View Full Version : question about life..

09-11-2004, 01:21 AM
how do graphic designers make a living...?

do they freelance for life?....i mean sites only need a new layout every now and then and stuff...

jus wondering

John Hughes
09-11-2004, 07:38 AM
I think it depends where you are in the business. I would suppose someone like Colin has too much demand, whereas we plebs get hired occasionally. :D

09-11-2004, 10:06 AM
I think a lot of it is down to how you market yourself, and how intellegently you direct your career,. getting you'reself a big client is the first big break as a lot of companies hire external design (i.e. you) which can lead onto constant work and other clients if you impress.

So I suppose the answer to your question, is that at first its very hard and theres a slow curve of work coming in, but quality work and clever marketing and equiries will earn you kudos rewards.

09-11-2004, 12:35 PM
pink there is more to graphic design then web layouts if ur speciality was print u might work at a newpaper or a magazine or something like that

but with big companys that need there site uploaded dailiy or those companys that sell products online there u would always be uploadin new pics of products changing prices delteing items and that kind of thing

also with print design some companies put out catologs so theres some work

web houses or design studios

just to name a view things for graphic designers besides freelanceing

09-11-2004, 02:55 PM
For alot of people, graphic design isn't their only line of work either. Some work at offices or something during the day and design at night or whenever they have time. It's not a real big money business, which is fine because it's alot more fun then work should be. ;)

09-11-2004, 04:23 PM
i am working in the office and also working in my spare time like sundays or some nights as freelance. i am earning more money from that kind works than my office's paid me..

09-11-2004, 04:44 PM
I am a professional full-time graphic designer/publisher in Aviation/Aerospace. I work 8:30 - 4:30, 5 days a week. I have been consistently submerged in work for almost 4 years now, and the onslaught does NOT look like it's clearing up anytime soon. So here would be an example of making a living at design...

Also note that in all my time working as a full-time designer, I have never made a webpage.

09-11-2004, 04:46 PM
whoa dats so cool...hmm...i should focus and get better at it...

John Hughes
09-11-2004, 04:46 PM
:) But hey, your day ends at 4:30! That's like school - my Dad, and I think the average person comes home a lot later.

09-11-2004, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by Phil_The_Rodent
I am a professional full-time graphic designer/publisher in Aviation/Aerospace. I work 8:30 - 4:30, 5 days a week. I have been consistently submerged in work for almost 4 years now, and the onslaught does NOT look like it's clearing up anytime soon. So here would be an example of making a living at design...

Also note that in all my time working as a full-time designer, I have never made a webpage.

hmm wat kind of work do you do?...im jus checking

i'm only in HS and im making sure if i'm choosing the right road or not

[Edited on 9/11/2004 by PickScrape]

09-11-2004, 05:30 PM
The biggest bulk of my work is publishing trade manuals. It's a stressful job as in my industry, mistakes cost lives. I have a library of about... hmm... around 120 manuals that I care for, initial publishing, doing revisions, etc.

That's about 50% of the workload, but we'll be getting another in soon to take this off my plate so I can focus more on design.

I do brochures for different products and programs, soon our quarterly magazine will be back on my desk, I do an annual Calendar, and I am currently doing a bunch of work in Macromedia Director updating one of our training programs. On my desk right now is a bunch of signage (large format) and the programme for our annual meeting. Oh, and I've started making trade-specific large format display pieces for conferences.

Hope that's kinda what you were asking.

Almost all of it is design or typesetting. Almost all of it for print.

09-11-2004, 05:39 PM
ahh thx! thats exactly wat i was asking for...seems like a lot of work?

what kind of programs/softwares r used in the process? i mite want to learn most of the useful programs and softwares during the next few years so my resume will look good when i am older :lol

thx for the info!

09-11-2004, 05:59 PM
Oh yes, it's a freaking TON of work. It's like trying to drink out of a firehose.

