Pursuing a career as a graphic designer

posted on Wednesday, Feb 22 2012

For individuals with a passion for the arts, an online bachelors degree in graphic design could help them pursue an exciting new career in this rewarding field. What do graphic designers do, and what skills do they need in order to succeed?

Many online colleges offer online bachelors degrees in graphic design. A popular career choice for creative individuals, graphic design is a constantly changing field. Graphic designers create much of the artwork we see around us every day, from advertisements to websites, brochures to buttons. Some graphic designers work for themselves on a freelance basis, whereas others work for creative studios, design agencies and web development companies.

A client will usually provide a brief for a project, informing the designer of what they want to accomplish from the advertisement, brochure or website. The designer will then set to work and create a series of proofs to present to the client. After a direction for the project has been established, the graphic designer will actually produce the digital files for the client.

Depending on what kind of project they are working on, graphic designers use a range of software programs to help them create the visuals for their clients. Some design professionals work solely in the print industry, for magazines, newspapers and advertising agencies. Many online colleges provide training in industry standard software packages such as Quark Xpress and the Adobe Creative Suite to provide students with the technical skills they need.

For individuals working in the digital realm of web design, programs such as Dreamweaver and Flash will be tools in the designers’ repertoire. Some designers also use 3D software to create lifelike renders and product visualizations in programs such as Autodesk Maya, 3D Studio Max and Pixologic ZBrush.

However, design is more than just pressing buttons. Many online colleges that offer online bachelors degrees in graphic design also teach the fundamentals of design such as color theory, composition and typography to provide students with the foundation they need to create compelling, eye-catching work.

It is relatively unusual for students graduating from online bachelors degree programs in graphic design to pursue online masters degree programs. Many employers will expect formal qualifications in addition to a personal portfolio of work demonstrating skill and creative flair. However, those individuals who do pursue a graduate-level qualification can specialize their design knowledge further by enrolling in an online masters degree program in disciplines such as furniture and industrial design, or fashion illustration.

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