Your New Career in Graphic Design

December 20th, 2012 by admin

Graphic design jobs are currently in high demand in areas such as advertising, publishing, Internet marketing and website design, as well as for interactive styles of media such as designing art or graphics for video games, computer and phone apps, etc. If someone wishes to work in this career field, then they will need to choose the correct type of graphic design degree programs.

Find a Graphic Design School near you today!

Types of Graphic Arts Degree Programs

Potential graphic art students need to determine the type of job they want to hold after graduation in order to decide on the proper type of graphic design degree. There are many kinds of degree programs from a certificate clear up to a Master of Fine Arts degree. Student desiring to earn any of these can enter a degree program either online or offline, depending on their desire and time.

According to information collected by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, students in graphic design will be taking courses such as principles of design, web design, computer design, studio art, etc. There may also be on the job training for some positions.
The majority of graphic design jobs require that the person have a four –year bachelor’s degree to take the best of the available jobs in this field, but lesser jobs in this niche can be filled by persons with an associate degree. In fact, many graphic artists do freelance work on their own as a second career.

Some of the types of programs include:

Graphic design certificate –Can be earned in only nine hours of classes and teaches the student about software and graphic design only.

Associate of Arts in Graphic Design: A two-year program in which classes are taken in multimedia such as communications, solving potential design problems, logic, and problem solving.

Associate of Science in Graphic Design: A two-year program which centers on theoretical thinking, as well as developing technical, plus creative abilities and skills. Classes may include the theory of design, electronic publishing, graphic imagery, classes on sales development and design production.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design: This is a four year program that will provide more advanced skills. Classes include graphic design, changing technology in the field, and current trends in graphic design.

Master of Arts in Graphic Design: This is a more advanced degree and gives graduates the accreditation they need for the higher up jobs in the field of graphic design. Classes may involve courses in types of design software, design concepts in social media, and other advanced titles.

Which degree is best?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics recommends that students get the best education they can as competition is expected to be keen for graphic design jobs. Due to this, education will be the key to deciding which candidate gets the open position, along with a great portfolio. Many positions also require on the job experience or training if the person wants better than an entry level position.

Plus, it is vital to choose a degree program that has accreditation via the U.S. Department of Education so that the program is acceptable to a potential employer. The bottom line is that salaries for graphic designers is expected to range between about $39,000 and more than $100,000, according to BLS statistics.

Therefore, if someone aspires to become a graphic artist, then it is vital to get the best possible education either online or on campus at an accredited school of graphic design before applying for a job in this niche.

Resources

http://graphicdesigndegrees.org/

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Utilizing Graphic Design in Business Environments

March 8th, 2012 by admin

graphic-design-schools
For those who own their own businesses, it becomes clear after a short while that it’s nearly impossible to exist without a capable graphic designer. The world is full of clever advertising and targeted designs, some so subtle that it’s difficult to notice them. Truly, from the moment we wake up to the moment we rest, we see graphics. The world of graphic design has not only entered our businesses, but our personal lives as well.

Companies make use of graphic designers for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is for promotion. These promotional campaigns take the form of letterheads, business cards, websites, logos, flyers, banners, newsletter designs, posters, etc.

So, what exactly is graphic design?

Technically, graphic design communicates ideas and information to audiences via various graphical mediums. The term “graphic design” refers to multiple professional and artistic schemes that present information visually to a targeted audience. There are a multitude of methods used to combine text, symbols and images into a visual presentation. Marketing materials command the most need for graphic designers, as they need advertising in magazines, web design, etc.

The correct nomenclatures for those who work in the field of graphic design are “graphic designers” or “graphic artists.” These are highly sought-after individuals with a unique voice that create the amazing graphic designs people see in their daily lives. The reason these individuals are so sought-after is because they present the most effective ways to drive information toward consumers.

People who are looking for a career in graphic design typically go to a graphic design school or a specialty graphic design college. By performing a highly selective college search, one can weed out low-quality schools and go to the graphic design school that is right for them. This is an important step for budding artists as a good college search will yield the best graphic design college.

One final thing about performing a college search is that when looking for a graphic design school or graphic design college, a searcher must have a tangible goal in mind. Some schools are specifically geared toward advertising and marketing; others are more abstract and geared toward graphic design solely as an art form. The prospective student must have some idea in mind for what they are looking for before they begin the search.

What makes a good graphic designer?

  • A good graphic designer is adept at communicating a business’ message through creative design.
  • A good graphic designer builds confidence and trust within companies.
  • A good graphic designer participates in brand development.
  • A good graphic designer is also, at heart, a good advertiser. The graphic designer should enhance advertising images.
  • A good graphic designer builds unique artistic concepts.
  • A good graphic designer is straightforward and legible.
  • A good graphic designer has the ability to create extremely appealing and attractive designs.
  • A good graphic designer is, in a word, unique.
  • A good graphic designer makes use of physical, cultural, cognitive and social factors when executing designs.
  • A good graphic designer is punctual and participates in meetings with clients.
  • A good graphic designer speaks with creative and art directors while bringing their own market research into play.

