A visual world

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 May, 2009, 12:00am

Requirements: A graphic designer's job is all about producing work that is appreciated by others. Therefore, you have to be humble and listen to what others have to say about your work. You should not be afraid of criticism. Graphic design has a tremendous range, and designers have to be hard-working and persistent. They also have to browse the internet a lot to keep up to date with the latest technology.

Qualifications: There are no specific academic qualifications for graphic designers. Most importantly, they need to present a collection of their most creative pieces to their potential employer.

Average salary: Junior designers generally earn around HK$7,000 a month. Designers with more than three years' experience make more than HK$10,000.

Work prospects: Junior staff are not usually involved in the creative process. They carry out the instructions given by the experienced designers. The juniors need to ensure a smooth work-flow and maybe even upload the artworks on to the internet.

After they have mastered the basics of implementing and 'exporting' designs on to the Web, they will be assigned some creative work. This usually takes around a year.

To create a good design, it is necessary to look at reference books and be familiar with design software. If junior designers hope to be successful, there are two basic rules - they have to research, for example, check out different designs on the internet, and hone their computer skills. Graphic designers rely on teamwork. A designer will be in charge of a certain part of a project. Designers should constantly communicate with their team members to come up with a piece that their client would be happy about.

Long-term prospects: Experienced designers will move up to be supervisors.

Still, their main duty is to create designs but they have to oversee others as well. They are the first step in quality control.

Supervisors may go on to become art directors who will be in charge of an entire project.

An art director has to draw up the work schedule, negotiate with the client and take responsibility for the final design.

Where to apply: Game design, product design and Web design companies, print media such as magazines and newspapers, and print advertising companies.

A day in the life of a graphic designer

Graphic designers usually work from Monday to Friday. The official working hours are from nine to five or 10 to six.

But the schedule can change a lot because sometimes clients may demand an earlier deadline. In such a situation, the entire design team has to stay behind to finish the work on time.

Once a month, designers may need to work overnight.

Besides office work, designers also have to meet their clients to discuss the progress and content of their projects.