Career Development

What Does a Designer Do?

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

Designers are responsible for creating the visual elements of a product or service. They use their creativity and technical skills to develop branding, packaging, advertising, web design, etc. Their work is often seen by millions of people every day—but they rarely get any credit for it!

Designer Job Duties

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

  • Completing sketches of design ideas and presenting them to clients for feedback and approval
  • Communicating with clients to determine their needs and preferences
  • Creating computer models of designs using software such as Autodesk Maya or 3ds Max
  • Presenting finished designs to clients for approval
  • Creating renderings of designs to be used in marketing materials
  • Preparing sketches and drawings of interior design elements such as floor plans, room layouts, and architectural details
  • Preparing computer models of designs using design software such as AutoCAD or SketchUp
  • Reviewing client requests for changes to designs, making revisions where necessary, and presenting new designs to clients for approval
  • Collaborating with architects, interior designers, contractors, and other professionals on large projects

Designer Salary & Outlook

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

  • Median Annual Salary: $73,500 ($35.34/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

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

Employment growth will be limited because many products and services are now designed with computer software rather than by hand. However, demand for designers is expected to remain strong in fields that require creative problem solving, such as product design and graphic design.

Designer Job Requirements

A designer typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most designers have at least a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, fine arts or a related field. Some designers choose to pursue a master’s degree in graphic design or fine arts to further their education and increase their earning potential.

Training & Experience: Most design firms will require candidates to have at least five years of experience in the industry. Some design firms may require candidates to have more than 10 years of experience. Experience in the industry will help designers learn the necessary skills to become successful in their roles.

Designers can gain experience in the following ways:

Working as an intern Working as an assistant to a designer Working as a graphic designer in an advertising agency Working as a web designer in a web development firm

Working in any of these roles will help designers learn the necessary skills to become successful in a design firm.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

Designer Skills

Designers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Creativity: Creativity is the ability to generate new ideas and solutions. Designers use creativity to develop new products and processes. They use their imagination to create new designs and solve problems.

Technical skills: Designers use technical skills to create prototypes and models of their designs. They may use computer-aided design software to create models of their designs and then use a 3D printer to create the physical model. They may also use technical skills to create a virtual reality experience of their design.

Communication: Communication is another skill that designers use to convey their ideas to clients and colleagues. They may use written communication to send emails, create presentations or draft contracts. They may also use verbal communication to explain their design ideas to clients and colleagues.

Problem-solving: Designers use problem-solving skills to find solutions to challenges in their designs. For example, they may need to find a way to make a design work with a specific material or within a certain budget. They may also use problem-solving skills to find ways to improve a design after receiving feedback from clients.

Time management: Time management skills can help you meet deadlines and complete projects on time. As a designer, you may have several projects going at once, so it’s important to prioritize your work and manage your time accordingly. This can help you meet the expectations of your employer and clients.

Designer Work Environment

Designers work in a variety of settings, including advertising agencies, public relations firms, graphic design studios, and in-house corporate design departments. They may also be self-employed. Many designers work a standard 40-hour week, although deadlines and other demands may require them to work evenings and weekends. Some designers travel frequently to meet with clients or to attend conferences.

Designer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how designers work. 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 Designer

The role of the designer is changing as technology advances, and this is especially true for digital designers. As more and more businesses move towards a digital-first approach, the need for talented designers who can create beautiful and functional websites, apps, and other digital products will continue to grow.

Designers who are able to adapt to this new landscape will be in high demand, as they will be able to create beautiful and functional designs that meet the needs of today’s consumers. In addition, digital designers will need to be well-versed in marketing and branding concepts in order to create products that resonate with customers.

More Collaboration Between Design and Development Teams

As design and development teams become more collaborative, there is an increasing need for designers who are able to work across disciplines. This trend is leading to a greater demand for designers who are able to not only create visually appealing designs, but also develop those designs into working products.

In order to take advantage of this trend, designers should focus on developing their skills in areas such as user experience, interaction design, and product management. They should also be willing to collaborate with developers and other members of the team in order to create products that are both visually appealing and functional.

User Experience (UX) Will Be More Important Than Ever

As users become more accustomed to using technology, the importance of good user experience (UX) has become increasingly evident. This means that designers who are able to create interfaces that are easy to use and understand will be in high demand.

Designers can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in UX design. This includes understanding how to create intuitive interfaces that are easy to navigate, as well as designing products that are easy to use and understand.

How to Become a Designer

A career in design can be incredibly rewarding. It offers the opportunity to create beautiful things that people will use and enjoy every day. However, it’s important to consider all the aspects of this career before you jump in.

One of the most important things to think about is what type of designer you want to be. There are many different specializations within the field of design, including graphic design, web design, industrial design, and fashion design. Each of these areas has its own unique set of challenges and rewards, so it’s important to find one that matches your interests and skills.

Another important consideration is where you want to work. Some designers prefer to work for large companies, while others prefer to work independently or start their own businesses. No matter which path you choose, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in your field.

Related: How to Write a Designer Resume

Advancement Prospects

As a designer, you may find that you advance in your career as you develop a strong portfolio and client base. You may also move up within your current organization, or start your own design firm. In addition, as you gain experience, you may become a lead designer or creative director.

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