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How to Become a Graphic Designer

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Become a Graphic Designer. Graphic designers are responsible for creating notable product logos and/or packaging designs that will catch the public's eye and increase a company's sales. To be successful, designers must also possess excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to sell their ideas to executives.

Take drawing courses while you're in high school.

Be prepared to receive a college degree in fine arts or advertising with concentrations in graphic art and computer graphics. Although it's sometimes possible to work as a graphic designer without having a degree, much of your competition now graduates from college.

Visit the National Association of Schools of Art and Design Web site (nasad.arts-accredit.org) to compare the offerings of schools in which you have an interest. Make certain they offer training in current graphics-related computer technology and that their electives include business and finance courses.

Contact your top school choices to see if they require samples of your artwork along with an application. Be prepared for a possible interview.

Get an internship in the design department of a company near your college. It will look good on your resume, and you might make valuable career contacts.

Do freelance work whenever you can so that you will have a solid portfolio to show prospective employers when you graduate.

Pay attention to packaging designs and advertising trends in all forms of media.

Tip

Be prepared to contact employers for interviews, even if they have not posted classified ads. Make certain your portfolio showcases only your best work.

Warning

This is a career in which about 1/3 of the individuals are self-employed. You may need to be constantly on the lookout for your next job, especially during the early years. Expect to work long hours when a project is nearing its deadline.

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