Pathfinder International focuses on new starts for 2019 with a look at an alternative career option, often overlooked on leaving the military, that of a graphic designer.

Becoming a graphic designer isn’t just a job, it’s a career — there’s a key difference. It allows people to use their creative flair and generate something that they’re proud of, and it’s often shown off to others as part of promotional material. So, how can you secure a job in this sector?

Choosing a role

There’s an array of different sectors that a graphic designer can step in to — from working inhouse for a brand, outdoor sign companies or agencies. But what roles are out there?

An insight to branding

How your brand is perceived by the public has never been more important, so many businesses rely heavily on design. It helps them project their message to a target market and create a memorable brand image. Some companies have design teams in-house and others outsource to marketing and design agencies. It’s down to you to decide which environment you think you’d enjoy most. In an agency role for example, you could be working with a variety of businesses and projects all at one. As part of an in-house team, you’d work solely with that brand.

What do projects look like? Here, you’d work closely with the company to determine target markets and talk about how the brand can be best represented visually.

An insight to typography

Do you know what the duties of a typographer entail? These people are trained in the design of type and lettering, another important part of creating visuals. As you’re probably aware, a logo or the typography of a company can become widely recognisable by customers — take Coca Cola for example.

The power of the English language is something that can’t be defied and creating extravagant styles of text is something a typographer would do. This is quite a niche area, therefore many designers specialise in this alongside other areas of design.

An insight to editorial design

For people interested in editorial design, you’ll be behind the creation of magazines which can range from online and offline activity. This type of design requires an eye for composition, layout and aesthetically pleasing typography.

The ideal candidate:

  • The ability to recognise attractive content
  • Understand what the reader wants to see on the page
  • Be skilled in the layout of images and content

An insight to illustration

A lot of illustrators will find themselves working for or with animation studios. Or, you might find yourself in a company role who require illustrations to spread their brand message or inform their audience.

The duties:

  • Designing posters
  • Creating storyboards
  • Producing images for books and book covers
  • Designing merchandise products
  • Getting involved with film and cartoon creation
  • Video game and app design

Although some illustrators may be able to work across different types of projects, some do specialise in certain industries. Here, they create imagery for text books and material to help readers understand the subject.

Conduct plenty of research to find the job that you’re most interested in.

The value of studying and experience

You may think that a career in design is all about talent, and although this is somewhat true, it’s also about experience — making the effort to find your place in a growing industry and developing a collection of your own work.

However, university is one of the many options for a career in graphic design. Each course is different, depending on the university but most of them cover the following topics:

  • The influences of graphic design
  • Styles of typography
  • How branding and design comes together

But, to get on such courses, you must have a strong portfolio to back up your passion. If you do not have one, through an Art and Design related GCSE or A-level you can start to discover your own style and use the work to create a portfolio for the future.

As mentioned previously, a lot of companies value experience. Why not get in touch with a local design agency or local business? If you don’t mind working unpaid, it’s likely that businesses will take you up on your offer.

Article produced by Mediaworks, on behalf of Where The Trade Buys.

Read the entire new year, new start section inside the latest issue of Pathfinder at: