Graphic designers


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Graphic designers use illustrative, sound, visual and multimedia techniques to convey a message for information, entertainment, advertising, promotion or publicity purposes, and create special visual effects and animations for computer games, film, interactive and other media.


Entrants have usually completed a foundation course, a BTEC/SQA award, a degree and/or postgraduate qualification. NVQs/SVQs in Design (in various disciplines) are available at Levels 2 and 3. Portfolio work is also important for entry.

Typical tasks

  • liaises with client to clarify aims of project brief, discusses media, software and technology to be used, establishes timetable for project and defines budgetary constraints;
  • undertakes research into project, considers previous related projects and compares costs of using different processes;
  • prepares sketches, scale drawings, models, colour schemes and other mock-ups to show clients and discusses any required alterations;
  • prepares specification and instructions for realisation of the project;
  • liaises with other parts of the production team to ensure graphic design fits with other elements, processes and timescales;
  • produces or oversees creation of the final product.

Common job titles

Artist, computer
Designer, art
Artist, layout
Designer, display
Artist, digital
Artist, graphic
Copyist, designer's
Designer, 3D
Animator, VFX
Artist, stereo
Animator, 3D
Artist, games, computer
Copyist, design
Copyist (textile printing)
Consultant, design, graphic
Designer, graphic
Animator, computer
Designer (advertising)
Animator, 2D, computer
Assistant, graphics
Animator, 3D, computer
Artist, 3D
Technician, graphics
Artist, lithographic
Artist, VFX
Designer, digital
Animator, 2D
Artist, effects, visual
Designer, exhibition
Operator, DTP
Controller, display
Artist, technical
Officer, services, creative
Operator, publishing, top, desk
Assistant, publishing
Illustrator, technical
Assistant, publications
Copier, design
Decorator, display
Artist, Mac
Animator, motion, stop
Officer, graphics
Visualiser (advertising)
Coordinator, design, graphic
Artist, effects, digital
Operator, Mac
Operator, Mac, Apple
Artist, commercial
Artist, lettering
Animator, effects, visual
Artist, litho
Designer, multi-media

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.