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The field of graphic design is an extremely dynamic and creative one, combining the talent of an artist with the knowledge of new technologies, web design, marketing, and communication. Many companies both large and small now enlist the help of graphic designers to help create things like logos, business cards, magazine or newspaper advertisements, brochures, websites, and commercials. Graphic design is also often referred to as visual communication. Most job seeking candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in the field as well as a substantial portfolio so that potential employers can get a better idea of the candidate’s talents and style. Often manufacturers solicit graphic designers to assist with things like product packaging in order to help create more substantial branding that allows them to stand out from their competitors. The first thing people see or notice is the way a product, website, or advertisement looks, so the use of graphic design is integral to success. The average salary of a graphic designer is approximately $43,000 per year, or around $20 per hour. Salaries can vary, however, depending on a number of factors including experience, the type of designs provided, and having a long and positive track record. Many different types of employers use graphic designers including website hosting companies, food manufacturers, car makers, the government sector, and schools and hospitals. The sky is the limit for graphic designers since their creativity can be used for such a wide variety of different things within the marketing realm. The current job market for graphic designers is very good, with an average growth rate of 13 percent over the last several years. While most styles of original graphic design was once created by hand, computer programs today are often used, so a working knowledge of these programs is absolutely imperative. Aside from the ability to be extremely creative, graphic designers should have a good understanding of marketing and how the graphic designs they create play an important part in this process. Designing quality images are essential to helping companies, charities, and other organizations become a standout from their competitors. Use of modern day computer programs allows designers to think outside the box and to create new, more bold and interesting forms of design. Often, focus groups and user testing is utilized by companies to get an idea of whether or not their current designs are effective. Graphic designers need to be able to change and edit their current designs as needed to fit the requirements of the marketer and its audience. In order to secure a good career in graphic design, a portfolio is extremely important. For many years, a large black binder or folder was used to display the artist’s work. This folder was brought to clients, potential employers, and customers in order to showcase the designer’s work. In today’s more virtual world, graphic design portfolios are now almost completely either online or stored on a disk for display. History of Graphic Design Graphic Design Schooling Graphic Design Careers and Job Outlook Professional Organizations for Graphic Designers Tools, Tips, and Tricks for Graphic Designers Graphic Design Pages for Kids

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