About Graphic Design Jobs in London
The work of a graphic designer revolves around creating graphics that clients will use in online or printed publications, including magazines, ads, brochures, blogs, or infographics. Graphic designers also discuss the work with clients, develop concepts, and follow through with the creative process.
They usually work with advertising agencies, magazine publishers, multimedia companies, and similar businesses. They can also gather their works into an impressive portfolio and start a freelance business, in which case, the sky’s the limit.
What Do Graphic Designers Do?
Those working at one of the many graphic design jobs the UK has to offer will expect to create visual concepts with software or by hand. The designs can have a range of uses, including branding, marketing, packaging, and more. I guess you can say that almost every business process has a touch of graphic design involved.
Graphic designers can correspond with clients to fulfil their guidelines and carry out their vision, manage typesetting, determine the size and arrangement of illustrative materials, review final layouts, and make sure materials are printed or published correctly.
Duties in Creative Design Jobs
Depending on the position, working in graphic design involves an array of duties. Many of these overlap, such as using numerous designing software and corresponding with the employer. Particularly, duties include but are not limited to:
- Conceptualising visuals
- Creating images and layouts
- Testing graphics across various media
- Providing timetables for deliverables
- Preparing and presenting rough drafts
- Ensuring the final product aligns with the client’s vision
Types of Graphic Design Jobs in London
When it comes to graphic design, there are many different career paths you can take. You can either create visual concepts by hand or use a variety of computer software and work for either offline or online businesses.
Magazine Designer Jobs
Graphic designers working with magazine publishers are responsible for the visual layout of the magazine and creating cover and inside pages. They also meet with other teams to discuss upcoming editions and use software for publication, like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, to create appealing designs.
Magazine design jobs in London can also sometimes ental delegating your work to others while enjoying the creative process and having excellent organisational skills. These graphic designers are good at balancing advertisements with other types of content.
Web Design Jobs
Because of this, web designers must be up to date with the latest web design trends and apply these trends accordingly to the websites that they handle.
Book Cover Design Jobs
Book cover designers play a key role in book publications — both fiction and non-fiction. They usually oversee the elements of the design process by selecting covers, overseeing typography, producing mockups, and making sure the cover matches the book’s genre.
Graphic designers who work on book covers need to have extensive knowledge of the latest publishing industry trends. They also network with authors and publishers in the UK to showcase their skills and hopefully advance in their careers.
Online Graphic Design Jobs
This type of graphic design job is related to creating visuals, illustrations, layouts, photos, and graphics for online media. These can be web pages, logos for online brands, banners, infographics, and other types of online graphics.
Online graphic designers know a lot about online graphic design programs, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Canva, Gravit Designer, and more. They can also take courses online to improve their skills and be more hireable.
Junior Graphic Design Jobs
Junior graphic design jobs in London are for those who don’t have a ton of experience yet. Junior graphic designers usually work on basic duties, such as laying out pages, drawing logos, and setting up text. This helps them learn more and be well-versed in various aspects of the job.
Junior graphic designers usually need to gain up to two years of experience before they can advance to a higher role. By then, they should have a sense of brand aesthetics and other elements in graphic design.
Senior Graphic Design Jobs
On the other hand, senior graphic design jobs in London entail managing all graphic design tasks, refining projects and drafts, and offering new creative ideas. Senior graphic designers also review the work of junior designers and ensure brand consistency throughout all marketing projects. In addition, they collaborate with marketing executives to make sure deadlines are met.
These graphic designers are already well-versed with graphic design concepts and techniques. In addition, they have vast experience in marketing and are great communicators.
Freelance Graphic Design Jobs
You can find many freelance graphic design jobs in London. These types of graphic designers don’t usually work a 9 to 5 schedule, nor do they have a steady employer. Given this digital age, it’s very usual for freelance graphic designers to find work online, particularly on freelance platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr.
It is also not uncommon for freelance graphic design jobs in the UK to involve communicating with clients and working on various tasks, from making simple logos to designing landing pages.
