Are you interested in becoming a graphic designer? You have chosen the right field! There is a high demand for graphic designers in Australia, and the salaries are also quite competitive compared to other professions.
Graphic design is the art and practice of using textual and visual content to plan and project ideas and experiences. In a nutshell, graphic designers use a range of multimedia tools to produce eye-catching visuals that define the world around us.
Besides having an artistic side and exceptional computer skills, designers also possess a keen sense of observation, an eye for detail, and an appreciation for all things beautiful. All in all, graphic designing is one of the most fulfilling careers that you can choose to pursue.
Read the post below to know everything about how to become a graphic designer in Australia and live the life of your dreams.
1. What Does a Graphic Designer Do?
Graphic designers produce visual concepts and convey their insightful ideas in brochures, advertisements, and other marketing communication materials, such as newspapers, magazines, websites, and books.
Some graphic designers work with a joint team for specialized design agencies, while others work independently and are self-employed. Images, text, colour, and animations are all manipulated by digital and print designers using complex graphics tools and techniques.
The majority of graphic designers work full-time to comply with deadlines. Sometimes, clients may want to have meetings on the weekend or in the evenings, so self-employed graphic designers must be ready to work flexible hours. In this industry, client satisfaction and customer service are critical to success.
Furthermore, becoming a successful graphic designer includes learning how to market services, bid on contracts, and build a steady client base.
2. Major Duties and Tasks of a Graphic Designer
Negotiate design solutions with management, clients, production and sales staff.
Talk to clients to understand their visual communication requirements.
Develop rough design sketches for the client.
Prepare illustrations, diagrams, and layouts to communicate design concepts.
Create designs for digital or print publication or signage.
Undertake analyses and research functional communication requirements.
Determine the constraints and objectives of the design brief by consulting with stakeholders and clients.
Design and set up exhibitions for educational and advertising purposes.
Carry out and supervise all production stages for the chosen media.
Develop visual solutions and identify communication issues.
Propose and present designs to clients for approval.
3. What to Learn to Become a Graphic Designer?
You need to have a sense of imagination, originality, style, creativity, outstanding communication skills, and experience with design software, computer graphics, and animation to become a graphic designer.
Apart from that, you need to carefully prepare for your further education and have a visual portfolio of your creative work that you have produced during your high school years.
To improve and learn the fundamentals of art and design, several universities in Australia suggest that students complete a year of basic art and design courses in high school. Furthermore, it is essential for students to learn about specific qualifications required for the design school or university they are applying to.
Not only that, but they should gather as much information as possible from their institution's guidance counsellors, art department, and other administrative staff who can assist them with learning and getting started with the application process.
For most advanced or entry-level graphic design jobs in Australia, you need to undertake a formal qualification in graphic design, including pursuing a Bachelor of Design (Graphic Design) or a Diploma of Graphic Design (CUA50715). It would be best to pursue these degrees from an accredited college, university, or private design school.
However, if you go for an associate's degree, you can get your certification from different other institutions in Australia.
After graduation, a two-year degree would enable you to apply for assistant-level jobs in the graphic design industry. If you already have a bachelor's degree in some other discipline, in that case - you can enrol into a two- or three-year graphic design programme to learn the professional criteria and obtain the skills required to work in this field.
If you are joining a graphic design college to continue your education, it is best to get in touch with the admissions office and inquire about the application process and what you need to apply — for example, transcripts, portfolio, sample, resume, and more.
4. What Subjects are Needed to Become a Graphic Designer?
Based on what graphic design field you want to pursue, your subjects may vary and can include computerized design, website design, printing techniques, studio art, commercial graphics production, motion graphics, and other related courses that come under a graphic design or fine art programme.
Other graphic design courses may focus on learning design principles and theory and understanding the design process.
Additionally, if you pursue a liberal arts degree, it may include subjects like sociology, art history, cultural studies, psychology, foreign languages, writing, business, and marketing. Such courses allow aspiring graphic designers to be well-prepared and better qualified for their field, which usually involves a lot of collaborative efforts and communication.
5. Why Obtain a Formal Graphic Design Degree?
While it may seem that you can enter into the industry by learning on your own or through on-the-job training, obtaining a bachelor's degree in graphic design has a range of advantages.
For instance, you will be eligible to apply for several graphic designer positions; most companies in Australia won't even think of considering you for the position if you do not have a formal graphic design degree or certification.
Additionally, having a formal degree will improve your chances of earning a better salary — you can make thousands of dollars extra than an individual without any professional degree.
