Career Story: Freelance Graphic Designer

Freelance Graphic Designer

Job Title: Graphic Designer

Type of Company: I am a freelance designer who does work for hire for a number of clients.

Education: BA, English Literature (creative writing), University of Wisconsin Madison •• BFA, Graphic Design, Rhode Island School of Design

Previous Experience: I've always liked to combine words and images in my art and in the way I communicate.

Job Tasks: I create brands for companies. This means basically inventing a visual presence in the world through logos, and marketing materials (ads, web sites, brochures, etc.) that get my clients' visual corporate essence in front of people.

In order to help my client's brand stand out in a crowd and truly reflect what they want to do I need to start by listening to them closely. A big part of my job is finding out exactly what they're looking for. Another part of my job is creating the look and feel of their brand and refining it until they're pleased with the outcome. This can take months or weeks depending on what they do and what they are looking for from me.

Sometimes I collaborate with other designers, writers, photographers, or illustrators. This is one of my favorite parts of my job.

When the pieces I've created have been signed-off on and approved by my clients, they're sent to print or to be published online or through some other media that I foresee as well.

I can set my own hours and schedules which is very helpful because I am also the mother of 3 small children.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts are creating things that make the client happy and that I am proud of. The worst parts are putting up with some of the monotony inherent in fine-tuning the designs and dealing with client whims.

Job Tips: You need to love order and precision as well as have the ability to step back and see the bigger picture.

Additional Thoughts: Here is a list of what you need to be and do to succeed in graphic design: you need to have strong people skills and an ability to work within existing structures while building your own; you need to have a love of helping others communicate through design; and you need to be visually-minded and creative. It also helps to know the English language well, and to be process-oriented.

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