What does a graphic designer do?

To answer this, we will have to take a look at the different main types of graphic designers that there are.

There are 4 main types of graphic designer

 1) In House graphic designers

In-house graphic designers are generalist; they need the ability to deal with all areas of graphic design. They are usually working for a company that does not necessarily specialise in one thing.

An in-house designers job generally consists of the following tasks: designing logos for products, print advertising, web design, online marketing, creating graphical banners, business cards, letterheads, designs for mobile, banners and large billboards. They do all of this for a single paycheck!

2) Freelance designers

Freelancer designers are similar to in house designers in the sense that they have to be generalists with a broad skill set, there are however also successful freelancers that only specialize in one specific thing such as logo design, brand identity, user interaction, print or website design.

However, unlike in-house designers, freelance designers are self-employed and need to attract and retain their own portfolio of clients in order to make ends meet. For this reason, freelance graphic designers tend to charge more money. In addition to their basic professional rate, freelance designers also need to account for the following factors within the fee they charge : –

  • No holiday pay
  • No sick pay
  • No pension scheme or other benefits in kind that employees would usually have
  • Insurance policy fees
  • Purchase of their own equipment
  • Software costs
  • Rent of office/workspace

3) Agency Graphic Designers

 Agency designers also have to be generalists, but they do the work to a very high standard. They often work in small teams and have to have a broad skillset to keep up to date with the changing demands of clients. Agency designers need to be consistent across campaigns and products to keep overheads and costs low. They need to handle web, print, logo identity, illustration, and basic web design.

4) Studio Graphic Designers

Design studios and boutiques are usually small teams of designers that work together to create large overall projects. Studio graphic designers tend to specialise in one single thing. This could include animation, branding, business cards, etc.

Examples of what designers do

Good graphic design is foremost about good visual communication and story telling. Presentation and how things look are also important, but it is the story behind the design that makes it special.

Graphic designers create packaging, advertising, web design, business cards, general marketing materials, poster designs, flyers, magazine layouts, adverts for newspapers and publication houses. Graphic designers create anything, as their business is to essentially create and make things.

There are many things that you can do as a graphic designer from being a Photoshop artist to an illustrator or even an animator. You could choose multiple disciplines or a combination of one or two things.


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