The Role of the Graphic Designer

What do they do?

Graphic Designers are responsible for creating and communicating ideas that inform, inspire and captivate consumers. Using computer software or by hand, they create the production design and layout for multiple mediums such as brochures, magazines, corporate reports, and advertisements.

Professional Photographer Works in Photo Editing App / Software on His Personal Computer. Photo Editor Retouching Photos of Beautiful Girl. Mock-up Software Design.

The following are some of the Graphic Designers’ duties.

  • Create illustrations, original images, various visual elements such as logos.
  • Review all designs for errors before printing or publishing
  • Select colors, images, and typefaces to use for layouts.
  • Use photo-editing software and layout software to create designs
  • Present design concepts to directors and or clients
  • Incorporate suggested changes from clients or art directors into final designs


Graphic designers combine their passion for art with technology to communicate ideas. A variety of design elements are used to achieve these ideas and artistic effects. Graphic designers often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text, and most times work with both text and images.  Graphic designers decide how these images and text will go together on a webpage or print. Graphic Designers collaborate closely with writers who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of various mediums, graphic designers turn statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas easily understood. Quality graphic design is crucial to marketing and selling products. In some cases, graphic designers may also be referred to as communication designers when working closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing. Often, designers specialize in a particular category such as design for retail products and packaging, while others may work on visual designs used on brochures or catalogs.

How To Become A Graphic Designer

Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs.


A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications. Schools such as University of Silicon Valley include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability. Graphic designers must keep up with new design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Developing a portfolio—a collection of design ideas that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer’s portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual.


Important Qualities

Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to artistically create designs that are appealing to clients and consumers.

Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients and customers to ensure that designs accurately reflect the desired message.

Creativity. Graphic designers develop unique designs that convey a recognizable meaning on behalf of their clients and must be able to think of new approaches to communicating these ideas.

Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

3 Design Trends of 2019

  1. 3D

Many will attest that embracing 3D design elements is the new norm considering the multiple uses that it can provide. Bringing work to life in 3D allows you to construct new environments and dimensions. Many of these 3D elements can be used to create AR and VR experiences.

  1. Minimal meets BOLD color

In recent years, the mantra “less is more”, has dominated the design. As more and more people are viewing content on smaller screens like smartphones and tablets, clean and uncluttered visuals become even more necessary.

  1. Realism + Flat design

The combination of real-life objects and flat images will challenge the way we see the design and open up a world with a true dimension. Flying and floating elements will add to this effect and the overall abstract aesthetic.

5 Career Paths:

1.    Freelance Graphic Designer.

Working as a freelance designer is very common for graphic designers. It can be very rewarding to work as a freelance designer. Things such as choosing the type of clients that you work with, creating your schedule, and working geographically where ever you want. However, this type of lifestyle demands a strong work ethic. In addition to creating designs, you’ll need to be able to find and land clients, pitch projects, manage budgets, stick to deadlines, and even handle your finances.

2.    Art Director.

An art director is an advanced position, that requires years of experience as a graphic designer and in many cases project manager.  Art directors guide and lead team members to create all of the elements for the projects from overall designs and themes, to advertisements, marketing campaigns, and other creative projects.

3.    Creative Director.

Creative Director is also a senior position that requires years of experience. Creative Directors typically have a more inter-department role. Similar to the role of art director, the creative director is responsible for the overall vision of a project, product, campaign, or company.

4.    Packaging Designer.

A packaging designer has responsibilities that delve outside of the scope of just design. A packaging designer is responsible for determining the best packaging for a product, from environmental considerations of the materials used to the ease of opening the package, and of course how the appearance matches the company’s brand. This requires a graphic designer that has a solid foundation in design, but can also specialize in creating product packaging.


Did learning about what a computer programmer does interest you? University of Silicon Valley offers comprehensive Computer Science & Engineering degree programs taught by entrepreneurs who are in the thick of the industry. In this project-intensive Software Engineering concentration, you’ll not only cover the fundamental concepts of the software development process, but you’ll explore the different ways that complex software systems are changing the world.


University of Silicon Valley is uniquely poised to offer a meaningful and valuable education for 21st century students. We believe in an education that directly correlates with the work you’ll be doing after you graduate. Interested in learning more? Contact Us today.


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