A (sometimes referred to mistakenly as a , sometimes termed a) is a professional within the graphic design and graphic arts industry who assembles together images, typography or motion graphics to create a piece of design. A graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published, printed or electronic media, such as brochures and advertising. They are also sometimes responsible for typesetting, illustration and web design, or take a teaching position, although these specialties may be assigned to specialists in various graphic design occupations. A core responsibility of the designer’s job is to present information in a way that is both accessible and aesthetic.


A degree (or occasionally certificates from accredited trade schools) is usually, though not always, considered essential for a graphic design position. After a career history has been established, though, the graphic designer’s experience and number of years in the business are considered the primary qualifications. A portfolio, which is the primary method for demonstrating these qualifications, is usually required to be shown at job interviews, and is constantly developed throughout a designer’s career.

One can obtain an AAS, BA, BFA, MFA or an MPhil / PhD in graphic design. Degree programs available vary depending upon the institution, although typical U.S. graphic design jobs require at least some form of Bachelor’s degree.

Current graphic designer jobs demand proficiency in one or more graphic design software programs, relevant to the job function, such as proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite. If a web designer, he or she should understand HTML and other programming languages to design websites. If a print designer, he or she should understand the processes involved in printing to be able to produce press-ready artwork.

Career Portfolio

The graphic designer’s Career portfolio in the past fifty years was usually a black book or large binder in which samples of the artist’s best printed pieces were carried to show prospective clients or employers. Over the past 20 years, portfolios have become increasingly digitized, and may be entirely digitized and available on the Internet, CD, or DVD.