Graphic Design & Multimedia

As the official “face” of a product, a logo can make or break its success.
Products such as Coke and Nike have famous logos that are recognized worldwide. The golden arches have become synonymous with only one fast-food restaurant – McDonalds. Simplistic as their logos may be, they are eye-catching and memorable, which helps consumers to remember the products associated with them.
The people who create these logos are called graphic artists. They create visual concepts and then either sketch them out by hand or use specialized computer software to bring them to life. Creativity, art and technology come together to create the perfect storm and the perfect graphic design.
Graphic artists don’t just design logos. They are responsible for the design of magazine covers, marketing brochures and other multimedia products.
Education Requirements

A variety of degree options are available for graphic arts and multimedia.
Associate degrees take two years to complete and are among the most popular education options for this industry. Courses are available in both a traditional setting and online, and will teach students the basics of digital imaging, graphic design, graphic design software, printing and production techniques and web page design and development.
Students who earn an associate degree are able to enter the workforce immediately if they choose. The education provided in an associate program is more than sufficient to work in the field.
However, those who have aspirations of working as independent contractors or who wish to own their own graphic arts and multimedia company may wish to pursue a bachelor or master degree in graphic design. In addition to providing the basics of the industry, these advanced-degree programs also will cover marketing, publishing and print media, and instruct students on how to build a solid portfolio. Graduate degree programs include additional training in management skills.
While it is helpful for those who are pursuing this kind of an education to be naturally creative, it is not required. All quality graphic arts and multimedia programs will teach students methods to use in order to come up with ideas for designs.
There are numerous programs available – both online and traditional – for graphic arts and multimedia degrees. As with any other program, students are advised to find one that is accredited. The accepted accrediting agency for art-related programs is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Future Outlook

Demand for qualified graphic designers is expected to grow by 13 percent between now and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The printing and publishing industry is expected to produce the highest demand for graphic and multimedia artists, with the fastest rate of growth (61 percent) in the computer systems design and related services.

The average annual salary for a graphic designer possessing bachelor degree is $43,500. The top 10 percent of wage earners in this industry make over $76,000.

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