Am I a graphic designer, actually? :)

Hi everyone!
I work in a team that set up and builds websites for a very large university. Therefore, I do a lot of designing and organizing web pages. In addition, I make banner ads on Illustrator software, i’m designing to mobile devices, etc.

While working, I realized that my direction was graphic design. And I wonder, does my work actually fall under the definition of a graphic designer? Can I say that I am a graphic designer?

Also, should I take an official course just for qualification?

Thanks in advance,

Well, I’d say you’re doing graphic design work. If that’s the majority of your job, I guess that counts enough to call yourself a graphic designer.

As for taking a course for qualifications. The normal credentials here in the U.S. involve a 4-year college degree, although it’s not strictly necessary since there are no actual licensing requirements — just more difficult to develop skills and land a job without one. I don’t know if taking a course or two would do much to enhance your credentials. They might, however, provide you with a few more skills.


As a slight caveat to what @Just-B said. It’s hard to know if you’re a “graphic designer”. You might be doing some similar work to a designer, but just because you’re doing the work, it’s hard to say if it’s “designer quality” work. I know a lot of admins that similarly do some “graphic design” tasks, but I wouldn’t call them a designer. That’s not a knock to you, you may actually be producing professional looking work … but even then, as Just-B said without a degree here in the US you might not be able to market yourself as a designer.

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thank you @Just-B
I think I will take a course. It would not be a degree but a certificate. Just to be more “supervised,” and to acquire the basic terms, etc.
Because nevertheless, my work started out of itself and without knowing that what I was doing falls under any professional category. Hope my words are understood …

thank you @CraigB
Very interesting answer. I know this is a complex issue.
And yet, how, in short, would you define ‘designer quality’?
I think that this is also why I should go and study in a place that teaches it. To understand what the required design standard is.

I guess that’s why I put “designer quality” in quotes, because even the quality among designers that have a college degree varies quite a bit.

This is not meant to say your design abilities are subpar. They very well could be great, but simply because your’e doing certain tasks, wouldn’t necessarily say you’re qualified. I think as @Just-B said and as you also said, by taking a few classes it may help you to better see where you stand.

I also will say, there is a lot to learn and know that you may not even learn in school that is also paramount to being a designer. Heck, even after 20 years doing this I’m still learning things.

It seems to me that you rather tell you a web designer/ web page designer. And yes, when you will try to represent yourself as a professional graphic designer, you must should have a degree.

thanks @souravjns

What is your distinction between web designer and graphic designer?

Sounds to me like you are a graphic designer. If you aren’t formally trained and feel like there are gaps in your graphic design education, then it’s a good idea to take a course. If you already have a job and a portfolio then the piece of paper won’t be as useful to you as say someone who doesn’t already have work.

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As far I know, web design or web page design is to make webpage using html and css code.

Graphic design is a catch-all term that includes most everything that was once defined as commercial art.

There are lots of different subsets of graphic design, like publication design, brand design, packaging design, motion graphics, etc. Each has specialized tools, ways of doing things, skills and expectations.

Web design is another one of these graphic design subsets. For that matter web design can be broken down into even more specialized disciplines, like user interface design or user experience design.

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An enlightening answer, thank you. I kept wondering how to present what I was doing. Your distinction helps me a lot. Web design as a particular form of graphic design.

It is certainly nice to hear. I hope there are lots of employers who think so too.

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