TechCareers

Learn . . . and earn!

Graphic Design Coming to the TechCareers Series

TSTC Publishing is adding several new books to its TechCareers Series, including one on Graphic Design by Mike Jones. The book will be available April 1, 2012, for $14.95 (softback). Here’s a summary of the book.

The Medium is the Message

A cool photo.  A lively, original animation.  Interesting text fonts.  Flash animations.  Advertisements.  Just about everyone who goes online sees lots of these digital designs on any given day. With digital media becoming a larger part of the population’s lives, those with graphic design experience can shape and change the culture through design.

Most graphic designers begin their successful journeys with a fascination with color, drawing, photography, writing or storytelling – anything that elicits emotions, ideas or memories.  A career in graphic design can turn those interests into an enjoyable career in a variety of industries.

The graphic design field allows for a greater amount of flexibility.  Since designers work with a bunch of different other professionals, like writers, photographers and videographers, their flexible range of work can swing from freelancing on the side while working another job to “top dog” designer for a Fortune 500 company.

Our Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Forefather

Though you may not think of him this way, Benjamin Franklin could really be considered the first graphic designer.  In his publications, The Philadelphia Gazette and The Farmer’s Almanac, Franklin always included advertisements with engravings or large text to catch the reader’s eye.

Back in Franklin’s day, there weren’t that many competing brands selling their product.  Fast forward to the 20th century; it was only in the 1950s and ‘60s when branding became a popular way to sell a product, and graphic designers were more in demand.  Of course now, people easily can remember a product with the correct branding.

Show Me the Money!

In 2008, the average income for a beginner graphic designer was $35,000, but there is plenty of room to grow.  Senior designers at a company average $60,000 a year and those who freelance, depending on how networked they are, can earn an average of $57,000 a year without having to be at senior level.  Those who own their own graphic design business can earn upwards to $95,000 a year – probably not the same amount of money Benjamin Franklin earned in his career as a publisher.

It also depends on where you work.  If you’re in a small town working for a small graphic design company, you probably won’t earn as much as those working in a big city.  In July of 2010, entry-level designers in Boston, Mass., earned $50,000 whereas those in Anchorage, Alaska, earned $37,000 a year.

Helpful Hints for Successful Designers:

  • Don’t be afraid to take an entry-level job.  Everyone at one point or another has to work their way up in the company, especially if it is a large company.
  • Have tough skin!  Criticism goes hand-in-hand with creative work.  Not everyone has the same idea of what a design should look like.
  • Read graphic communication materials like trade journals, magazines, blogs and new graphic design websites.
  • Keep track of current social, political and cultural trends.  This can come from developing “mad skillz” in researching so your work will be cutting-edge and not behind the times.

Graphic Designers Everywhere!

Some of the main industries employing graphic designers are in these places:

Computer systems design

Specialized design services

Advertising, public relations and related services

Newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers

Printing and related support activities

 

TechCareers: Graphic Design explores the career potential in this centuries-old tradition of graphics, design and printing. It gives an overview of the vocation’s history and an insight into what the future might be for those interested in entering the field. With sections on education and training requirements, as well as job descrip­tion and salary ranges, TechCareers: Graphic Design is a great resource for anyone considering a career in the business.

 

The History of Mike

Mike Jones is a freelance writer based in Waco, Texas.  He is a transplant from New Mexico where he graduated from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque with training in writing for theater and broadcast media.  He worked extensively in the broadcasting, advertising and marketing fields prior to relocating to Texas to work as a writer/producer of instructional and student recruitment videos for Texas State Technical College.  More recently, he has been involved in technical instructional curriculum research and development, as well as freelance media writing and production.

– Kristine

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