They’re great at negotiating and following the latest industry trends. Freelance designers are also good at networking, and given the competition in the job market, they will go the extra mile to have a satisfied client in their portfolio.
Work Environment of Graphic Design Jobs in London
Graphic designers generally work in studios with various equipment, including a computer, graphics tablet with a stylus, studio camera, swatch book, sketch pads, and creative software.
On the other hand, graphic designers who work as freelancers usually work remotely, which means they can work anywhere as long as they have the tools they need. Since they’re not sure when a job opportunity will come, they carry their devices anywhere they go.
Injuries and Illnesses
Landing one of the many graphic design jobs the UK has to offer means that you’re more prone to having a sedentary lifestyle.
Having this type of lifestyle puts you at a higher risk of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, depression, and sleep problems. Also, given that graphic designers spend most of their time sitting down in front of a computer, they commonly suffer from back pain, headaches, migraines, and eye problems. Repetitive strain injuries are also common.
Work Schedules in Graphic Design Careers
Working as a graphic designer may involve working standard hours, but they usually don’t. The amount of workload differs each day, and so do the deadlines. Self-employed or freelance graphic designers will need to adjust their working hours based on their clients’ needs.
They may also work short or long hours, depending on how much workload they have. Well-established freelance graphic designers may need to work extra hours to meet deadlines since they’re likely to be hired due to their proven expertise. However, if they wish to, they can also work just part-time.
How to Become a Graphic Designer in the UK
Although it’s not entirely required, having a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field will help you be hired as a graphic designer. Those that earned their degree in another field may take online courses and complete technical training in graphic design to increase their chances of being hired.
Graphic design jobs in the UK demand a strong portfolio. If you intend to become a graphic designer, start small by landing clients online. Start building your skills as early as possible. Opt-in to some internships where you’ll learn the basics.
Maintain interest in your niche and keep track of the latest design trends. Then, after you get some experience, apply to various job openings, but keep in mind that it will take time.
People employed in creative design jobs across London need the following skills and qualities to succeed in their careers:
- Analytical skills
- Artistic abilities
- Communication skills
- Software knowledge
- Time management skills
If you want to become a graphic designer, the minimum you’ll need is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, college, or private school. With this degree, you can enter the market and start with graphic design internships in the UK.
After that, you’ll keep on learning through your career. Different clients will demand different skills, and if you land a job at an agency, they will probably train you to fit their needs.
Keep in mind that you can still become a graphic designer without any prior educational background in graphic design. However, as the competition is high, it may be a bit harder for you to land a job unless you go for entry-level graphic design jobs and then gain enough experience and skills to land a higher role.
Courses and Certifications
Graphic designers can take online courses to jumpstart their careers or advance to the next level. Depending on the industry and niche you’re undertaking, there are a lot of courses you can take, including:
- Adobe Photoshop training
- Adobe Illustrator training
- Logo design
- Photoshop retouching
- Web graphics
- Image editing
- Video editing
- Visual arts
- 3D design
You can take graphic design courses on MasterClass, CreativeLive, Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, and other online platforms. However, if you’re looking for more advanced classes, you can check out Adobe Certified Associate and Adobe Certified Expert certifications.
Those who have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design have better chances of landing graduate graphic design jobs that are either part-time or junior positions. From there, you can advance to becoming a mid-level designer and eventually a senior designer. Finally, top managerial positions include art directors, creative directors, and other similar positions.
With the right experience, skillset, and client recommendations, progressing in your career in graphic design should be possible. That is if it’s coupled with hard work and determination.
In the UK, the average yearly salary of graphic designers is around £23,500, with the lowest earnings being approximately £18,000 and the highest being £31,000. Bonuses are involved as well, and they may range from £200 to £3,000 a year. Commissions ranging from about £800 to £3,000 can be expected as well.
Hourly salary ranges from £7.58 to £28.36, with a median of £10.48. Keep in mind that London graphic designers tend to charge higher rates. Their starting salaries are usually a minimum of £15,000. Senior graphic designers can earn from £35,000 to £55,000, with creative directors earning over £60,000. Lastly, part-time web design jobs in the UK pay roughly £14,000 a year.
