What Does A Graphic Designer Do?


A graphic designer is someone who creates visual concepts for organisations and uses design elements to communicate ideas. They design everything from advertisements and brochures to business logos and reports by use of a computer program. What does a graphic designer do?  

Job Profile

A graphic designer combines art and technology to create visuals that represent a company’s brand. They create these designs either by hand or by using computer software packages such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. 

Their job entails designing concepts by studying relevant information and materials and ensuring projects are completed with high quality and on schedule. 

Role Overview - Graphic Designer - Responsibilities, Skills, Background and Salary
Role Overview – Graphic Designer

Creativity, flexibility and the ability to work well with others are all important skills that a graphic designer must possess.  

Are graphic designer jobs in demand? According to the US Bureau Of Labour Statistics, employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 3% by 2030. This growth may be a bit slower than average but 23,900 openings for graphic designers are projected each year.


Graphic designers are responsible for planning concepts by studying information and materials given to them by the company they work for. They schedule projects, define budget constraints, and prepare rough drafts to present their ideas.

Once approved by management, they then convert drafts into designs by means of necessary equipment and software. These designers make sure to use the appropriate colours and layouts for each graphic and communicate with clients about said layout and design.

Responsibilities Of A Graphic Designer
Responsibilities Of A Graphic Designer

They work and collaborate with copywriters, art services, web designers, colleagues and creative directors when necessary.

They are also in charge of testing graphics across various media as well as reviewing and amending final layouts and suggesting improvements when necessary.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a graphic designer? 

  • Plan concepts by studying relevant information and materials
  • Schedule projects
  • Define budget constraints
  • Prepare rough drafts to present their ideas
  • Convert drafts into designs by means of necessary equipment and software
  • Use appropriate colours and layouts for each graphic
  • Communicate with clients about said layout and design
  • Work and collaborate with copywriters, art services, web designers, colleagues and creative directors
  • Test graphics across various media
  • Review and amend final layouts 
  • Suggest improvements when necessary

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Graphic Designer Skills and Abilities

What skill does a graphic designer need? The two most crucial skills that a graphic designer must have is familiarity with design software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, and knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles. 

They must have a keen eye for aesthetics, details and visual composition and must also have demonstrable graphic design skills with a strong portfolio.

Skills Of A Graphic Designer
Skills Of A Graphic Designer

Designers must also possess knowledge of typography, multimedia content development, marketing, website design, and corporate identity as well as a basic understanding of browser capabilities.

In terms of non-technical skills, graphic designers must have excellent communication skills, the ability to give and receive criticism and a strong attention to detail. They must also be able to manage their time effectively and work methodically in order to meet deadlines.

What are the skills of a graphic designer?

  • Familiarity with design software such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign
  • Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles
  • Keen eye for aesthetics, details and visual composition
  • Demonstrable graphic design skills with a strong portfolio
  • Knowledge of typography
  • Familiarity with multimedia content development  
  • Knowledge of marketing techniques
  • Knowledge of website design
  • Experience working with corporate identity
  • Basic understanding of browser capabilities
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to give and receive criticism 
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Ability to work methodically

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While a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design is not strictly needed, it does help make your profile stand out to your employers.

You can also choose to obtain numerous certifications to boost your career prospects. Find options for these down below: 

Especially for graphic designers, it will be important to have a professional portfolio that showcases their skills and abilities. In the creative field, it really helps to see previous work rather than experiences listed on the CV.

So here’re a few tips to create a professional portfolio (with freelance portfolio examples).

One of the problems that freelance creatives encounter when creating their portfolio is confidentiality agreements. If this is also an issue for you, don’t miss our article on sharing NDA-protected work in your portfolio.


Is graphic design a good career? Having a career in graphic design yields a decent amount of money. Designers who are just starting out can expect to earn $33,000 per year whereas senior designers with a lot of experience and an extensive portfolio can earn up to $76,000 per annual year. 

The average salary for graphic designers is $50,000 per year.

In Germany, the salary range is €30,000 – €62,000 whereas in the UK, the range is £22,000 – £46,000.

How much do graphic designers make? 

Junior $33,000
Average $50,000
Senior $76,000

What is the salary range of graphic designers? 

US $33,000 – $76,000
Germany £22,000 – £46,000
UK €30,000 – €62,000

How much do freelance graphic designers make?

Graphic designers on freelancermap charge on average:


Rates in this field range between $33 and $106/hour for most freelancers.

The daily rate for Graphic Designers (8 working hours) would be around:


Freelancing as a Graphic Designer

Graphic design has become one of the most popular freelance jobs available, and for good reason. Graphic design offers freelancers the chance to express their creativity, develop their skills, work with different clients and make a good living.

Many freelance graphic designers start doing some projects on the side while working a day job. Then they feel they are ready to take the next step and start freelancing professionally.

Here are 5 tips from a veteran freelance graphic designer, Brooke Scovil, to help you prepare to make the big leap into the freelancing world.

5 Things You Need to Do as a Graphic Designer Before Starting Your Freelance Career

1) Change Your Mental Gears

Get off the phone app games and log off of Facebook, it’s time to get serious. Freelancing means you are your own boss: You set your own hours, motivate yourself, set your prices and deadlines, speak for yourself, and take care of all the business paperwork and accounting.

You need to be absolutely sure that this responsible job and lifestyle is right for you, as slipping up in any of these areas can be costly. You and only you can decide for yourself if you are really mentally disciplined to be successful.

2) Save Up Before Quitting Your Day Job

The chances of immediate success in freelancing are slim – You’re going to want to build up a savings to live off of as you’re getting started.

Most entrepreneurs recommend having three to six months worth of expenses covered before you start your freelance career to ensure that you have what you need to stay afloat.

Even professional freelancers have down times where very little work and money is coming in; you’re going to want to keep up the savings account for those times too. If you’re already past the quit your day job point with no savings, don’t sweat it – look for a part-time position that allows you to freelance at the same time.

3) Be Comfortable with Speaking and Asserting Yourself

An impressive freelancer profile alone won’t get jobs for you. The ability to pitch your skills and abilities clearly and articulately to potential clients is crucial.

You will also inevitably need to attend meetings and networking events. If you are currently unable to communicate effectively, now is the time to work on your communication and public speaking skills.

Perhaps opt for a spokesperson to help promote you if you have anxiety. It is crucial that a freelancer is also a successful marketer.

🚀 How to build a personal brand as a freelancer

4) You Have to be Tough

Exclusively working with clients that are only a perfect fit is wishful thinking. Your work won’t always fit every client’s needs and that’s okay. You need to be able to determine when a project or client relationship isn’t going to work out and move on. Sometimes, you will run into irate clients displeased with your work; in such situations, you must remain calm and maintain a professional demeanor.

5) Get Your Portfolio Reviewed

You won’t get far if you don’t have examples of your work to show potential clients. Set up a test portfolio and share it with other graphic designers for their input to find out where your weak areas are and how to improve them.

Include only the best stuff you have, even if you have very little to show. Then, show your portfolio to friends, family, and even strangers to see what items catch their eye and which ones end up just glanced over.

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Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

By Natalia Campana

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