A Typical Day for a Graphic Designer

Peek into the everyday schedule of graphic design professionals!

Are you interested in attending graphic design school? If you are considering this field, it may help to understand what graphic designers do in a typical work day. Below we give you a description of an average day as a graphic designer. This guide will help you assess if you’re likely to stay happy and fulfilled in a graphic design and animation career.

Starting the day off right

Most graphic designers start their day by going into a design firm, corporate office, or studio space. The first step is usually checking their emails for messages from clients or coworkers. They might log into their project management system to see if any updates or reviews have come in from the day before. Next, they will look at their schedule for the day to see what projects have the highest priority or the closest deadlines. Graphic designers need to be good at prioritizing their time in order to keep projects on schedule.

Meeting with colleagues or clients

During the day, graphic designers may meet with clients or the art director to understand the vision and direction of a project. Clients will communicate their needs, ideas, and focus for logos, brochures, or any other materials they are having designed. Sometimes, graphic designers may present a mock-up of the product and ask the clients their opinions on images and typefaces to deliver a desired message.

Preparing and managing projects

During the day, graphic designers may be working on various different projects at once. They may start sketching designs for one client while waiting for materials to come in for a different project. They may have to coordinate with other professionals who are supplying different elements of the product, such as text or photographs. Graphic designers may have to coordinate layouts, typefaces, and images around the text a coworker gives them to insert into the design. They may also follow-up with clients on certain days to update them on the progress and vision of the product. Once they communicate with their coworkers or clients, they implement any recommended changes into the next draft of the design.

Creating the designs

During a typical work day, most designers work on their computers with programs in the Adobe Creative Suite, such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Creative Cloud. These programs offer an ever-improving array of digital design tools to help designers create state-of-the art designs and websites. If you go to graphic design school, your instructors will help you learn these programs so that you are comfortable with them before you enter the job market. Because most of the work is on the computer, designers have to spend many hours at their desks. In order to break up the time, some designers alternate between standing and sitting by using portable standing desks.

Finishing up the day

Once a project is completed, the designer will post it to a shared file system so that it can be reviewed by the art director or a client. Usually each project undergoes several rounds of revisions before it is approved and finalized. Once a web project is approved, it can be published online with a few clicks of a button. Printed projects take a little longer. Designers have to create a print-ready version and coordinate with the printer to make sure all of the specifications are correct before it goes to press. When everything is finished at the end of the day, graphic designers are careful to back up their work and spend a few minutes organizing for the next day’s work.

If you are considering this line of work, take some time to research the graphic design field and read about the job description, salary, and job outlook. A good resource for this is the Occupational Outlook Handbook which provides background information and future job growth projections for career paths in the U.S. You may also be interested in our companion blog article 5 Reasons to Go to Graphic Design School.

We hope this guide helps you decide if a graphic design career is right path for you! As a creative professional, you can have an active and fulfilling career.


Branford Hall Career Institute offers a graphic design and animation training program at its Jersey City, Parsippany, and North Brunswick, NJ campuses. For more information on our training programs or if you’d like to schedule a tour, contact us today!

2 thoughts on “A Typical Day for a Graphic Designer

  • AnnElise Jarrett

    My English class is having us write essays about a career we want to do. I’m interested in being a Graphic Designer, and I would like to ask just a few questions about the career to someone who has experience in this career. Is that’s okay 🙂

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