Students who pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design have a strong educational background in the fundamentals of design. Undergraduate coursework includes such classes as publication design, web page design and web development. Other courses include design basics, typography, branding, and problem-solving and idea generation. Graduates can pursue a variety of career options.
Graphic designers, also known as graphic artists, use text and images to create designs that visually communicate advertising and promotions messages. They choose the color, size, and type of text and decide the placement and incorporation of text and images. Graphic designers create a variety of materials, such as logos, business cards, fliers, page designs and product illustrations. They may work for graphic design firms; companies that publish newspapers, periodicals, books and directories; advertising and public relations firms; or printing companies. According to May 2012 salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for graphic designers was $48,730.
Web designers focus on creating the overall look and design of a website to make it visually appealing. They select the text, photos, and colors for each page of the website and integrate video and audio elements. Web designers also make sure that the website is easy to use and functional on a variety of platforms, including mobile devices. Computer design companies typically employ web designers, although some also work in the telecommunications, finance and insurance industries. According to a 2013 salary survey from The Creative Group, web designers with 5 years of experience or less earned between $52,000 and $76,500.
Multimedia Artists and Designers
Multimedia artists and designers create visual effects, such as 2-D and 3-D images and animation. They create the scenery, background and characters used in video games, animated movies and TV shows. Multimedia artists also design special effects for various applications. Motion picture and video game companies, as well as software publishers, employ them. In addition, multimedia artists and designers may work for computer systems design firms, as well as advertising and public relations firms. The annual mean wage for multimedia artists and designers was $69,560, according to the BLS.
Art directors oversee the creation of images and text, as well as the page layout of magazines and newspapers. In addition, they oversee the visual style of marketing and advertising campaigns. Art directors also determine the set designs in TV and movie productions, and they lead product package design. They oversee a staff of graphic designers and other design team members and manage budgets and timelines. Art directors work for advertising and public relations firms, newspapers and other print companies, and for motion picture and video companies. BLS 2012 salary data reports that the annual mean wage for this position is $94,260.