The programs I use are Quark XPress, Illustrator, and Photoshop. InDesign is running XPress through it's paces so it would probably be worthwhile to look at InDesign as well. As I mentioned, I also use Director, but this software is all but obsolete. I've heard rumour that Macromedia will be dropping it shortly and putting everything into Flash. But for a print designer, Illustrator, Photoshop, and XPress (possibly soon InDesign) are essential skills. I'd say Acrobat too, but really, learning Acrobat is a half-day process so don't even worry about it until you need it. There's really not that much to it...

Essential Soft Skills: layout, typography, pre-press, marketing, creative problem solving and time management I'd say are key.

[Edited on 9/11/2004 by Phil_The_Rodent]

09-11-2004, 06:12 PM
wow man thats a lot...of skills...and i need to get a copy of those indesign...

its it hard stuff and wat is it used for?...

thx again for the info!

09-11-2004, 06:31 PM
Hard? Hmm... I can't really say. Is there a learning curve? Always.

Photoshop is used for raster images: bitmaps, photos, etc.

Illustrator is used for vector images: logos, icons, architechural-styled drawings, clipart, etc.

XPress and InDesign are page layout programs: they are what you use to make multi-page documents. This is almost always the ultimate destination of your photoshop and illustrator images... this is where they are assembled for print.

InDesign is probably a little easier for you if you have some familiarity with Adobe products. But that's conjecture, I haven't actually used this program, just read what other users here have said about it (I'll possibly be getting it shortly with the creative suite... scheduled currently for end of Sept.).

09-11-2004, 06:44 PM
o0o0o so its used to put everything together and assemble the images in like a image map for example?

09-11-2004, 06:57 PM
Yeah, I guess kinda like dreamweaver for web, but it's for print. Of course, there's no image maps in print, nor are there any animated gifs. :lol

Easiest way to think about it is via an example... let's use a magazine. You have a cover, and then the inside. This would be split into two seperate jobs: the cover and the content.

Now the cover file would pretty much have 4 images: front outside, front inside, back inside, back outside. We split this as a seperate file from the content file, because it uses, let's say, a heavier weight of paper and we're gonna varnish it. So now we're gonna have a 4 page document for the cover and a Xx4 page document for the content.

Now each one of these pages, say we're gonna use all but the front cover as advertising space so we don't have to worry about building those. But we'll build the front cover.

The main image, we have a photo, which we have adjusted in Photoshop and imported. We have the logo, which was created in Illustrator and imported. We have some text we want to describe the contents of the magazine. We'd do that right in InDesign or XPress. We have a UPC that were were given as an illustrator file, we'd bring that in... that's what I mean by assembly.

09-11-2004, 07:12 PM
wow phil your job is full on! im impressed

im currently learning director for my Final degree project for interactive 3d type stuff (not taught in my course, im taking a risk)

im kinda concerned out all these rumors going around saying that directors gonna get dropped/integrated into flash. (i dont like flash much)

09-11-2004, 07:16 PM
o man sounds very interesting but kind of hard...and time consuming...

i gotta start learning...

09-11-2004, 07:25 PM
It is hard work. You really have to love design to do it as a career. Of course, in almost any line of work you do, those skills would come in handy, as almost any vocation will have some point where you need to present your ideas. A report, a powerpoint presentation, a menu, whatever... good skills to know. But yeah, hard work.

But then, if there was any job that was fun and easy, it would be impossible to elbow your way into a secure position. You gotta just do what you love...

09-11-2004, 10:29 PM
i wish to work 8.30 - 4.30 and 5 days in a week like Phil and others..
8.30 (morning) - 10.00 or more(night) and 6 days in a week. working to love this :D

09-11-2004, 11:39 PM
whoa coolio...wat kinda work do u do?

09-12-2004, 10:55 AM
i am working in Zaman (http://www.zaman.com)

09-17-2004, 09:07 AM
i'm working on a steady job, 5 days a week, 8.30 - 17.00
the main tasks are prepress jobs (we produce any kind of flags and banners, in silkscreen print and digital print), logos done in vector, imageediting and designing ads and some web stuff for our own company.

today is the day of me working here for 7 months, and i can say, that i'm quite satisfied.