What Does a Graphic Designer Do? (And How Do I Become One?)

Graphic designers are creative professionals who use various design elements to create visually appealing and informative visuals for various projects, from websites and print ads to product packaging and more. In this article, we'll explore the roles, responsibilities, skills, and career paths of graphic designers, as well as the steps to become one.

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a form of communication that combines art and technology to convey information through visual content. It is a critical aspect of any business's success as it helps to inspire, inform, and engage consumers. Graphic designers use colours, shapes, images, and typography to create effective designs for various media, including:

  • Company brand identity (logos, typography, and colour palettes)
  • User interfaces for apps and websites
  • Publications (books, magazines, newspapers)
  • Product packaging
  • Advertisements and commercials
  • Signage for stores, transportation, stadiums, and event spaces
  • Video games

What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

The primary responsibility of a graphic designer is to create meaningful, functional, and visually appealing visuals that meet the client's or company's needs. Some of the common tasks and responsibilities of a graphic designer include:

  • Developing visual assets to support marketing campaigns
  • Designing graphic overlays for social media posts
  • Formalising print ad layouts and retouching photos for digital signage
  • Creating engaging and user-friendly website designs
  • Conceptualising and designing product packaging and labels
  • Developing brand identities, including logos, colour schemes, and typography

Where Do Graphic Designers Work?

Graphic designers can work in various settings, including in-house for companies or agencies, or as freelancers. Some common workplaces for graphic designers include:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Web design firms
  • Marketing firms
  • Print and online publishers
  • Retailers (online and brick-and-mortar)
  • Non-profit organisations

Skills Needed to Become a Graphic Designer

To succeed as a graphic designer, you'll need to cultivate a range of skills, both creative and technical. Here are some essential skills for graphic designers:

Creative Skills

  • Strong visual communication abilities
  • Understanding of colour theory and colour palettes
  • Typography and layout design skills
  • Creativity and ability to think outside the box
  • Attention to detail and an eye for aesthetics

Technical Skills

  • Proficiency in graphic design software (e.g., Adobe Creative Suite, Corel Graphics Suite)
  • Knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Understanding of website development and programming languages (e.g., HTML, CSS)
  • Familiarity with computerised sketching and digital illustration tools

Soft Skills

  • Strong communication and collaboration skills
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking abilities
  • Time management and organisational skills
  • Ability to receive and implement feedback
  • Adaptability and willingness to learn new technologies and trends

Why Pursue a Career in Graphic Design?

A career in graphic design can be rewarding and fulfilling for those with a passion for creativity, visual communication, and staying up-to-date with cutting-edge technologies. Here are some compelling reasons to pursue a career in graphic design:

  • Opportunity to exercise your creative skills and bring ideas to life
  • Ability to shape how companies, brands, and products are perceived by the world
  • Exposure to various industries and projects
  • Potential for growth and advancement into managerial or specialised roles

How Much Do Graphic Designers Make?

The average salary for graphic designers in India varies based on factors such as experience level, location, and industry. According to the latest data, the average graphic designer's salary in India is ₹3,05,905 per year as of October 2023. Here's a breakdown of the average salaries based on experience:

Experience Level

Average Salary

Less than 1 year


1-4 years


5-9 years


10-19 years


20+ years


Job Outlook for Graphic Designers

The global graphic design market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% through 2029, indicating a positive job outlook for graphic designers. However, demand can vary depending on the location, with larger cities like Bangalore likely to have higher demand for graphic artists.

How to Become a Graphic Designer

While there are various paths to becoming a graphic designer, here is a common and straightforward way to get started in this exciting career:

Educational Background

Most graphic designers need a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field to work at a top company. Earning a degree helps you build foundational skills and create a portfolio of work to showcase to potential employers. Some public and private colleges offer graphic design programs in India.

Alternative Paths

For those interested in freelancing, a strong portfolio can be more valuable than a formal degree. Certificate programs in graphic design can also boost your credentials and enhance your skills.

Make the Most of Your Education

To make yourself more competitive in the job market, consider the following:

  • Pursue internships to gain real-world experience
  • Volunteer your design skills to local organisations
  • Pursue certification in popular graphic design software (e.g., Adobe)
  • Join professional design organisations (e.g., Association of Designers of India) for networking and professional development opportunities

Career Paths in Graphic Design

A career in graphic design can open doors to numerous opportunities and industries. With experience, you can advance into managerial positions within a company's design department, such as creative director or project manager. Additionally, many graphic designers have expanded into exciting fields like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), where visuals play a crucial role in creating immersive experiences.


Graphic design is a dynamic and rewarding field that combines creativity, technology, and visual communication. By developing the necessary skills, pursuing the right education and experience, and staying up-to-date with industry trends, you can embark on a fulfilling career as a graphic designer. Whether working in-house or as a freelancer, graphic designers play a vital role in shaping how companies, brands, and products are perceived by the world.

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