Job profile

Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer Job Profile

What is a Graphic Designer?

As a graphic designer, your main role will be to develop eye-catching visuals for a range of purposes and media, such as:

  • Websites
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Books and magazines
  • Posters
  • Video games
  • Product packaging
  • Exhibitions and displays
  • Corporate communications
  • Corporate identity, meaning the visual representation of brands and organisations.

You will have to agree on a brief with your client, and from then, you will take ownership over developing the creative ideas and concepts that meet the brief and the client’s objectives. To succeed as a graphic designer, you will have to be creatively talented and have a genuine passion for industry knowledge and software. You will also need to have the professional capabilities to be able to meet deadlines and budgets. 


In the role of a graphic designer, your tasks will include:

  • Meeting with clients or account managers to understand the business goals and requirements of a project
  • Providing estimates of the time and cost required to complete a job
  • Creating design briefs that effectively convey the client’s vision and objectives
  • Brainstorming and generating fresh ideas and concepts, as well as creating interactive designs
  • Adapting design briefs to fit within project deadlines and budgetary constraints
  • Presenting final designs to clients or account managers
  • Working with various media, including computer-aided design (CAD), and keeping up-to-date with new technologies
  • Proofreading to ensure high-quality work with no errors
  • Demonstrating illustration skills through rough sketches and preparing layouts for print
  • Hiring illustrators and photographers, if necessary


Based on data from Glassdoor, the average salary for a graphic designer across the UK is £27,771.

However, this can vary based on factors such as location, sector of employment, and level of experience. Typically, graphic designers in larger cities such as London tend to earn higher salaries. In-house design teams may offer more competitive salaries than design agencies. Ultimately, earning potential depends on a variety of factors and can vary significantly from job to job.

  • Junior graphic designers can earn between £18,000 to £23,000. 
  • Once you are more experienced, you can expect to earn up to £27,000
  • Salaries for more senior graphic designers can rise to £35,000 to £55,000. 
  • If you decide to work on a freelance basis you can earn between £200 to £400 a day. You can determine your own salary based on your experience and track record. 

As a graphic designer, you can expect to work around 37 to 40 hours per week, with some flexibility around your start and finish times. However, when deadlines are approaching, you may be required to work extra hours. Part-time opportunities may exist, but they can be difficult to find. If you plan to work as a self-employed graphic designer, you’ll typically need to have several years of experience and established professional contacts.

  • As a graphic designer, you can expect to work in a shared studio or office as part of a team, but you may also work independently. Freelancers have the option of sharing office space, renting studio space or working from home. You’ll typically spend a lot of time sitting at a computer. Your job satisfaction will come from producing high-quality designs and seeing your work in use, as well as building a strong reputation. Although most work is studio-based, you may need to travel within the working day to meet clients, but working away from home is rare.


must have skills:
  • Drawing / technical skills
  • Passion for design and be creatively inclined. 
  • Flexible and able to work well in a team. 
  • Communication is a crucial aspect of the job, as you will need to interpret and negotiate briefs with clients, as well as present and sell ideas to clients and colleagues. 
  • Time management is essential, as you will likely be juggling multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Accuracy and attention to detail are also essential, particularly when finalising designs. 
  • Openness to feedback and willingness to make changes to designs is crucial for success in graphic design.

Work experience

Participating in a live project and creating a portfolio of your work are highly valuable for gaining work experience. Assessing your portfolio while still in university can also be beneficial, as it will provide you with the opportunity to speak confidently about your work during job interviews.

Professional development
  • The majority of your learning will be gained through work experience, with formal training usually focused on industry-specific software.
  • As a graphic designer, you will need to be proficient in using various software packages, including Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign, and QuarkXPress.
  • Some employers may provide funding for training courses, but as a freelancer or self-employed individual, you will have to arrange and pay for your own training.
  • It’s common to acquire new skills as you work on specific projects to meet their requirements.

Most vacancies are within agencies specialising in advertising design but you can also find in-house roles within various businesses and organisations, including;

Career development

Progression is fairly quick, it is possible to climb up the ladder from a junior within two to three years. It’s important that you establish your reputation, network and portfolio in the early stages of your career. Senior designer roles will be open for you to apply to after approx five years. It’s important to carefully consider your career moves and the development opportunities at each stage or opening.

Related Courses

BA (Hons) International Business

Studying towards a BA (Hons) in International Business sets students up with the necessary skills to work in a range of professions. The course involves working closely with academic theory and practical case studies, allowing students to grasp how the theory can be applied in real business scenarios. 

Within this programme, students will cover modules such as business studies, finance, human resource management, marketing, and economics. BA International Business takes a very hands-on approach to learning by incorporating workshops, guest lectures and field trips into the programme.

MBA with Digital Marketing

The MBA component of the course takes a broad look at business practice and functions such as accounts, finance, and HR – and how they are all interlinked. This allows students to grasp the importance of strategy and communication within a managerial role. Alongside a broad business view, this course allows students to specialise in digital marketing in a more focused way. The marketing aspect of the programme is intended to allow professionals with substantial digital marketing experience to hone their skills to enhance their career prospects. Areas of study include digital marketing strategy, management, social media marketing, search engine optimisation, pay per click, email and influencer marketing.

Other related courses include:

FAQ Summary

As a graphic designer you will be responsible for creating visuals that stand out, for a variety of products and activities.

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a graphic designer is £27,771. Salaries vary depending on the sector of employment, location and your experience and reputation. The best-paid jobs are usually in London and other large cities. In-house design teams tend to offer higher salaries than design agencies.

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