How to become a graphic designer: Australian careers in design

For those who have an artistic flair and a natural knack for computers, graphic designers work on creating visual creative pieces for businesses, whether it is creating a new campaign look or freshening a brand, you can work in the digital and web space, film, marketing or other communication sectors. Most graphic designers work for corporate organisations or a design company and design creative proposals from client briefs, offering artistic recommendations and expertise as required. As a graphic designer, you will find yourself working on a variety of projects that can include logos, branding, typography and other illustrations. To be successful in graphic design, most will obtain an attractive portfolio and support with a relevant study course.

  • Task Career in focus: What a graphic designer does

    Nearly every business will at some stage, need a graphic designer and a job in design can see you working for advertising companies, government agencies, online businesses, publications, design studios or work as freelancer. Your day can vary from creating business cards, concepts for campaigns, magazine or brochure layouts, font families, corporate stationery and responding to client briefs and feedback. 

    Tasks:

    • Discuss client needs and respond to briefs
    • Create creative designs, in-line with company branding guidelines
    • Develop your own original and creative portfolio
    • Respond proactively to client feedback
    • Provide artistic and design insight
  • Skills Core qualities: Skills to succeed as a graphic designer

    Working in graphic design is an exciting industry to work in, where you must be proactively passionate about design, seeking out fashion trends and searching for new and fresh design inspiration. You must be able to effectively communicate with your clients and able to pick up on their requirements whilst maintaining creative integrity and generating attractive products, which at times, takes a skilled multi-tasker.

    Skills/attributes
    • Able to work by yourself and in a team environment
    • Excellent communication skills and manage client expectations
    • Able to multi-task and stick to deadlines
    • Eye for detail
  • Specialisations The field: Specialisations within graphic design

    Jobs in graphic design have boomed in recent years, and the sector has developed and grown into not just logo creation, but also a wide-variety of specialisations.

    Title Designer

    If you enjoy working in graphic design and also want to expand in the film industry, title designers work alongside film directors, producers and video editors in order to design the title credits for movies and TV shows that appropriately highlight the theme of the film or show.

    Web Designer

    Web designers expand on their graphic design skills by using website coding, layout design and other digital mediums to create attractive websites that effectively communicate your client’s message and information online. You will design layouts, banners and sort information into an easily readable and attractive to online readers.

    Art Director

    Art directors work on the creative aesthetics across a range of mediums, collaborating with other artists and designers on the attractiveness of a visual campaign such as typography, layouts and colour palettes. Most art directors work in the advertising industry or public relations on a variety of projects.
  • Pathways The right track: Find study options for becoming a graphic designer

    Graphic designers enjoy the visual and artistic side of their profession, and can greatly benefit from honing their creative and communication skills to keep them ahead in their industry.

    Starting Out

    There are plenty of entry-level and short courses available that can help you expand on your practical and creative skills, especially when working with different types of design software programs. 

    Building Skills

    Build your creative portfolio to form it into a professional and polished product that effectively shows off your talent by gaining a design qualification that will make you invaluable to employers. 

    Developing Your Resume

    Develop your professional experiences by gaining recognition in an industry-specific course, or help polish your graphic design specialisation. 

    Industry Recognition

    Get a head start in your graphic design career with an accredited degree. Alongside your creative portfolio, industry recognition may vary by your state or territory, but will greatly move your forward in your career.

    Entering the Workforce

    Check out our example cover letters and resumes, that will help you highlight your skills and achievements, tailored to the particular dream job you are applying for.

    Job Prospects in Design: Working life as a graphic designer

    There has been explosive growth in graphic design and the demand continues to steadily expand in this sector, with jobs projected to keep increasing over the next five years.

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