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Associate's Degree in Graphic Design

For something living in any historical era prior to 1900, it is likely that they went through life seeing very few graphics, advertisements, or predesigned images. These items might appear for them on the outside of corporate or public buildings, on official correspondences, or inside of illustrated textbooks or children's books. But the concepts of pictures, images, and graphics did not truly become a phenomenon until civilization possessed the technology to mass produce such images. Now, there is a proliferation of advertisements, logos, icons, and graphics so much so that many scholars (people who count such things) estimate that the average American sees thousands of these in a single day. Think about the T-shirts you see people wearing, the commercials and shows on television, the billboards, the mugs, the stickers, the posters, websites, and everything else you inevitably see every day. They all have graphics on them. And what's more, all of those visual graphics were designed by somebody, somewhere

graphic design schools Have you ever thought that you could be that person who is designing graphics that others are going to see every day? With an Associate's Degree in graphic design, you can. There are a host of areas where you can apply your graphics skills our modern era demands appealing, enticing images for just about everything we do, including multi media design. There's hardly a business, hardly a website, hardly a person who couldn't benefit from your presence and expertise.

 

Many organizations, from businesses to churches to non-profits to internet services hire graphic designers to meet theirs and their clients' needs. Imagine yourself as a graphic designer working not only with paper, pencils, and computer screens, but also with an exciting array of individuals from all different backgrounds. One of your primary responsibilities is to design images whether logos, posters, or web content that is immediately appealing and understood by the target audience. Understanding who you're designing for is as important as what you're designing.

Graphic Designers in Business

 

One particular area where graphic designers are in high demand is in advertising and promotion. Consumers can take in advertisements much more quickly when they are exciting visuals that captivate their attention. Your job while working with clients, copywriters, and other artists is to make artistic decisions that maximize the potency of the graphics. Many marketing firms are hiring graphic designers to work within their team to create stimulating promotions for their clients' needs. Have you ever considered video game design school?

The more experienced and educated you become, the more specialized in particular graphics fields you'll become too. Some graphic designers work particularly with print media, others with physical signs, posters, banners, and ads, and still others within the movie industry for animations, trailers, posters, or credits. These are a few simple examples of the enormous range of possibilities the world of graphic design has. A graphic design degree will confer upon you many important skills, including a range of artistic perspectives, computer graphics intuition, team collaboration, printing techniques, and website design. Whether you're working on a computer or using that classic pencil and paper duo, your creativity will go a long way in transforming an idea into a radically appealing image.

So stop doodling in class, and start taking graphic design. Our world is a world that has ever-increasing dependence on the image. Whether it's on the clothing we wear, the ads we see, or the websites we visit, the work of graphic designers is present. Your inspiringly creative work can be among these, and it all starts with those essential core classes available with your Associate's Degree in graphic design. So join this burgeoning field today and discover what the role of your artistic creativity is inside of this explosively important area.

 

Pay for Graphic Designers


Graphic designers are in demand and as more and more companies are digital the need is greater than ever. The average designer that possesses an Associate degree in graphic design gets paid $44,000 per year. The top designers earn over $75,000 per year. Specialized designers that possess programming knowledge and even knowledge of specialized software will earn more.


Creating the Perfect Portfolio


Portfolios sure have changed over the years as the digital age continues to be more advanced. In order to build a good resume or portfolio a graphic designer needs to start early. We recommend starting while in school. Not only can you add in all of your assignments to keep a digital log but you can save time by organizing all of your skillset. An online portfolio is a must these days and many are becoming more advanced with download options for recruiters or even interactive ones.


As a graphic designer you’ll want to show off everything you have done including any part-time design work or work you have done for friends or family members. Be sure to link up all of your social profiles as well so you can share your portfolio with other designers and potential employers.

 

What it Takes to Become a Great Graphic Designer


We have worked with and know some really good designers and one thing they all agree on is that becoming a graphic designer take a lot of work but worth every minute of it. Below are the Top 5 things they told us if you are serious about becoming a designer.

 

1. Long Hours – Forget the 9 to 5 job. As a graphic designer you’ll do a lot of your work at night. Many designers work out of their home so they don’t have set hours. The better you are the less time it takes to complete your work but even then a 40 hour work week is almost unheard of.


2. Understand the Business Side – As a designer you need to understand your client or the company you work for. Be sure to really get to know the business as you are a bigger asset to the company if you do more than just do the design work.

3. Stay Current – You would think that getting your Associate’s degree in graphic design would be enough but your training doesn’t stop with an AA degree. It is recommended that you continue on with either another degree or at minimum stay current with all of the design software packages. Designers can always learn and with new versions coming out several times a year it will be up to you to learn them.


4. More Than Just a Designer – Do you have a specific role in the company outside of design? Do you like marketing or account management? If so you might consider branching out and receiving training so you can be a designer but also handle client meetings or even run a marketing department. Your value increases when your employer can pay you instead of hiring more people to get the job done. Graphic design can always been your main position but you need to create value as an employee and that could start with being part of a much larger team.


5. Be Specialized – Do you know everything there is to know about a certain graphic design software? Are you known for a certain style of design? As a designer you can specialize in a particular type of design. This will allow you to master it quickly and work for companies that want to hire only the best. Very few people go into the design industry and can master every different style of design and fully know every software.

 

Career Spotlight: Become a Freelancer


You want flexibility and convenience in your career. Freelancing can provide you with the power to take control. With companies downsizing, there are opportunities to provide valuable services on a freelance basis. Expertise in the right area can provide you with a lucrative and successful career. First, you need to decide on a profession. Where do your interests lie? What areas are conducive to freelance work? Second, you need to get the training that will give you a solid foundation in your career of choice. You might decide to become a desktop publisher, medical biller or medical transcriptionist.


Next, you need to take the time to establish yourself. Business will not find you on its own. How do you generate new business?


1. Develop a portfolio -- Put together samples of your best work to demonstrate your skills. You might need to work for no pay or low pay initially. Making sacrifices now will pay off later!
2. Tell everyone you know – Spread the word! Tell colleagues, friends, family, and neighbors about your new freelance job. Referrals will comprise the majority of your business in the beginning.
3. Join professional organizations – Become a member in an organization that serves your field. You’ll get an opportunity to network, as well as learn about the ins and outs of your line of work.
4. Join local organizations – Sometimes organizations, like the Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club, can provide you with good networking opportunities. They include local businesspeople that may have a need for your services.
5. Volunteer in the community – By just getting out there and doing something you enjoy, you are enabling yourself to meet people in the community. You never know who might have work for you, or be able to refer you to someone that does.
6. Cold call – It’s the dreaded two words, but it has been shown to be an effective means of generating new business. Call on organizations that could really use your services.


Just remember it takes a while to build a solid client base. Don’t give up! Your commitment and persistence will pay off soon. Your freelance career is just beginning.

 

Graphic Design Resources
Designrfix - http://designrfix.com/
Freelancers Union - https://www.freelancersunion.org/
International Council of Design - http://www.ico-d.org/
Association of Registered Graphic Designers - http://www.rgd.ca/