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Any graphic designers out there?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by duo8675309, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. duo8675309


    Jun 5, 2005
    I'm a sophomore in college majoring in graphic design. I suppose every college student goes through second thoughts, and now it's my turn. So tell me, how do you like it? Are you a free lance designer or do you work for a company? How's the pay?
  2. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    If you're good, it depends on where you live.

    Pay ranges from 30k to 80k a year - depending on experience and location.

    I'm right in the middle, and have 10 years in the industry.
  3. Simo98


    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    I do a bit of it, mainly for small business just contracting, nothing serious, im actually studying engineering at the moment, but am considering looking at deferring a year or two and working in graphic design a bit more.

    I'd love to hear from some guys in the industry too. Also, what is doing a degree in graphic design like? Its never something I really considered studying.
  4. Mr wiggl3s

    Mr wiggl3s Banned

    Feb 27, 2009
    You and every other kid in america.
  5. My daughter graduated from RISD in Illustration 3 years ago.

    She's making about 30K at Whole Foods marketing dept. ROI sucks!
  6. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    I have a degree in Comm Arts with a concentration in design.

    Let me tell you right now that print is dieing, so study web (RGB for life!, you CMYKers can suck it! :D )...if you can design your way out of a paper bag and code HTML/CSS decently well, you'll always have work as a designer, a developer or both. Check out CSS Zen Garden and start reading http://alistapart.com

    I primarily work as a Web Developer right now, a coding job opened up for me right out of school and I took it, my design portfolio stagnated and I found much better paying jobs by learning some Js and PHP and becoming a full time dev...I have 6 years in web (3 out of school) and I'm making money outside of Peledog's range there, because I bought an AJAX book at borders.

    I still design on the side because I enjoy it but Dev is a hotter market right now (3 years ago designers made more, now it's really shifting as flash has begun taking it's nose dive and fancy JS driven sites, mobile C# stuff and PHP driven social media take off)

    Freelance is a female dog, it would be great to never leave my bedroom but there are no clients in my bedroom, and you don't meet clients from your bedroom (unless they are really creepy clients). You have to know people before you can go into freelance, you'll also have a hell of a time getting paid for anything you do and keeping you clients demands inline with initial goals...you also don't get health insurance from your bedroom...and sometimes there will be so little work that you might get kicked out of your bedroom and have to go live in your old bedroom (the one at mom's house with the race car bed).

    However almost everyone I know working corporate has freelance gigs on the side for extra dough (myself included)...I know a guy who got his kids free karate lessons for life by designing a website :p You just need to go out and work and if you are good enough other people at work will start asking you to do things they can't for money.

    Also you need to account for location...you wanna design you need to be in NY or LA, where the marketing industry is.

    Lastly I've worked with some really crappy designers, you don't have to be the best you just have to know people.

    Ps. This is me BTW

    ...One last word of advice...design is like music... if you keep trying to be Yoko and re-invent the wheel every time your designs are going to suck (I know people like this, their work is hideousness and non-nonsensical), every good design is a conscious or subconscious copy of other things the designer has seen, made to fit within the current project. Stick to 1-4-5 at first and throw a fill in there every once in awhile and you will do alright...and like in music you have a style you need to find, I used to work with about 10 designers and I could tell who did a site without looking it up just because of things like font choice, spacing, color choice, gradient use, texture use, key element placement...
  7. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    It's a cruel market. If you're good and ambitious you can get very far (Dustin Curtis, Stefan Sagmeister, Jason Santa Maria, Frank Chimero, etc.)

    The salary scale goes from under 10k a year for a struggling freelancer who doesn't believe in self-promotion, to well over 100k/yr for sought-after information architects or UI experts. If you're educated and have a strong portfolio, you should expect around 30k for a first job you enter without much experience.

    I used to be freelance, I am now employed. This is the site that landed me most contracts then, and the job now.
  8. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    I got one and found myself fighting for jobs and work. I'm just not a good enough salesman to sell people on graphic design. I'd say it depends on your personality and drive. It's definitely a personality-driven field, more than idea or talent (IME).
  9. Cosmo420


    Sep 10, 2010
    Roanoke, VA
    I've been a graphic designer for 21 years, primarily in the print industry. But, as everyone knows, print is a dying industry. In the last 10 years, I've been doing more and more with the web side of things.

    Go into another field. Trust me. There is just way too much competition to make a living. I'm currently looking into other fields.

    The main problem is that if you open the phone book and look up "web designers" or "graphic designers", you find 50 or more even in small cities. 90% of them are kids with a computer set up in their parents' basement. They charge next to nothing because they can. I have my own office that I rent, insurance, business license, merchant account, etc. I can't compete with them. I recently lost a big job to one of these "designers". I bid $1000 on a job and that was low, but I need the work. The kid that got it bid $175.

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