Graphic Designer Kaihoahoa Whakairoiro

Graphic designers create artwork or designs for published, printed or electronic media such as magazines, brochures, television advertisements and websites. 

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Graphic designers may do some or all of the following:

  • discuss project requirements with their client
  • discuss the project with colleagues
  • develop design ideas by researching and brainstorming with colleagues
  • prepare sketches, instructions and layout diagrams
  • create designs for different media
  • suggest production methods, materials and costs
  • show design ideas to the client
  • receive client feedback and alter the design accordingly.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for graphic designers includes:

  • art or design work 
  • advertising or marketing work
  • publishing or printing work
  • media production work
  • typographic work (working with type, font and page layout).

Personal Qualities

Graphic designers need to be:

  • organised
  • motivated
  • creative
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to accept criticism
  • able to work well under pressure
  • problem solvers
  • good at communicating, and able to work well in a team.


Graphic designers need to have:

  • knowledge of art materials and techniques
  • the ability to use colour and design effectively
  • expertise in printing and production methods
  • knowledge of advertising and marketing, and how people think and react to visual images
  • awareness of current market trends
  • artistic ability, including good sketching, drawing and painting skills
  • the ability to use computed-aided design (CAD) and creative software
  • the ability to understand clients' needs and turn them into suitable designs.


Graphic designers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines
  • usually work in offices and studios, but may also work from home or travel locally to attend photo shoots
  • work in conditions that may be stressful due to deadlines.

Graphic Designers can earn around $54K-$100K per year.

Pay for graphic designers varies depending on skills, experience and employer.

Graphic designers usually earn between $54,000 and $100,000 a year.

Source: Hays, 'Hays Salary Guide FY 22-23', 2022.

Graphic designers may progress to set up their own graphic design business, or move into management roles at graphic design companies.

Graphic designers may specialise in a particular area, such as:

  • advertising
  • animation
  • digital design
  • illustration
  • print publishing
  • user experience design
  • visual effects
  • web design.

Years Of Training

3 years of training usually required.

To become a graphic designer, you need to have a tertiary qualification in graphic design, media arts or visual communication.

You also need to have a portfolio of work to show potential employers.

Graphic Designer