Media designers plan, visualize and create marketing materials based on business needs and guidance from team members in advertising, product development, sales, promotions or other departments within a company. These materials can be printed documents, or electronic or web-based media, and are used for a variety of purposes. Graphic designers, web designers, animators and just about anyone who designs and creates using a computer can fall under the title of media designer.
A media designer is responsible for maintaining, and sometimes creating, the 'look and feel' of a line of products or a corporate image. This means that a cohesive message and similar design elements are conveyed throughout a company’s line of products, publications, websites and other marketing materials. Brand recognition is important to a company because as the consumer makes the connection between the company and their products, the customer develops “brand loyalty,” the goal of any sales, marketing or advertising organization.
In designing a website, catalog, brochure or other communications product, a media designer must convey the image of a given company using graphics, design, video, sound or interactivity to draw in users or customers. The media designer must understand the cultural and social strata to which the company appeals and create pages with imagery that hold a user's attention and prompt them to take action, i.e. make a purchase, sign-up for a newsletter or make a comment.
Marketing and Sales
Media designers could be responsible for designing point of purchase (POP) displays, brochures, bottle hangers and labels, product packaging, recipe cards, advertisements and much more. Other types of documents include email blasts, promotional CDs or DVDs, commercials, annual reports and presentations.
Many media designers are responsible for creating a social marketing presence. This can be done by either establishing blogs or networking pages on a company's website or by creating and maintaining a presence in the many social networking venues available on the Internet. Developing banners, animated ads and commercials for display on third-party websites or that can be emailed to a customer base is also included under Internet marketing.
A media designer is responsible for keeping abreast of developing applications and technologies. They should also watch for developments in cultural norms and be sensitive to societal shifts, patterns and trends. This sensitivity is useful in developing new ways to communicate ideas and concepts to prospective audiences.
Other Responsibilities and Skills
Organizational and communication skills are important to a successful media designer who works with clients, handles aspects of billing, tracks expenses or manages other artists to complete large jobs. Some positions might also include web development, requiring programming skills. In such cases, a proficiency in coding, style sheets and search engine optimization would also be expected.
2016 Salary Information for Graphic Designers
Graphic designers earned a median annual salary of $47,640 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, graphic designers earned a 25th percentile salary of $35,560, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $63,340, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 266,300 people were employed in the U.S. as graphic designers.