Studies have shown that written communication is much less effective than visual communication. Emotion and importance are often much more easily conveyed through images. This is why graphic designers are important; they pour emotion into their work and make it evocative. If a graphic designer’s work can evoke emotion from a consumer, then they have done their job well.

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The Facts about Graphic Design School Portfolios

September 15th, 2011 by rebeccac

graphic-design-portfolio-TS_83286948If you’ve started thinking about going to graphic design school, odds are that you have several college possibilities and a lot of pros and cons to weigh. How do you choose which school and which program are going to be right for you?

Here’s one must-have element to move up the priority list: portfolios.

A good graphic design program is going to guide you in the construction of a final portfolio project that you can take out into the world to help you in your job search after graduation, so if you’re looking at a college that doesn’t include portfolio development in some capacity, you might want to look a little deeper before you sign any enrollment papers.

Okay – so what’s the big deal with portfolios?

One word: experience.

Maybe it’s not the same as having real-world, on-the-job experience, but since you’ll be fresh out of graphic design school, you’re just trying to get your foot in the door. A portfolio is a great, visual way to show potential employers what you’ve got to offer – your skills and creativity, what programs and techniques you learned during the course of your education, and how it all can benefit them. It shows you know your way around graphics and you can produce what they need.

It’s not a replacement for a resume.

Write that down, underline it, circle it with little stars because it’s really, really not. You still need to build one of those, too, and don’t short-change it or it won’t matter if your portfolio is a multimedia experience in 3-D. They’ll just toss it. The long and short of it is – when it comes to graphic design careers, it’s not enough to have JUST a list of education and skills or JUST a photo book of your creations. The best way to sell yourself is to present a clean, professional resume and then show them evidence of everything you can do.

The next question then becomes: what’s the best way of putting your portfolio pieces together? There are a few different options:

  • Print book: Something professional-looking and neatly bound, with a nice cover and easy-to-turn pages. Nothing too gaudy, and black background pages are usually your best option to set off the gorgeous visuals you’ve created.
  • Website: Probably best to get a professional domain (your first and last name, if you can swing it) rather than using a free site like Yahoo or Geocities. It’s a small investment for your professional future and lets you keep things ad-free. Display your portfolio pieces as a page of thumbnails so that a potential employer can dictate which images he or she wants to see and what order to see them.
  • DVD: Provides the tangibility of a print book with the digital formatting of a website. Especially handy for potential employers who want to see it digitally but might have a slower Internet connection or older browsers.

If at all possible, put your portfolio in all three of these formats to give yourself flexibility. More traditional print-based companies are going to want to see the book, but interactive and multimedia companies will likely be more dazzled by a DVD or website presentation.

7 important tips for your graphic design portfolio

Almost as soon as you enroll in graphic design school, you’ll probably want to start thinking about the future of your portfolio. It’s not a stagnant project – it’s something that develops and changes over time, so here are a few tips to keep in mind when trying to put one together.

  1. Edit. Just because you worked hard on every piece doesn’t mean that every piece deserves top billing. If something really isn’t the best show of your skills, then chuck it – you should really only have about 10-12 pieces total. Throw a bunch of mediocre stuff in the mix, and odds are a potential employer is more likely to remember the not-so-good fluff than your stand-out creations.
  2. Don’t go overboard. It’s great to have a big, vibrant personality, but when you’re presenting your portfolio, it’s important to keep it professional. Resist the urge to over-embellish it or to buy that fantastic multi-colored presentation book. Black may be boring, but it’s a great background for design. Keep it simple and sleek.
  3. Embrace variety. You may love working with typography best, but odds are that the jobs you will be applying for will require much more than that. Make sure your portfolio shows not only your best, but also your most diverse selection of work.
  4. Label. Probably the simplest part of the portfolio process – label your works. Nothing too big or distracting, just something noting the client or project name, your role in it, what software you used, and a very brief explanation of why this piece is important in your body of work.
  5. Get another opinion. Almost no one is able to look at their own work absolutely objectively, and that makes editing very difficult. A second (and third and fourth) opinion can give you a fresh perspective on your portfolio and help nail down what works and what doesn’t. Find people, like your instructors, who will be honest – not friends and loved ones who already love everything you do.
  6. Keep it current. Design evolves like everything else, and oftentimes, much faster. Make sure your pieces reflect your developing skills and experience. Most likely that piece from one of your first classes two or three years ago isn’t going to age well, so adjust your portfolio to keep things up-to-date.
  7. Stay flexible. Every potential employer is going to be looking for graphic designers who meet their unique needs for the position, so allow yourself the chance to adjust your portfolio accordingly. Do some digging on the company, find out everything you can, and then present the pieces that best match their aesthetic and where they’re headed.

