties and responsibilities of Graphic designers include:

  • Work with other creative team members to produce content.
  • Create guidelines for how logos and other branding materials should be displayed and used.
  • Help make design choices (e.g., fonts and colors) for all content your company will use.

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Graphic Designer Job Description Examples

What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

Graphic Designers typically work for marketing firms or corporations as a part of the marketing department. They may also complete contract work as a self-employed professional. They work closely with other Graphic Designers and 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. They may also need to sketch their ideas on paper before transferring them to a digital format.

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 Designer job description intro paragraph

When writing a Graphic Designer job description, start by introducing the job and company to prospective Graphic Designers. 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. We’re proud to have a 4.5 star rating on Indeed Company Pages from our employees.”

Graphic Designer Skills and Qualifications

Graphic Designers need a wide range of skills. Even picking colors or fonts can be challenging for an inexperienced designer. For this reason, you need a Graphic Designer with an understanding of such things as negative space and color theory. Other 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 that are relevant to your business’s visual content goals.

Graphic Designer Salary Expectations

On average, a Graphic Designer’s salary is about $17 an hour. For a full-time employee, that works out to roughly $36,000 a year.  The salary range, however, varies greatly depending on a worker’s experience level and responsibilities. Entry-level Graphic Designers may only be paid minimum wage, but salaries can go up to $40 an hour or higher.

Graphic Designer Education and Training Requirements

Most Graphic Designers have a bachelor’s degree in art, graphic design or a related field, and you’ll probably come across applicants with master’s degrees. Many companies make exceptions, though, for candidates with stellar portfolios or real-world experience. Some applicants may also have associate’s degrees or additional training completed from community colleges or online graphic design programs.

Graphic Designer Experience Requirement

Even entry-level Graphic Designers need to have some experience. Many degree programs help future Graphic Designers build a portfolio while they’re still in school, so even candidates just out of college should have some pieces to show you. Midlevel Graphic Designers will have portfolios demonstrating professional work and should be able to tell you more about specific campaigns or projects they worked on.

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

It can be hard to pin down your exact needs for creative workers. To help identify your exact needs for a graphic designer or artist, look at similar positions. You might find new skills essential to your business or a better way to explain what you need in your graphic designer job posting. Similar positions include:

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Frequently asked questions about Graphic Designers

 

What is the difference between a Graphic Designer and an Illustrator?

Although Graphic Designers and Illustrators both have artistic skills and an eye for color, the nature of their work environments and creation methods tend to differ. For example, Graphic Designers typically work for marketing firms or corporations to help shape a company’s brand identity. They also create designs and logos for advertisements or company products. In contrast, Illustrators typically work for publishing houses, newspapers or magazines to contribute artistic drawings to articles and illustrated books. 

Further, Graphic Designers typically use a software program to create their designs, whereas Illustrators start by drawing theirs on paper. They may be able to transfer it to a digital format, but they might need help from a Graphic Designer to do so. It is important to note that Graphic Designers and Illustrators may work closely together on specific projects where the Illustrator creates an actual drawing and the Graphic Designer uses it to contribute to a larger design.

 

What are the daily duties of a Graphic Designer?

On a typical day, a Graphic Designer starts by checking their email and reviewing their tasks for the day. They resume projects from the previous day and collaborate with other creatives to develop the best design or color scheme. Graphic Designers also participate in meetings with marketing and advertising personnel to discuss new project needs. They also use this time to provide Graphic Designers with constructive feedback about their designs. 

Throughout the day, Graphic Designers work on logos, product packaging designs and magazine or brochure layouts for their company. They review project deadlines and prioritize assignments based on the most immediate deadlines.

 

What qualities make a good Graphic Designer?

A good Graphic Designer has an eye for aesthetically-pleasing color schemes, fonts and shapes that enables them to create professional logos, product packaging and magazine layouts. They use various creative software programs to develop their designs and seek continued education opportunities to learn about graphic design programs. Further, a good Graphic Designer uses constructive criticism in a positive way to elevate their designs and improve their skills.

 

Who does a Graphic Designer report to?

A Graphic Designer typically reports to the Marketing Manager to receive instruction and ask questions. In other situations, a Graphic Designer may report to a Graphic Designer Supervisor to receive assignments and critiques.

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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