Browse jobs by employer
› Is graphic design for you? Listen to the voices of graphic designers as they tell their career stories in their own words:
As a woman, when I was younger, it got pretty rough a few times. Selling business cards to used car salesmen was tough, and I had to flirt enough to sell without ending up “going for a ride in one of the new demo cars.” It was a tight rope, but I learned to handle that sort of thing as I got older. I’ve had clients make moves on me, and had to turn them down without loosing work. It isn’t easy but it can usually be done. Making a good excuse such as “I’m seeing someone” usually works. I learned to always tell them I was engaged, even if I wasn’t seeing anyone at the time. Now, since I am older and married, it isn’t an issue anymore.
I was always an artist. From the time I was twelve I was having shows, and selling my work, but I considered going into social work, or becoming a veterinarian as a career. I often wish I had become a veterinarian, because of the money. The pay has never been great. I’ve gotten a lot of local attention and popularity, but popularity and a sense of accomplishment do not pay the bills. On bad days, I wish I was a veterinarian. On good days, I am very proud of what I do.
When I am working at my art table, and I suddenly realize that I am creating something I love, it is just an amazing experience. I have perhaps been in autopilot working on details and just doing what I have done so many times before, and suddenly I say, “Wow, look what I just did!” Later when I turn it in to my client and he feels the same way, that’s just magic too.
I do not recommend my field to anyone. If people are passionate, and this is truly what they want to do, then nothing anyone says will stop them. Encouraging someone who is not passionate, or who needs a lot of money isn’t fair. I can’t say it’s a good field. It is very unpredictable, subject to constant change, and the money is not really worth the effort required.
Rather than long term vacations, I maintain four day work weeks and take a day off whenever I want. If I felt like working a little harder, I could take week and month long vacations, but I much prefer taking it easy day to day to working my butt off all year except for a couple weeks on the beach.
Learn to draw. All skills that make up graphic design begin with the ability to draw. That, and develop your people skills. A lot of artists tend to be a little on the awkward side, socially speaking. You spend hours on end cooped up at your tablet doodling, you get shut off from the world. This can cost you work when you realize you have trouble communicating ideas with a client or a partner. The answer to both of these issues I think is to take a drawing class. I've always found them to be enormously helpful both in getting a better grasp of my technical abilities, and in getting to talk with other artists.
I think that being happy as a graphic designer means being happy doing just about anything creative, anything that lets me apply myself to a visual medium, whether that's with video game graphics, doing a music video or cartooning. I may have started out only wanting to draw, but I've since developed a passion for just about everything that freelancing entails.
While I enjoy what I do, I would like to spend more time creating original design concepts rather than tweaking existing logos, labels and such. I would really love to help design something really creative like a book cover, greeting card, or tarot deck. That would be really fun for me.
This can be a very stressful job because often deadlines are very tight with a non-stop workload. If I'm working in an office with co-workers, that can add to the stress depending on how rattled folks get when under pressure. I try to work out, see friends, and do other fun and relaxing activities. However sometimes I have to work overtime or come into the office for meetings on my day off. The balancing act can become tricky.
It sounds glamorous and creative but is really a lot of hard work and not always that interesting on a daily basis. Long hours, short tempers, unreasonable deadlines, and low pay are not uncommon. There is an amount of math needed in this field that was both surprising and interesting to me.
Freelance Graphic Designer
I’ve been working on individual graphic design jobs since I was about eight or nine years old. Ever since that time, I fell in love with the world of graphic design and I’ve been making advertisements, motion graphics, and website layouts alike ever since.
For awhile, I worked alone as a freelance from my bedroom on a computer that was several years outdated. My parents didn’t believe I’d ever make a living “playing around with Photoshop and spraypaint”. Eventually, I upgraded my computer to machine capable of rendering the highest quality of motion graphic on the fly, and I spent most of my time in Barnes and Noble sneaking a peek at the pages of graphic design and color scheme theory books, along with visiting a number of art galleries on my free time during the summer for inspiration. I taught myself everything I know today about this industry.
I've had a number of friends who tried to get into the field before under the impression that it would be easy money. Graphic design is hard, honest work and not an easy way out by any means.
Design & Text Editor
I get great satisfaction when a client walks away with the perfect product. They're excited and happy and my input and assistance helped to get them there. I began in the business back in 1976 - I've seen the evolution in technology and the ever-changing trends in design and yes, I've found my calling!
The joy of the graphics industry is the diversity of jobs available. If you can't "design" today, you can always write. If you can't "write" today, you can always proofread! And in any industry you can go out and network - you'll always come back to the office with something. From a simple business card design to a corporate signage package.
Still searching? Try browsing by state
or try our sister site(s) for Art