Three Off-the-beaten Path Graphic Design Careers

According to The Princeton Review, nearly 25,000 people try to enter the field of graphic design each year. But only about 60 percent persevere the first two years, and only about 30 percent make it to the 5 year mark.

Perhaps that means graphic design is a tough career to pursue. Or perhaps those lost souls with a graphic design education aren’t looking at all the different ways to use their design skills.

Graphic designers aren’t limited to cut-throat agency life or the unstable freelance market. So before you even think about giving up, take a minute to consider a few examples of some interesting and unorthodox design careers:

1. Film Title Design

A good film title sequence sets the tone, builds up anticipation–and can sometimes be better than the film itself. Who could forget those iconic James Bond title sequences?

Info graphic, courtesy of the National Science Foundation

2. Visual Journalism

Both news professionals and visual communicators,  visual journalists know how to tell a story through maps, info-graphics, videos, illustrations, and more.

3. Environmental Design

Environmental design can be architecture-focused, but it also includes executing something like the overall visual design for the Olympics. From ensuring cohesive signage to syncing up the looks of the stadiums, it takes a graphic designer’s eye to pull it all together.

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  1. Posted July 19, 2010 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  2. Posted July 24, 2010 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Amiable post and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.

  3. Posted October 2, 2010 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    There are many great help comments on this site. Very informative and some, extremely useful. BuuuUUT… The one ingredient missing from most of these design forums is sound advice on how the designer markets to layman clients. Chances are, a client that sells pipe fittings won’t know diddly-squat about graphic or web design, or what we’re selling at all, even when we send him an ice-breaker. Many designers tend to write their sales pitch using acronyms and other esoteric lingo, that only our colleagues will understand. I mean, that’s ok when you’re audience is fellow designers, but let’s face it, when’s the last time you did a job for a designer? My guess is almost never.

    The first order of business (in any business) is gaining clients, not making money. Money will come with service at the forefront. Thus, good marketing skills are the hinges of the great door of opportunity to offer those services.

    The human brain requires association to understand what’s being communicated to it. It will churn away until it has made sense of the request… Or it will just choose to ignore it altogether. Thus, to attract the potential layman client, we need to communicate with a casual yet, catchy approach, using words that easily fit into their already pre-wired brain grid.

    For instance: if you’re marketing to Real Estate companies for a web re-design.. You DON’T want to say something like this: “Make The Most Out Of Your Re-Designed URL With Our SEO Package Deal!” They may be scratching their heads asking themselves, What’s a URL?… And what does SEO stand for??Or, more often, they will just tune out and click the delete key.

    Instead, maybe you can use terms they’re familiar with, such as: “Location, location, location… Let us help make your online location one to be reckoned with, Worldwide!? This relates to what they already know but in a unique message.

    Being known as a good graphic designer is kind of like the guy who invented the paper clip… They’re everywhere… And you know someone came up with this… But, who?

    You must promote yourself web-wide as much as possible. Why? Because, even if you’re considered the most awesome designer by many of your clients, believe me, they will not publicize you… unless you request them to, and even then they may not. Many great designers fail (and are failing as I speak) because of this one vital lesson. YOU MUST PROMOTE YOURSELF EFFECTIVELY AND CONSISTENTLY, AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.

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