Besides, employers are more likely to recruit people with advanced experience, skills, and formal training as they stand out amongst their peers. Finally, learning alongside people with the same aspirations will help you provide the experience and skill set required for your career. Also, it will enable you to create a graphic design portfolio that incorporates all of the work you've done so far and work with industry professionals, both on- and off-campus.
Remember, you cannot replace the quality of guidance and personal mentoring provided by your school's faculty with YouTube videos and online training courses. Hence, those interested in seeking a graphic design career should strongly consider taking up a bachelor's degree programme.
6. How to Become a Graphic Designer Without a Degree?
Attending a reputable design school would assist you in becoming a skilled and trained designer. However, considering the high cost and other factors, not everyone can afford to attend design schools.
Fortunately, even though you lack formal education or a degree, you can fulfil your goal of becoming a professional designer only if you are passionate and committed to it. Furthermore, if you do not wish to go to college or want to change your career, graphic design is the right choice as it does not require a lot of education.
Being a popular field, you can independently pursue a career in graphic designing if you have the right tools and skills. A degree can certainly help, but do not worry if you don't have one. Here are a few things you can follow to become a graphic designer without a degree:
Learn everything about design, including design methods, principles, and design programmes. You can take online classes for it.
Practise designing to develop your own style. Then, use this and your personal assignments to create your portfolio.
Consider doing a specialization in at least one area of design. Specialists are more in demand than usual designers as they have more expertise in one field.
Learn some vital business skills if you want to pursue freelance design jobs. This will allow you to meet prospective clients confidently, and you won't have to rely on anyone to find you employment.
If you take proper steps, becoming a graphic designer is relatively easy. While specific positions may require you to obtain a degree, you can showcase your abilities by creating an impressive portfolio. Some employers might be looking for an individual with a degree, but others may get persuaded to recruit you solely based on your design work.
7. Keeping Up with the Industry Advancements and Trends
Graphic designers must keep up with the design industry's technical advancements and trends. They should also stay updated with the latest design and computer graphics software by getting hands-on professional training.
It is a well-known truth that customers desires and tastes keep changing, so graphic designers must perform their best to keep up with the ever-changing trends.
Furthermore, to become a successful graphic designer, you must have the potential to respond to new ideas, remain well-read, work under pressure, and know about the latest music, fashion, and other cultural things.
8. Skills and Attributes Required for Success
Graphic designers need to maintain a portfolio of projects, generate a consistent output of up-to-date and high-quality work, and remain on top of industry-specific developments. They must have artistic abilities and imaginative flair.
Additionally, graphic designers require outstanding attention to detail, work well under pressure, and develop creative solutions. It is also essential for them to be proficient in a variety of graphic design software programmes.
It can be beneficial for graphic designers to work both collaboratively and independently, take the initiative, meet company deadlines, and possess self-discipline and excellent time management skills. A knack for marketing and sales and maintaining a strong business sense are also desirable qualities, especially for those who run their own business or work as a freelance designer.
Furthermore, graphic designers should have exceptional communication skills to meet client needs. As you will be working with many individuals, you are expected to express your thoughts clearly, either verbally, visually, or in writing.
9. Life After Graduation: Graphic Design Job Prospects in Australia
Now that we have covered how to become a graphic designer in Australia, you must be wondering what are the graphic design job prospects in Australia after graduation. You can pursue different career opportunities in this field and work in several sectors that require graphic designing skills.
All in all, there are endless possibilities for graphic designers, ranging from working with advertising agencies or taking up behind-the-scenes roles and creating illustrations and layouts for a brand. If you have artistic ability and possess visual and verbal communication skills, you can also start working independently as a freelance designer.
When planning your future, you can consider the following career options, depending on your areas of interest, strengths, and skill set:
Commercial and Industry Designer
Software Quality Assurance Tester
Software Applications Developer
Public Relations Specialist
Keep in mind that formal education can assist you in achieving and developing the necessary expertise and skills required to explore a wide range of professional career options in graphic designing.
Whether you choose to start your career in graphic designing or pursue a master's degree, the expertise you have gained will help you advance in your career while enhancing your earning potential.
10. How Much Does a Graphic Designer Earn in Australia?
A graphic designer salary in Australia varies drastically based on skills, experience, qualifications, location, and seniority level. The average annual salary of a graphic designer ranges between AUD 28,500 (minimum salary) and AUD 89,500 (maximum salary).
One of the most significant aspects of determining a graphic designer's salary is the experience you have. Naturally, the more years of experience you have, the higher your salary.
With a little hard work and determination, you will develop the essential skills and knowledge required to climb the ladder of success and enjoy an incredible career as a graphic designer.
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