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Pros & Cons of Graphic Designing

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Magazine covers, newspaper pages, packaging and advertisements on buses are just a few of the projects on which graphic designers work. They consider visual elements as subtle as white space and typeface, and as engaging as interactive web pages. People with artistic talent and computer skills often make successful careers of graphic design. However, it's not for everyone. A would-be designer should consider both the pros and cons of graphic designing.

Pro: Creativity

People with a lot of creativity and ideas may find graphic design rewarding. Great graphic designers see visual possibilities, and in many cases deliver concepts that guide the future of products, publications and websites. Frequently, graphic designers solve problems by meshing concepts, finding new twists to traditional branding and finding ways to accommodate the needs of multiple parties, such as marketing, legal and product development departments. People who like to use imagination to solve practical problems enjoy graphic design.

Pro: Opportunity

Because graphic design has many applications throughout several industries, designers can find themselves with many career choices and opportunities. Graphic designers may find that if they get bored with one type of design, they can transition to others to reignite their spark. For example, a newspaper layout designer may eventually transition to designing advertisements, which later in her career may lead to designing billboards and then product packaging. Skills gained in one setting can apply to others, giving graphic designers various and interesting potential career paths.

Con: Constraints

Some graphic designers become disappointed by the gap between their expectations and reality. They go into graphic design expecting large amounts of creative freedom and room to pursue new approaches. In reality, graphic designers usually serve clients -- internal and external -- who have needs, expectations and demands. Graphic designers frequently must work with the needs and constraints of their clients and bosses to develop results that please a variety of people.

Con: Instability

Many graphic designers are self-employed or work on a contractual basis. Additionally, many in-house graphic designers who have steady jobs for major agencies and companies find that during times of economic crisis or financial instability, companies cut their marketing budgets and new product releases. This affects the creative sector and often results in layoffs and job losses. Graphic design is a field with booms and busts. People who love the work should plan for fluctuations based on business cycles and economic changes.


Eric Feigenbaum started his career in print journalism, becoming editor-in-chief of "The Daily" of the University of Washington during college and afterward working at two major newspapers. He later did many print and Web projects including re-brandings for major companies and catalog production.

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