Different Types of Graphic Design Careers

June 20th, 2012 by admin

Graphic design is a creative field filled with a wide range of varying career opportunities. Today’s technological advancements in computers, mobile devices, and the Internet has created a wealth of options that extend way beyond the printing arena. Currently, graphic design programs emphasize instruction on the new realm of visual communications and the sky’s the limit for graphic designers who demonstrate extreme talent. However, when you overlook the apparent never-ending list of potential job opportunities such as layout artist, illustrator, art director, brand identity specialist, or creative director, it all boils down to about five extensive sectors of job options for graphic design professionals.   To start, most design professionals attend one of the Graphic Design Colleges near where they live.  The five categories include:

Design Firms

In general, these organizations focus solely on graphic design and visual brand tactics. Varying in size, but commonly small companies with less than 100 employees, they provide specialized creative solutions for individuals clients. Some focus mostly on print projects and others on both print and virtual tasks. Design firms may be a good fit for graphic designers who enjoy creating logos, brochures, and product packaging and while the specific work environment varies by employer, these graphic designers commonly work independently.

Advertising Agencies

These types of employers generally offer clients a wide range of services including design, production, inclusive brand strategy, and media buying for all kinds of media such as print, television, radio, and Internet. The specific services vary by the size of the agency and smaller companies may concentrate on one particular service such as online marketing. Many small agencies offer complete services, but have fewer clients. Graphic designers employed by this sector generally complete projects that reach the eyes of a wide variety of people. This category is great for graphic designers who want to work with well-known brands and complete a vast range of tasks for numerous clients. These jobs are rewarding, but can be demanding due to the high expectations of clients, strict deadlines, and long work hours.

Publishing and Entertainment Sectors

The publishing and entertainment category is where the most graphic design jobs are located. The publishing field is made up of companies that generate both print and electronic publications including books, newspapers, magazines, and business directories. Graphic designers working for publishing firms commonly complete layout, photography, and advertising tasks. For the entertainment area, many production organizations hire graphic designers to create on-screen graphic content like motion graphic for title sequences. The scope of projects and working conditions will differ by employer, but companies in this category often seek graphic designer with expertise in print design, experience creating Internet graphics, and some Flash animation ability.

Corporate Organizations

A lot of small and large corporations use graphic design in their own marketing communications departments. Graphic designers working for these organizations often assist in the production of a variety of projects such as promotional displays, catalogs, annual reports, and training materials. Individuals who are seeking to just work with one client will find this area rewarding.


Graphic designers who are self-employed have the ability to choose projects, land their own clients, and create their own schedule. This sector is often stressful because it results in longer work hours and sometimes inconsistent pay. Also, a limited amount of people see designs, which may prevent these types of graphic designers from getting noticed. Many graphic designers choose to work for employers full-time and then do freelance work on the side for extra income.

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