As a Graphic Designer, I know what it takes to really put yourself out there and create someone else’s vision. Wether it be a full website or a simple logo that my client needs, I, as a designer, need to make sure I take notes and really listen to my customer when they explain in detail what they need done. I need to know what questions to ask before meeting up as well as be prepared to ask others that I hadn’t planned.
The different projects a graphic designer should be capable of creating are as followed (but not limited to this list):
Design suite software apps are the main tools used to create professional looking logos. Most clients prefer an Illustrator-like program to be used over anything but personally, I love using the higher end photo editing software that includes logo creation tools.
Page Layout & Print:
This genre includes projects such as flyers, business cards, table cards, invitations, banner creation…basically anything that requires printing. This also means you need to know how to set up your project for the actual print job itself. In your software program, you will be prompted to enter the print size of your design either at the beginning of a new project or at the time of print (it is always smart to do it at the beginning).
Graphic Designer For Website Design & Creation:
This is a personal favorite of mine because the design options are endless. It also pays the most! Depending on what your client wants done, you have page after page to create beautiful content. I like this because if I happen to like more than one page layout, I can use more than one. Unlike printing a business card or flyer. Usually the customer wants one layout for small projects like that and personally-I hate choosing between more than one great design.
Those are the three main areas a graphic designer gets calls for. Every now and then I find jobs for template layouts for Word or even and iMovie to made. Which brings me to my next topic in the matter-knowing which software to use.
As I mentioned before, most clients know what they want used for their job. If you are not equipped with that particular program then let them know what you have. Most graphic designers make sure their computers are loaded with the following:
- A computer. This is a must in order to be a “graphic designer”. There is no way around it. make sure you are computer savvy too.
- Some drawing skills should be acquired. It is not needed in most cases but I find it REALLY helps when your at a meeting with your potential client. I like to draw out quick sketches of what I think they are explaining to me. I do this until I have struck an idea that works for them.
- A photo editing software of a higher end. Another words, spend a little money on a creation suite of some kind so you have access to more than one option. The apps included in these suites are all different but have some of the same commands programmed with in them. If your starting as a broke artist like I did-you can always begin with a free download of a cheaper version of these programs or even sign up for the free trials offered by the expensive versions.
That is basically it besides personal experience and knowledge with in the field. Why did I explain all of that? Well, it can be expensive if your starting your graphic design business by purchasing everything at once- about a few thousand dollars in the hole actually. With that being said, at first it may seem like your not getting paid enough to even out and that may be so with some.
An average annual income of a graphic designer is around $40,000 a year depending on where you live and what you charge per project. It is always best to charge a flat rate but I find a lot of clients like the option of choosing between that or hourly payments. if you charge a flat fee, make sure you do your math on the average hours you think it may take. Then from there, cut some of the price down. Show your client the difference in the two numbers. I usually score my jobs on the flat fee at that point and also get more work from that client afterwards.
I know $40,000 doesn’t sound like much for what most people think this field makes but it is an average living for the “average” family. It is also a job that can be done from home, unless you work at a large company of course, and even then you have the opportunity to make more money plus have bonuses and benefits. The highest reported earnings for this job subject is around $60,000. I am guessing you would have to be at a large firm or in the business for years with a built up clientele.
As a professional graphic designer, I find I make the most money by offering to design websites. It can be made on the creation suites or it can be as simple as building it on a hosting site that offers a toolkit. It depends on the client and their budget. Either one they choose, I always find a way to make it profitable for the time put in. I also make sure that I make that customers happy and do my best to work under their budget to keep them coming back for more.
If you have the right skills and tools to get the job done, this can be a very successful career path. A graphic designer can do ANYTHING with in the field and that is what will be bringing in your profits in the end.