Because of the broad spectrum of design application within the field of Graphic Design it can be challenging to define what Graphic Design is or what a Graphic Designer duties are within a professional environment.

The following info is an attempt to clarify the question, What is Graphic Design?

If you ask AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) They would define Graphic Design as: Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form of the communication can be physical or virtual, and may include images, words, or graphic forms. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system, or from a company’s digital avatar to the sprawling and interlinked digital and physical content of an international newspaper. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political.

The United States Department of Labor defines Graphic Design as:

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Why Graphic Design?

If you ask 100 graphic designers why they became graphic designers you would probably get 100 different answers.

For me graphic design was a way to use many of the skills that I had developed within the world of fine art within a commercial discipline, or I wanted to design and achieve some sort of financial security.


  • Graphic designers generally work in a studio where they have access to drafting tables and computers.
  • Graphic designers held about 261,600 jobs in 2014.

Most graphic designers work full time, but schedules can vary depending on workloads and deadlines.

In 2014, about 1 in 5 graphic designers were self-employed. Graphic designers who are self-employed may need to adjust their workday to meet with clients in the evenings or on weekends. In addition, they may spend some of their time looking for new projects or competing with other designers for contracts.

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Program taught in:
  • English
Glendale Community College

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Last updated October 24, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
2 years
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