Your creative thinking, technical prowess and artistic passion make you the perfect candidate for a career in graphic design. It’s always been in the back of your mind but somewhere along the way, the real world rudely interrupted your dreams. You became a responsible adult in the blink of an eye; one with bills, a mortgage and a family to support.
Maybe you’re finally revisiting that dream now that life has calmed down a bit. The fact that you’re doing a little research before making a commitment is smart. You already know you’ve got what it takes to be a great graphic designer; you just want to know what your options are once you become one.
First thing’s first: where do graphic designers work? The good news is there are a variety of choices. From working in-house to an agency to your own home, you’ll find the perfect work environment to cultivate your creativity!
This resource will help you understand your options. We surveyed more than 150 graphic design pros to get a behind-the-scenes look at each of these work environments.* Check out the results below and hear what the experts have to say about each opportunity.
Working as an in-house graphic designer
Working in-house refers to being employed with an established organization or brand. You would likely be part of a small team of designers or possibly even the only one. In-house designers tend to be generalists, possessing a broad range of general design skills in order to meet all of the creative needs of the company.
In-house designers have the ability to truly invest themselves in a single brand, taking pride in nurturing it from the start of each project to the finish, according to Andrew Matthews, graphic designer at Sewell Development Corp.
Matthews feels he can better represent the brand because he’s located at the heart of where the work takes place. Being in such close proximity with your client also allows for real-time conversation and on-site critique.
“The pace of work is more bearable, the workload steadier and the hours more conducive to leading a life outside of work, ” Matthews says.
On the flip side, Matthews explains that working in-house has the potential to become stale for some designers. “The lack of variation in work opportunity can be a real struggle for some in-house designers, ” he warns.