What a Graphic Designer Does

Learn about this career at the intersection of art, technology, and commerce

Are you interested in a field that requires creativity as well as computer skills? Graphic design might be a great fit for you. Branford Hall provides a career-focused training program on the fundamentals of graphic design and animation, and how to apply them in both print and digital applications. This article provides an overview of this profession, to help you evaluate it as a possible career choice.

A graphic designer specializes in the visual aspects of products—from websites to brochures and beyond. Designers take a concept from the idea stage to a fully rendered finished product, either printed or digital. Graphic design is a critical component of all communications and sales platforms, including print media (brochures and magazines), videos, social media, e-commerce, and multi-media presentations.

The foundations of the profession

Graphic design students start with design basics, such as the principles of drawing and sketching, finding color solutions, and graphic layout techniques. They may also study digital imaging and image editing, interactive web development, web scripting, multimedia production, and video and audio production. Because they will have a lot of interaction with clients (either internal or external to the company), it’s also important that designers have interpersonal skills and are committed to teamwork and problem solving.

Where designers work

Training as a graphic designer equips you for entry-level positions as a web designer, web developer, graphic artist, multimedia designer, and more. The many specialized areas of graphic design include working with a particular application, such as Photoshop (for still images) or Flash (visual effects and interactive media).

A wide variety of industries employ people trained in graphic design and animation, such as:

  • technology companies
  • ad agencies
  • public relations agencies
  • publishers of newspapers, magazines, books, or directories
  • specialized design services companies
  • product manufacturers

Some graphic designers choose to be self-employed. They may find contract or freelance work with ad agencies or other clients, and work from their homes or their own offices.

One thing you need as a graphic designer is a certain skill level with technology and especially the programs that designers use day in and day out. Given that this technology is rapidly changing, the field of graphic design is in a state of constant evolution, and this career might be a good choice if learning new software is something you enjoy.

The duties of a graphic designer

Many graphic designers work with design software to create layouts. The objective will often be to create a visually and conceptually compelling message to help a client reach a certain audience. Graphic designers will often work with a team to learn about a given project, to get to know the supervisor’s or client’s specifications, and then to develop and adjust the design to suit these needs.

For more details about this role, check out our article on A Typical Day for a Graphic Designer. The graphic designer’s technical know-how, combined with artistic abilities, can make this a challenging and fulfilling field. Explore what’s involved and see if this is something you’d like to explore. It could be the beginning of a whole new professional life for you!


This article is part of the Branford Hall weekly blog. We offer an array of professional training programs at ten campuses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Reach out to us for more information today!