Still, salaries depend on several factors — experience, educational background, certifications, region, and industry, to name a few.
When it comes to the many graphic design jobs the UK has to offer, there’s an expected decline of about 4% by 2029. However, this decline won’t happen in all sectors. Particularly, graphic designers in the print media will face issues, while there will be harsh competition among digital graphic designers.
Those looking to apply for graphic design jobs in London while having no experience will have a hard time outshining the competition. There are many talented individuals with solid portfolios who know their way around the latest trends in graphic design.
The best prospects are those with extensive knowledge in web design, rich media, and flash animations. So, if you have experience or certifications in these elements, you’ll likely get a leg up.
Frequently Asked Questions
The overall sentiment in the industry is that graphic designers are no longer needed in some sectors. For example, those working in newspapers, periodicals, book publishing, and similar printed media see a decline in job opportunities.
In stark contrast, the demand for web designers, animation designers, and other digital roles continues to rise, thereby increasing the competition in these positions.
Graphic design can be quite a lucrative career in the UK. The average base salary per year is around £23,500, with the lowest being £18,000 and the highest being £31,000. If you get bonuses, they can range from £200 to £3,000. Additionally, commissions can range from £800 to £3,000.
If you’re looking for part-time graphic design jobs, you might be earning only half of this yearly base salary. If you’re looking for hourly payments, it ranges from £7.58 to £28.36, with a median of £10.48. If you want to receive higher pay, you will want to take online courses and work hard to get promoted.
With the job market being saturated with graphic designers and the advent of free graphic design software that anyone can just pick up and use, it’d be easy to think so.
However, you shouldn’t be discouraged from pursuing a career in graphic design. The industry is alive as ever as there are designs that free apps can’t create and where the human hand is the best tool available. That said, the industry still generated a revenue of $15 billion in 2019 alone.
Even if you love graphic design, that doesn’t mean you will be immune to stress. The stress level of a graphic design job will depend on the sector and the size of the company you’re working in. For example, working in a small business might not be as stressful as working in the marketing or entertainment sector.
Additionally, working in freelance graphic design jobs in London is bound to be more stressful than working full-time. Freelancers generally have an unpredictable schedule, and projects are mostly short-lived with tighter deadlines. After all, you’re the boss of your freelance business, and you’ll need to go the extra mile to keep your clients happy. That alone can be stressful enough.
For creative thinkers who love art, communication, and technology, graphic design can make for a good career. Graphic designers will always have many job opportunities since every industry will always need something done related to graphic design — be it a logo, brochure, or a simple infographic for a website.
They also get to see the real-world impact of their job, such as seeing a logo they made in a public place, so it can be pretty fulfilling as well.
In a nutshell, the workweek of a graphic designer varies on a number of factors. You could have the standard 40-hour workweek if you’re working full-time in an established organisation, but this doesn’t include overtime when certain deadlines have to be met.
If you’re working as a freelancer, you generally set your own work hours. If you don’t have a lot of clients or deadlines to meet, you could be working minimally. However, once you’re already a well-established freelance graphic designer, you may have to work long hours to finish your tasks and keep your clients happy.
If you believe you have a keen eye for details and want to test out the waters in graphic design, you can start even with no experience. Take online courses and get certified. Build your portfolio by exploring volunteering options or unpaid internships. Work for charities and create illustrations on your own.
Build your online presence, network properly, and support other graphic designers. Select industry leaders to follow and keep track of the latest trends. Once you receive some positive critique on your portfolio, share it online and be patient.
If you are to take a standard route of becoming a graphic designer, chances are you’ll start by gaining a relevant bachelor’s degree, which will take you about four years. If you’re chasing a master’s degree, you’re looking at about five to six years of studying.
After you earn a degree, you can start out in entry-level positions before you get one of the high-paying graphic design jobs in London. Working in an entry-level position will help you build your network and portfolio, and you’ll likely stay in that position for at least two years before you can move up.