If you’re looking into a future in graphic design, a portfolio is going to be absolutely essential, so make sure in your college search that you’re looking at schools that make it a priority. A great portfolio will not only give you a leg up in the job search, it will also be a visual testament to everything you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come.

Ready to start looking for graphic design colleges? Begin your college search at US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also start searching by zip code.

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What Is The Point Of Graphic Design?

June 9th, 2011 by Clifford

Graphic design is a study of concepts portrayed through animation to explain another perspective on graphic design. The point of graphic design is to communicate a message or other form of information. Graphic designers have many tools at their disposal, such as images, typography, and page layouts. Each of these elements is utilized in to demonstrate its function in graphic design, from the Mona Lisa image used to illustrate the word “masterpiece” to the whimsical font used throughout the presentation. The video’s font, for example, gets across the point that the author’s more extreme pronouncements about graphic design are probably tongue in cheek. The ability to communicate this kind of message with a simple font is of course a clear illustration of the power of graphic design.

Also, it is explained that graphic design can be a demanding profession and one that takes much out of people who work in the field. Dedicated graphic designers can be haunted in his or her sleep by colors, lines, shapes, and textures, which he or she has an overwhelming urge to transform into illustrative works of graphic art. Finally, if someone wants to know what graphic design is really like, he or she should stare into the sun until he or she goes blind. While based on the use of the graphic design elements in the video, such as a winking Mona Lisa, we can see that the author’s extreme perspective is not to be taken too seriously, the video does get across the viewpoint that graphic design is not just the mechanical use of fonts, layouts, and other graphical elements, but a form of artistic expression that can be just as consuming as painting or sculpture.

How to learn more graphic design concepts

US College Search is dedicated to get you started in your new career. Either Search By Degree or Search For College By State to get started on your search.

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Graphic Design Career Tips: A Day In the Life of A Graphic Designer

June 9th, 2011 by Clifford

graphic designer’s day is spent interacting with various people via e-mail, fax or even physical mail. Even after preparing a roughly drafted design, for example, a designer will fax a copy of the draft to the client hoping to narrow down their exact design needs and the direction of the project. A heavy focus on the communication process ensures that a good graphic designer has a complete understanding of his or her client’s expectations regarding the finished project. Time is also spent communicating with vendors who create and process client’s requested projects. It is also spent with representatives who work directly with the client.

Getting your degree in Graphic Design can be easy if you start in the right place. US College Search is dedicated to get you started in your new career. Either Search By Degree or Search For College By State to get started on your search.

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Web Presence Businesses Need A Graphic Designer

May 11th, 2011 by Clifford

 

Business owners who start online marketing campaign with limited budgets, soon find themselves doing all the work. From developing the marketing strategy to the actual building of a website, their business reputation then suffers due to the new site not being up to the standard expected of a successful online business. In fact, the problems will not stop there because the business will at some point need to take time away again whenever they need to further expand or develop their website. That time away from their business could be money lost.

Business owners should take note of this. Their website represents their business and while it may have been successful in the little league, moving up to the majors is a big step. The unique thing about the internet is that people cannot see or speak to you in person. So, their website is their first impression. To become the most convincing site owners must learn to utilize innovative website design.

When starting your business there was probably little in the way of resources or capital as well, but making the conversion to an online business is difficult and business owners should feel safe to pay someone to provide their expertise. However, there is more to engaging a website than hiring a designer to complete everything you don’t want or know how to do.

Hiring a website designer means that owners don’t have to worry about learning to code pages or to fix faults when they occur, the designer is responsible for that. The web designer will also be able to find any problems and fix them faster. Learning these graphic design process is easy with the right education. To become a graphic designer or learn more about this degree, go to USCollegeSearch.org and select graphic design.

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Graphic Designer Tool Kit: The Right Computer

May 11th, 2011 by Clifford

With the arrival of desktop publishing and graphic art software applications, like Adobe Creative Suites, there is a new generation of designers who have been trained to use a computer in order to manipulate images and designs. Computer graphic design has enabled designers to instantly see the effects of layout or typographic changes immediately. Designers also benefit from computers when it comes to simulating the effects of traditional media without requiring a lot of time and resources. However, traditional tools such as pencils or markers are still used for finalization of large projects. Also, a designer or art director may hand sketch numerous concepts as part of their creative process.

