Graphic Designer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Designs or creates graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

This career is part of the Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications cluster Visual Arts pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Creates designs, concepts, and sample layouts, based on knowledge of layout principles and esthetic design concepts.
  • Determines size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, and selects style and sizes of type.
  • Confers with clients to discuss and determine layout design.
  • Develops graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and Web sites.
  • Reviews final layouts and suggests improvements as needed.
  • Prepares illustrations or rough sketches of material, discussing them with clients or supervisors and making necessary changes.
  • Uses computer software to generate new images.
  • Keys information into computer equipment to create layouts for client or supervisor.
  • Maintains archive of images, photos, or previous work products.
  • Prepares notes and instructions for workers who assemble and prepare final layouts for printing.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Desktop Publisher -- Formats text and graphical elements using computer software to produce publication-ready material.
  • Interface Designer -- Combines technical, creative and marketing skills to develop user-friendly interfaces for applications.
  • Multimedia Developer -- Design web portals for online learning programs, video games and high-end interactive websites.
  • Publications Designer -- Designs publications, from look and feel, contents writing, lay-out, editing and proof-reading to either doing desk-top publishing or overseeing commercial printing.
  • Catalogue Illustrator --