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The Levels of Graphic Design

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The Levels of Graphic Design

By: Sharlene Hiratsuka

Graphic design is the creation of visual concepts, by hand or using computer software, to communicate and translate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers. They help to make an organization recognizable by choice of color, images, or logos designs that represent a particular idea or identity to be used in advertising and promotions (Joshua Johnson). Going over the multiple levels in the graphical design world will give a better idea of how much this career entails. Even though each level has its own requirements succeeding in any of these levels will be a challenge for someone coming straight out of college instruction. After explanation one will have a better understanding of the Graphic Designers position out in the world.

There are four main career levels or stages of graphic design. First one is Entry Level/Mac Operator Designer. This term you almost will never hear but you will see it in print. Also often referred to or AKA "Mac Specialist", "art worker", "entry level designer", and "graphic designer" (Joshua Johnson). A Mac Operator is someone who can use a Mac for desktop publishing. Expectations for a Mac operator aren't high as to its entry level. Therefore much creativity is not expected (Joshua Johnson). Mac operator position is restricted to converting new existing low resolution art work or sketches from designers to a layered print ready file (Joshua Johnson). They can also be required to make changes to preexisting work created by someone else. Therefore a bachelor's degree is required for most entry level positions but some technical positions may only require an associate's degree (Bureau of Labor Statistics). A lot of employers would also like a qualified candidate to possess creativity, communication, and problem solving skills. So even with an AA in Graphic Design to most it is still not enough (allthingspolitical).

The second level or stage is Midlevel Designer. Most have three to seven years of experience. With a reasonable pay increase over the years and freedom to create or join in on custom design projects from the ground up whether it is a team member or solo designer (Joshua Johnson). You'll find midlevel designers mainly in advertisement agencies, marketing companies, and dedicated designer firms. Midlevel designers are the heart of the industry and usually are the ones who produce the largest volume of work (Joshua Johnson). This work then goes up the chain for approval and suggestions. Pay table is widely ranged and hours can be hectic. Some are required to develop designs including interactive experiences, 3-D exhibit elements and interiors (GALLAGHER & ASSOCIATES). It may also be required to have a high level of fluency with Adobe CS Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), Word and Excel. Most likely it will take a lot of hard work and dedication to land a position in the midlevel stage.

The third level or stage is Senior Designer. Descriptions of duties are minuet in this title. Experience is looked for here over duties (Joshua Johnson). Six years of experience have a better chance at landing this position. Most design teams have one or two senior designers and a handful of low to midlevel designers. Senior designers are often the ones to listen to. The experienced ones whose opinions carry more weight and paychecks resemble slightly higher numbers without the title "Boss" (Joshua Johnson). Senior designers is usually the one that

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