Generally, graphic designers develop visual elements for a communications medium. Graphic designers are important in the advertising industry, where newspaper, broadcast and internet advertising all have an important graphics element. On the internet, graphics designers develop images, website themes based on those images, and often components of a graphical user interface.
In the Web 2.0 world, graphical interface is an important component of the advanced services and sales systems that have been developed. Icons and visual images provide many of the navigational points on the computer screen. To develop these systems, web designers work closely with graphics artists to make on-screen pictures work within the website design. Many of these images are computer generated and the artist must be familiar with graphics and multimedia software as well.
Most graphics artists have an associates degree or a bachelors in fine arts, graphic arts, or a similar major. For internet graphics, an artist needs to have some understanding of HTML in general and the online graphics software programs that many website developers are now using. Often graphics designers move into the web design field from positions at ad agencies.
For the entire field of graphics design there were 261,000 workers employed in 2006, according to a Department of Labor survey. A percentage of those were working in web design and computer based program development, including game software.
The overall job outlook for graphics designers is about the same as the average expected job expansion for all job categories. In the internet and computer fields, however, graphics artists will be in high demand as the internet experience continues to grow more sophisticated and colorful.
Lowest 10% $37,292
Median Salary $55,600
Highest 10% $61,950