What are the career paths for a graphic designer?

Graphic Designers and where to work.

Ever wondered what the different career paths you can pursue if you have a Graphic Design diploma? Read on to discover more about the Graphic Design industry and the exciting mix of career paths.

Naima wall.jpgArtwork by Naima Bitonga

The Graphic Design industry:

The Graphic Design industry is considered to be a subset of the visual communication industry. Graphic Design aids in selling products through branding and with the digital age, this skill is now in demand more than ever. The Graphic Design industry has combined global revenue of over US $57 billion – IbisWorld (2016). It is set to keep on growing as the world moves to consume information through digital and visual forms.

The industry comprises of talented individuals who come up with visually appealing representations of text and illustrations. The skills of a graphic designer cut across various industries, from construction to film & tv, print, e-commerce, and even data science.


How does one become a professional graphic designer?

In order to become a professional graphic designer, you will require to possess a natural talent for design and also some training. You need to learn how to use the latest software and hardware in the market. You need to have a good eye for design and you will have an added advantage if you can draw. Creativity is quite necessary in order to visually represent ideas before you commence working on the designs.

You will also be required to be good at grasping concepts quite easily as you will be required to produce content for different industries.

With the rapid changes in the digital world, it is advisable that you keep on polishing up your existing skills and endeavour to learn new skills. For instance, if you know how to use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, learn how to become an expert in Adobe Dreamweaver or Adobe InDesign. This gives you an edge over your peers and it is easier for you to take on different work opportunities.

What are the different career paths?

There are quite a number of exciting career paths that you can pursue as a graphic designer. Some of these opportunities in the market are:

Graphic Designer

You will work on a variety of products and activities, such as websites, advertising, books, magazines, posters, computer games, product packaging, exhibitions and displays, corporate communications and corporate identity, i.e. giving organizations a visual ‘brand’.


You will communicate through pictures, and you will specialize in a particular design medium such as drawing, photography or digital illustration.

Art Director

You will produce innovative ideas for the visual elements of advertising campaigns in all kinds of media, including cinema and television, internet (digital/viral marketing) posters, press, radio.

Web Designer

You will be tasked with creating the user’s experience on a website. You will need to think of how the user will interact with the website and create layouts, styling, and features that will make the user return to the website numerous times.

Creative Director

This is a managerial role that requires you to manage teams across multiple accounts. You will need to steer the direction that the project takes. You will create, plan and deliver the strategic vision for the client.

There you have it. What are you waiting for?

Still not sure why not hear it from someone who has walked this path? Check out this great interview in this article.

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