8 Unexpected Career Paths for Graphic Designers

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As graphic designers, we often have to wear multiple hats and  work on numerous things, like marketing, advertising, designing to name a few. Advancements in technology have drastically changed this industry, and to keep up with the changes, in addition to being the jacks of all trades, graphic designers today have to be specialized in their skills and find a niche that is relevant to their work. Just because you studied graphic design in school doesn’t mean that you have to be a graphic designer. You’d be surprised to know that there are a lot of other job opportunities open to people with artistic flair. Familiarizing yourself with the different options that are available to you will help you shape your future career path. In the article, we will be exploring the many choices you may not be aware of and how they can help inspire your creative career.

1. Creative services manager

Creative services managers are usually paired with design talent and management skills. They usually act as a liaison between management teams and creative professionals. They have to make sure the projects are completed on time and budget is honored. They usually are experienced creative professionals or graphic designers who were promoted from the ranks of junior designers. They don’t work on creative production tasks on a day to day basis but are able to handle hands-on design jobs when needed. They work in both managing marketing teams and promoting their products and services.

2. Email marketing manager

The content of an email, its length and send times are all factors in determining the company’s success. Email marketing professionals are people who are tasked with sending out engaging email communications for an organization. They work closely with a team of copywriters, marketing managers, and UI specialists. They usually have to have a basic understanding of the principles of design and learn HTML, CSS to be able to design an effective email.

3. UI Designer

UI designers help create beautiful interfaces that connect users to a device. To be able to create an effective and engaging site layout, they would have to understand the fundamentals of visual design. They usually would have to work closely with the development team to build interactive web applications. They are responsible for creating a good user experience while interacting with a web or mobile application. UI designers focus on the surface level of an interface while UX designers work on the back end processes.

4.Web Designer

Graphic designers are well suited for web design. They can also be done by creative professionals who are visually savvy. Besides having a strong aesthetic understanding, it is also important for them to be able to code. As web designers, you often end up working with web design and development teams to create and build a website. Professionals in this industry end up working for a company in creating and maintaining their website or for a collective that specializes in creating websites for a number of different companies. Its often advised finding your niche as a web designer and companies prefer designers who are able to design and build your web applications.

5. Art Director

Art directors usually have years of experience working as graphic designers or other creative fields. They are responsible for creating the overall feel and mood of the project or campaign. This requires them to have incredible attention to detail as they would have to make sure every element of the design fits in with the overall vision of the project. They usually work with a team of creative professionals and guide and lead them to create different elements of the design. They are responsible for creating the vision for the marketing campaigns, advertisements and other brand imagery for the company. It takes years of practice to inspire and educate your team and your clients.

6. Packaging designer

Packaging designers have to determine the best packaging for the product they are designing – from materials used for the design, its structural form, ease of opening and environmental concerns should be taken into consideration when designing a package. Graphic designers and illustrators with a foundation in design are ideally the best candidates for this career opportunity. Packaging designers are always on the lookout for the best and creative ways to package a product. To market a product effectively, it requires them to make engaging artworks for their packaging.

7. Book designer

Printed pages are still very popular among book lovers all over the world. This means that there is a high demand for eye-catching book covers that will draw in potential readers. They are also responsible for designing and developing every element of the book except its content. Authors and writers create the actual storyline while book designers create the physical product. They design book covers, pick typography, craft end pages and convey the author’s message using the overall design of the book.

8. Instructor/Teacher

A high number of students who graduate out of graphic design schools go on to become lecturers. After years of experience in the field, they are usually ready to offer their expertise and learning to the next generation of budding designers. Graphic design instructors may teach at high schools, community colleges and career colleges training students in graphic design and other related programs. Teachers usually are tasked with not only following the teaching curriculum but also to inspire, engage and challenge the students — this means that they should be able to create a class environment bursting with creative energy.

Interested in any of the above? If you are looking to switch careers, it is a great time to start thinking about it now. This will help you forge a career path by choosing a specialty that you think you will be good at. There are so many ways to grow as a graphic designer. Being aware of the different opportunities you have will help you make an informed decision and forge a career path that you think will help you the most.

Iggy is a designer who loves experimenting with new web design techniques, collating creative website designs, and writing about the latest design trends, inspiration, design freebies, and more. You can follow him on Twitter

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