Career Development

What Does a Creative Designer Do?

Find out what a creative designer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a creative designer.

Creative designers are responsible for creating visual concepts and designs that help to define the look and feel of a brand or product. They work closely with marketing teams, business owners, and other stakeholders to develop ideas that will influence how consumers perceive a company’s products or services.

Creative designers may also be tasked with developing these designs into fully-realized concepts that can be used in marketing materials, advertisements, websites, etc.

Creative Designer Job Duties

A creative designer typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing a brand identity and maintaining brand standards, including use of logos, colors, and terminology
  • Presenting visual concepts in a range of media such as sketches, computer generated images or renderings, or three-dimensional models
  • Communicating with clients, contractors, subcontractors, and other team members to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget
  • Using software such as graphic design or illustration programs to create concept illustrations based on client input
  • Developing concepts for product packaging or interior design projects, such as retail stores or restaurants
  • Evaluating new technologies and techniques for feasibility in application to projects
  • Making sketches, models, or other preliminary designs for products or concepts that will be developed into finished products by other designers or engineers
  • Participating in brainstorming sessions with other members of a design team to develop ideas for projects
  • Communicating design concepts to clients using sketches, renderings, or other methods of visual communication

Creative Designer Salary & Outlook

Creative designers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company or organization they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of creative designers is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited because many companies have already established design departments and hired their own designers. However, demand for designers’ services should remain strong as firms continue to invest in branding and marketing campaigns.

Creative Designer Job Requirements

A creative designer typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Creative designers typically need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, fine arts, illustration or a related field. Some of the coursework they complete includes drawing, painting, color theory, graphic design, photography, computer graphics and art history.

Many creative designers also have an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as fine arts, graphic design or illustration.

Training & Experience: Creative designers typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced designers. This training may include learning the company’s design software, design process and design style. Creative designers may also receive training in the form of seminars or classes. Some creative designers attend design programs or design schools to learn the basics of design and to prepare themselves for a career in the field.

Certifications & Licenses: Creative designers do not need any certifications to earn a living. That said, there are certifications available for creative designers who wish to increase their earning potential or make themselves more competitive when applying to jobs.

Creative Designer Skills

Creative designers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Creativity: Creativity is the ability to generate new ideas and solutions. This is an important skill for designers because it allows them to come up with new and innovative design solutions for their clients. Creativity can also help you think of new ways to improve existing designs.

Communication: Communication is the ability to convey information to others in a clear and understandable way. As a designer, you may be required to communicate with clients, other designers and other team members. Creative designers who have excellent communication skills can relay information in a way that others can understand.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. As a designer, you may be responsible for finding solutions to problems that arise during the design process. Your ability to identify and solve problems can help you create more effective designs and improve the overall quality of your work.

Research: Researching is the ability to find information and data. Designers use research to learn about their audience, the company they work for and the products they create. They use research to find inspiration for their designs and to find new design ideas.

Time management: Time management is the ability to meet deadlines and complete projects within the time allotted. This is an important skill for designers to have as it ensures they meet the expectations of their clients. Creative designers often have to manage multiple projects at once, so it’s important for them to be able to prioritize their tasks and manage their time accordingly.

Creative Designer Work Environment

Creative designers work in a variety of settings, including advertising agencies, public relations firms, marketing departments, and design studios. They may also be self-employed. Most creative designers work full time and some work more than 40 hours per week to meet deadlines. Many designers work in teams with other designers, writers, and artists. Although most of the work is done indoors in an office or studio, some travel may be required for meetings, to present ideas, or to conduct research. Designers may work on several projects at the same time and often work under tight deadlines.

Creative Designer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how creative designers work. Creative designers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Digital Creative

The digital world is growing at a rapid pace, and businesses are increasingly turning to creative professionals to help them develop a strong online presence. This trend is leading to an increased demand for creative designers who can create visually-appealing websites and marketing materials.

As more and more businesses turn to digital channels to reach their customers, creative designers will need to be able to create content that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. They will also need to be familiar with the latest web design trends in order to stay ahead of the competition.

More Collaboration Between Design and Development Teams

Design and development teams are becoming more collaborative as they work together to create products that are both beautiful and functional. This trend is being driven by the increasing popularity of user experience (UX) design, which focuses on creating products that are easy to use and understand.

As a creative designer, you can capitalize on this trend by developing skills in UX design and communication. This will allow you to better collaborate with developers and ensure that your designs are implemented correctly.

Greater Emphasis on User Experience

User experience (UX) has become a critical component of product development in recent years, as companies have come to realize that a good user experience leads to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.

As a creative designer, you can play a key role in ensuring that products have a positive user experience. This involves not only designing attractive interfaces, but also understanding how users interact with products and what they expect from them.

How to Become a Creative Designer

A creative designer career can be a great way to express your creativity and make a living. There are many different types of creative designers, so it’s important to figure out which type best fits your personality and skills.

If you’re just starting out in your creative designer career, it’s important to build up your portfolio with examples of your work. You can do this by volunteering for projects or taking on freelance jobs. This will help you gain experience and show potential employers what you’re capable of.

It’s also important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in design. Read blogs and articles about design, attend workshops and conferences, and try new tools and techniques. This will help you develop your own unique style and stand out from the competition.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as a creative designer. One of the best ways is to get further education in your field. This will enable you to apply for positions that are not otherwise open to you. For example, a designer with a bachelor’s degree may wish to get an advanced degree, which will allow him or her to apply for teaching or research positions.

Another way to advance your career is to get specialty certification. For example, the American Institute of Graphic Arts offers certification for graphic designers. This can help you to get jobs that require this certification.

You can also advance your career by becoming involved in professional organizations. For example, the Graphic Artists Guild offers membership to graphic designers. This can help you to network with other designers and to stay up-to-date on industry news.

Creative Designer Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we’re looking for a creative and innovative thinker to join our team as a full-time creative designer. The ideal candidate will have experience with a variety of design software programs and a strong portfolio of previous work. He or she will be responsible for creating concepts and designs for a variety of projects, including print, web, mobile, and video. The creative designer will work closely with the accounts and copywriting teams to develop concepts and messaging that meet the client’s objectives.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand project requirements and objectives, then develop creative concepts that meet or exceed those expectations
  • Generate innovative ideas that are on-brand, on-strategy, and on-budget while adhering to timelines
  • Create high-quality visual designs—including website layouts, digital advertising, email marketing campaigns, social media assets, infographics, presentations, and more—that reflect the company’s style guide and brand standards
  • Incorporate feedback from stakeholders in a timely and professional manner to iterate on designs
  • Manage multiple projects at various stages of development simultaneously while meeting deadlines
  • Stay up-to-date on latest industry trends and technologies, as well as best practices for web design, user experience, and email marketing
  • Collaborate with team members—including copywriters, developers, and other designers—to ensure all deliverables are on-brand and on-strategy
  • Effectively communicate design rationale to stakeholders
  • Prepare final files for print or digital distribution
  • Assist with photo shoots and video production as needed
  • Maintain an organized and efficient workflow
  • Continuously improve design skills through research, experimentation, and practice

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, fine arts, or related field
  • 5+ years professional experience as a creative designer
  • Expertise with design software, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, AfterEffects, etc.
  • Strong portfolio of previous work, demonstrating exceptional creativity and innovative thinking
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills
  • Proven ability to work independently and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with video editing and animation
  • Working knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Familiarity with content management systems, such as WordPress and Drupal
  • Knowledge of UX/UI design principles
  • A passion for continued education and keeping up with the latest trends in design


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