So you’re wondering if you want to focus your creative energy into a career in graphic designing. Here are a few industry statistics related to graphic design; according to Finances Online, the total revenue generated by the US graphic design industry in 2019 is $15 billion. Moreover, 71% of businesses created 10 times the amount of designs in 2015 than a few years back.
In this article, I’m going to discuss 8 key pros and cons of graphic design which will hopefully help you get a good overall understanding of the industry.
So first, let’s talk about some pros of graphic design.
Pros of Graphic Designing:
1. Being Creative, Fun & Exciting:
If you’re a person who loves being creative, graphic design is a good career choice for you on a day to day basis. You will be problem-solving while coming up with cool, inventive solutions and creating a range of graphics and design ideas.
Graphic design can be really hard work, but at the same time it can be really fun to bring your imagination to life by being creative.
2. It’s Challenging:
Graphic design is by no means easy. You’re pretty much problem solving most of the time. So to produce great work, you will have to push yourself, harness your skills, be resourceful, tackle complex briefs and be able to produce great results swiftly.
3. Requires Research:
To produce original and exciting work, you’re going to have to do a lot of research. Often you will find yourself learning and discovering things you didn’t previously know. Getting paid to research and learn. How cool is that?
4. Multiple Creative Disciplines:
There are no limits to the techniques you can use to create your work. To name a few: Illustration, online tools such as Pixelied, photography, screen printing, digital art, 3D modeling. The list goes on and on. One of the great things about graph design is that it can be diverse and you don’t have to be tied to one medium.
5. Having a Portfolio:
So you may spend hours, days or weeks working on a particular project at the end of it, you will most likely have something to show for it. Over time, you will build a portfolio of all your work which can be added in your website and showcased to potential clients.
Being a graphic designer can be really hard work, but you really get out what you put in. If you do a great job and your client is happy, that can be really rewarding.
You may enter a design competition and win some recognition that can be rewarding or if you create a design like a logo that gets used to add marketing value to a client and improve their business, it can be rewarding and pleasing.
7. Collaboration with Other People:
You will be required to work alone, but you may often have to work with other creative professionals as part of a team. It can be a great experience and rewarding working with other passionate people.
Collaboration can lead to amazing work. Everyone sees things differently when you’re bouncing ideas off another designer. Some amazing ideas are often generated when you discuss it with other people.
8. Career Prospects:
As you mature as a designer, you build your experience and reputation over the period of time. You can move into more senior design roles and look to become maybe an art director or creative director. You may wish to become a freelancer and work for yourself or maybe start your own creative agency in graphic designing.
There are lots of opportunities to further your career in graphic designing. On a whole, graphic design is a really interesting and fulfilling career to get into especially in this day and age where technology is rapidly growing with the blink of an eye. But like any job, it’s not all perfect.
So now let’s talk about some cons to being a graphic designer:
Cons of Graphic Designing:
1. Location Specific:
If you want to become a graphic designer, you will have to accept the prospect of having to move where the industry is and these days, that’s typically a city. Graphic design is not all commercial work, but a lot of jobs and a lot of well-paid jobs exist in cities.
So to get work and start out, you may have to move to where the work is.
2. Increasing Competition:
You are basically being paid to be creative and because of that a lot of people want to do it, which means there is a lot of competition when starting out and looking for jobs.
It can be really tough. You will be up against lots of other candidates, which may often have more experience than you.
3. It is a Marathon not a Sprint:
A lot of people pursue graphic design, but not everyone becomes a graphic designer or stays a designer. The path to become a successful graphic designer could be a long and expensive one. Fortunately, today, it’s not all about talent and skill. It’s as much about attitude, discipline, application and determination.
Everyone’s path is different. Some take longer than others to get to where they want to be. Though if one stays highly motivated, disciplined and applies themselves, they will eventually achieve. The industry is competitive and one will have to keep learning and building a better portfolio.
If one wishes to progress and succeed, this may mean having to sacrifice a lot of time to achieve this number for learning creative software tools to work in the design industry.
You will need to be proficient in essential creative programs. There are lots of software tools out there today and each one has a steep learning curve.
4. Finding the Right Job in the Industry:
Finding a job can be tough, but what can be even harder is finding the right job, the job where you will be happy, the job where you will get creative satisfaction, the job where you will potentially develop your career.
Some job vacancies can be pretty vague. It is only when you attend an interview you can get a good vibe for the job you are applying for.
It can be disheartening attending interviews only to learn it’s not right for you more often than not, until you are working in that role for that agency or company. You will never truly know what your role will be. So finding the right roles can be hard, especially when starting out.
5. It’s a Desk Job:
One of the biggest downsides to graphic designing is that most of the time you will be seated at a desk in front of a computer for long hours. Graphic design is commonly not a nine to five job.
If you’re working on a big project, a pitch or you’re facing a tight deadline, you may be expected to work long hours, even weekends, to get a job done.
Now, if you’re lucky, this may not happen very often, but if you find yourself working for a busy agency, this may be the norm.
6. Working Under Pressure:
You may not always have as much time as you want to fully research and develop a piece of work or simply enjoy the job. There will be times when you will have to work to tight deadlines. This can put a lot of pressure on you and can be stressful.
7. Working Under Someone:
Working in the industry, you will not always get the creative freedom you want on a project. Sometimes you may have to take creative direction from someone more senior to you or even the client.
This could be very good if the person is willing to collaborate and has great ideas but can be bad if they do not. Sometimes you may find you don’t agree or even like what is asked of you, but still you will have to do it.
8. Dealing with Bad Clients:
Dealing with clients can be really rewarding or a bit of a nightmare. They can either let you do what you think is best work and collaborate with you or simply try and make you do what they want and this can be pretty bad if they do not listen to you and have no good ideas or any grasp of what makes for good design. It can be really tough and a buzzkill having to implement someone else’s bad design ideas.
More often than not, working with clients can be a really positive experience. But there can be times it can be a nightmare.
From my perspective, graphic designing is a great career choice but only if you’re good at it and are ready to keep yourself up to date with new technologies, online software's and design trends.