Computers Are Graphic Designer’s Best Friend

Computers are considered an indispensable tool in the graphic design industry. Computers and software applications are generally seen by creative professionals as more effective production tools than traditional methods. Every day it seems the days of drawing boards, Letraset dry transfer lettering and Rotring pens are getting further away from the graphic designers everyday arsenal of tools.

Graphic designers are not IT experts and buying a computer for graphic design work can often be a confusing and expensive exercise. Of course, if we all had an unlimited budget, then the shopping process would be easy. It would simply be a case of buying the most expensive Mac or Windows computer, load it up with the newest Adobe Creative Suite and some 3D applications, plug in a set of 24” monitors and we are ready to go.

Where A Designer Should Start

But few designers can afford to do that. For most creative professionals, budgeting for new equipment is a question of balancing dollars against the pros and cons of each upgrade. There are exhaustive buyers guide to specific hardware and software, but computer specifications change daily, so a designer’s requirements are always changing.

We recommend concentrating on the basic principles that graphic designers use and build from there. After that, we recommend doing a lot of research and price comparison. We also recommend asking lots of questions of other designers and in places like the graphic design forums. If you are starting your process in becoming a graphic designer or want to know more about this degree, go to USCollegeSearch.org and find graphic design.

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What is Graphic Design?

May 11th, 2011 by Dustin
Become a part of history, enroll in a graphic design career college.

Graphic Design in the beginning

The history of graphic design stretches back all 18,500 years ago with the appearance of the first known cave-paintings. In the subsequent generations since its inception, graphic design has grown to influence everything that we do in business as well as our personal lives. This has led to a high demand for graphic designers who need a solid graphic design degree program at a graphic design career college.

A Step Forward in Design

The advent of linguistics and the use of text to express ideas to others was a significant step forward from the original and primitive cave paintings. The marriage of text and imagery has allowed for the design of not only logos and corporate brands, but also the design of everything that we use in day to day life. Over time, graphic design has come to be the source for almost every major advancement in the developed world. Even current events and brands have begun to hearken back to those older and more primitive designs as a way of expressing reverence for those that have come before them. Any graphic design degree program or more complete graphic design career college can provide copious amounts of information on the growth of this interesting field. To start your process go to USCollegeSearch.org and head to their graphic design by degree section.

 

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Tips On How To Design A Great Logo

May 11th, 2011 by Clifford

 

A logo is more than a symbol — just ask Nike, Apple or Coca-Cola. But the power that can reside behind the logo is immense and it can be difficult to find a concept that clicks. Some symbols seem to have been around forever: think peace signs, the skull and crossbones on a pirate flag, or the ubiquitous McDonald’s Golden Arches. Others, like Nike’s “swoosh” or the bitten-fruit silhouette on Apple products, may be more recent, but they enjoy near-universal recognition nonetheless.

Lowest common denominator

The design of a logo rarely tells the story of if that logo will get any amount of traction. What it does the symbol mean? Is that logo a symbol of “the lowest common denominator” for a brand? Can the company get by with just their logo on the flyer? Only then will society knows what that company stands for.

Qualities of a good logo

There are many qualities that go into a good logo. First, it must be attractive. It should be original, unmistakable, and recognizable. It also needs to be easily reproducible in different sizes and on different surfaces. Moreover, it should be timeless, and it should travel well across international borders by avoiding colors or images that carry negative connotations in different cultures.

Ideally, it also needs to be flexible or vague enough to represent a company as it develops into new, possibly unforeseen business areas. If you see your future in designing logos go to USCollegeSearch.org and select graphic design in the by degree section.

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Graphic Designer Tool Kit: Adobe Photoshop

May 11th, 2011 by Clifford

Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems Incorporated used by graphic designers. Rebranded in 2003 as Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop has had 12 major releases with updates. Photoshop is undoubtedly the most popular graphics editing software in the world. Photoshop is used widely in the desktop publishing and graphics design industry as well as the web authoring profession.

Why Use Photoshop?

The use of graphic design tools such as Photoshop can reduces the time required to develop a website. It also leads to better quality of design. Photoshop is the leading graphic design software available for use by design companies, freelance web designers and other graphic design professionals. Photoshop is a must have tool for a web design companies as well as businesses that have regular media requirements.

Advantages of Photoshop

One of the main advantages that make Photoshop different to other graphic design software is how simple it is to use. Graphic design packages such as Adobe Illustrator may claim to offer a wider range of features, but can be complicated for the user. Photoshop on the other hand offers only the core features that that users are most likely to use. It requires only basic knowledge of graphics and can be easily self taught. Due its simplicity, Photoshop can also be used by non technical users with little or no prior graphic design experience.

It is a perfect tool to assist with designing websites and essential for all web designers. A Web design company often uses tools to make the design process more efficient and quicker. Do you know Adobe Photoshop? Or want to get to know it better? Go to USCollegeSearch.org and select graphic design in the by degree section.

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