Graphic designers may not be the wealthiest, or the most respected, but there are many reasons the community should be thankful.
As several studies show, practicing gratitude pays dividends, not just for one’s mental health, but for one’s career as well.
But hey, it’s almost Thanksgiving for our American readers and that’s as good a reason as any.
Here are 11 perks graphic designers have that few outside the community get.
11.) Graphic designers have more chances than others to express themselves
Designers are still constrained by design limits and by the requirements of a creative brief. But in contrast to many other hands-on fields, graphic design allows a much wider range of expression and even the weirdest, most unconventional ideas do not have to go far to find a place.
Let’s see a surgeon or a master plumber say the same thing about their work.
10.) Graphic design is still a growth industry
All over the world, and in the US in particular, graphic designers won’t find themselves running out of opportunities for employment– provided they position themselves correctly.
The world’s economies are currently recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, bringing more opportunities for designers with it. There are also currently no companies or other groups with a dominant hold on the graphic design industry, leaving the field wide open.
9.) You aren’t confined to the digital world, nor the real one.
If you’re bad with your hands or with technology, it is not the end of your career by any stretch.
Plenty of great designers still prefer to work with analog tools, often alongside counterparts who work only with digital technology. There really is no right or wrong approach.
8.) Every single enterprise needs you.
They might not know it yet, but they do.
7.) You can work in-house, through an agency, or for yourself.
If you’re new you will probably be overworked and underpaid regardless of the path you take — but you have a choice of how that happens.
Seems ridiculous, but I’ve done all of those things and it makes a huge difference to be able to make that choice. Engineers in esoteric fields and theoretical mathematicians for example, simply can’t make that choice as easily as a designer.
6.) You don’t need much to get a crack at it.
Contrary to what we’ve seen in way too many stock photos, you don’t need the latest Apple products to be a graphic designer. Who knows how many great designs were conceived on the back of a bar napkin?
Of course, it takes a little more than that to be competitive — emphasis on little. A computer with an internet connection, rudimentary design software, some office supplies, a graphic tablet, and perhaps a decent digital camera can pretty much get you there.
After that the biggest difference lies in your hands and that pink, squishy computer between your ears.
5.) Learning opportunities abound.
We’re not just talking about the internet.
There are now more trade schools, universities, and community colleges with graphic design courses today than at any other point in time. There are now more books on graphic design available, used and new, available on the market, both in brick and mortar shops and online. There are veteran designers sharing their knowledge for free.
You’d have to try hard to not find opportunities to learn.
4.) The graphic design community is pretty awesome.
The community doesn’t just connect graphic designers to the right jobs and with each other.
The work it does connects ordinary people, through the products we use everyday and the brand loyalties designers help develop.
Designers don’t just help large commercial interests either. Where would non-profits, independent bands, and small enterprises be without graphic designers helping them out?
3.) There’s a niche for everyone
The field of graphic design is now extremely diverse. And we’re not just talking about the choices you can make between working in-house, with an agency, or for yourself.
Web design, photo manipulation, illustration, poster design, publication design, desktop publishing, packaging design, are just a few of the areas where a graphic designer could specialize, each with their own set of challenges.
Given that most graphic designers are generalists, you can find it relatively easy and worth your while to specialize in a very specific area of design, especially areas other designers you compete with have not identified yet. There’s room for everyone!
2.) Your hard work is visible
Many people toil with nothing to (literally) show for it. The same is impossible to say about graphic designers. The fruit of a graphic designer’s labors is meant to be seen. And after only a few revisions, hopefully.
It’s really something else to see work that you’ve spent countless hours on finally make its public debut. Few people have this opportunity as often as graphic designers.
But while having your work out there is awesome, make sure you’re paid in real money, rather “exposure”.
1.) UCreative and YouTheDesigner exist!
As do hundreds of other great design and creativity sites and networks, each with its own take on these subjects. We’re sure grateful we’re able to reach you and thousands of others. Thank you for everything!
What other perks do graphic designers have? Comment below!