I need answers for my career interview project!

hello…. i’m doing a career research project and chose a graphic designer to focus and study on. it would be great if you were to answers these 10 questions, if you have time of course! answers are greatly appreciated!!

  1. what is a typical week as a graphic designer?
  2. how was your first time as a graphic designer?
  3. do you wish you chose another job other than a graphic designer?
  4. in your opinion, how would you describe your job?
  5. is being a graphic designer hard?
  6. why did you choose to become a graphic designer?
  7. how does being a graphic designer affect your physical, mental, and social life?
  8. what are the pros and cons of being a graphic designer?
  9. is being a graphic designer stressful?
  10. if you were not a graphic designer, what do you think your occupation would be right now?

what is a typical week as a graphic designer?
There is no typical week. Graphic design is an umbrella term that covers many disciplines. What you might do in any given week may vary, depending on who you work for and what niche market you serve. One week may be tedious. One week may be extremely hectic. If you are a freelancer, you will spend a lot of time just looking for paying work.
how was your first time as a graphic designer?
I’m gonna guess you didn’t mean that to sound as funny as it does. :slight_smile: You will learn more in your first month on the job than you did in 4 years of college. But you need the college experience or you won’t get the job. You learn the theory in college. That first month on the job is all about applying it and tying all the pieces together. Assuming you are able to land a meaningful job.
do you wish you chose another job other than a graphic designer?
You will. The field is saturated. Good jobs are hard to find, the competition is stiff and the pay is not exactly stellar.
in your opinion, how would you describe your job?
“You never know what will come in the door tomorrow.”
is being a graphic designer hard?
It is if you want to eat. The field is saturated. Design schools are pumping out more graduates than there are jobs to fill. People are competing for crap jobs crowdsourcing sites that pay only a tiny fraction of what the jobs are worth. Most cannot make a living that way.
why did you choose to become a graphic designer?
A lot of people become designers because “art.” But you know what? Graphic Design is not about Art. It’s about communicating someone else’s message to someone else’s clientele in the most effective way to enhance someone else’s bottom line. It’s not about your Art. Your designs are a commodity, not your first born. It’s usually a very rude awakening for a design student in their first job to find out that they aren’t allowed to be ‘artistic.’ If the client is a death metal band, doing your favorite anime kittens is not going to work. You have to be a chameleon.
how does being a graphic designer affect your physical, mental, and social life?
How any job affects your physical, mental and social life is all in how you let it. If you can’t “put it in a box” for the night, any job will eat you alive.
what are the pros and cons of being a graphic designer?
Pro = you get to be creative in a communicative way.
Con = you will get paid peanuts to do it.
is being a graphic designer stressful?
Hmmm…someone else’s business success is riding on your ability to do your job. Graphic designers should have to buy malpractice insurance. Also, while your college professor may extend your due dates if you happen not to finish a project, in the real world, missing a due date can get you fired. Is that stressful enough?
if you were not a graphic designer, what do you think your occupation would be right now?
I’d have a combo hardware store/coffee shop/hair salon that hires musicians (so all of my friends could have jobs too.)

Actually I’m not a graphic designer any more. Went to school for it. Worked at it a few years but saw the writing on the wall almost 2 decades ago and moved over into print production. It’s far more stable, far better paying, and less dealing with end clients. My clients are designers now. :slight_smile:

1 Like

What is a typical week as a graphic designer?
This depends on the job. A web designer will have a very different week from a magazine designer. In general, though, there are lots of meetings, lots of frustrations, and lots of alone time coming up with and executing ideas. Working with other creative people is nice too, but now I’m working by myself, which isn’t as fun as I thought it would be.

How was your first time as a graphic designer?
In high school, I had a paying part-time job one evening per week to design the various sales signs in a grocery store.

Do you wish you chose another job other than a graphic designer?
I was lucky to get into the field at a perfect time (40 years ago) — right as it was taking off and not enough of us to go around. Today, it’s different. The field is saturated, and the starting wages are terrible. As much as I’ve liked it, and as good of a career as I’ve had, if I were 17 years old again, in light of the current state of the profession, I do something else.

in your opinion, how would you describe your job?
My job’s gone through radical changes every few years as I’ve changed jobs and headed in new directions. At one time or another, I’ve probably done almost everything in the field.

Is being a graphic designer hard?
If you want to make money, it’s hard. If you want to be good at your job, it’s hard.

Why did you choose to become a graphic designer?
Because a naive 17-year-old kid needed to make a decision in college, and that naive kid (me) decided it would be cool and fun to be a designer. I was at home one evening at my parents’ house and there was a special on television. It was an animated movie titled, The Point. The special was sponsored by a paper company, and the commercials featured a graphic designer who designed cool stuff, like loose-leaf binders and notebooks. Honestly, if it weren’t for watching television that night, I likely would have been spending my days for the past 40 years doing something else.

How does being a graphic designer affect your physical, mental, and social life?
About the same as any other career job, I suppose.

What are the pros and cons of being a graphic designer?
The cons today are that it’s difficult to make a good living when you’re starting out. For that matter, just getting a job is difficult. The pros (at least for me) are that you get to make a difference, fix things, make things better by making them more effective and attractive.

is being a graphic designer stressful?
For some people, I suppose. It’s never been especially stressful for me, but maybe that’s because I already have so much stress in my life that I don’t worry too much about design. I’ve been doing it for years, so it’s sort of second nature.

if you were not a graphic designer, what do you think your occupation would be right now?
I started out as a physics major in college with an idea in my head about becoming an astronomer. That still interests me, but if I made the decision today, I think I’d become a botanist with a major in forestry.

A typical week would be responding quickly to clients.
Whatever jobs they need done.
I could be working on technical layouts, or fun creative, or small work, books, posters, building wraps, vehicle wraps, t-shirt designs.
Whatever lands.

I’m still in my first time as a graphic designer - I have never done anything else.
In my first role - I was an apprentice Originator, nowadays called a Prepress Technician. But the role involved much of the same - whatever landed.
Books, posters, scanning, platemaking, typesetting, fixups of artwork supplied.
Actually fixups of supplied artwork was normal.

We’d take in - back in the day - zip disks - and load the files onto the Macs - then open the supplied files to see what lay in wait. We’d spend a bit of time fixing up their artwork to work on our systems.

Back then - there was no PDF workflow - and websites weren’t the normal yet. So it was all print work.

Every day.

Purgatory.
Some day I’ll get out of it.

I don’t hate it or anything - but doing it 25 years and counting and would like to pursue work outside of computers.

My job is described as technical.

I’d say without training - a brain surgeon would hard.
So would driving a car be difficult without any lessons.

Is it hard for me - not really, but I trained in printing and went on to computers later, then had a formal education in college and at a printing factory.

So no, for me it’s not hard.
But it’s hard if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Like asking why did I choose to be this height.
It just happened.

I didn’t choose it - it kinda chose me.

I went straight to school to a textile factory, then got offered a role in the printing department - then decided I wanted to work on the computers - so I took a course.

If I had known what I was in for I would not have gone this route.

Physically - desk work, sitting all day, not good for posture.
Answer - exercise regularly. I walk every morning.

Mentally - no issues

Social life - no issues

I don’t have any pros or cons.

It’s a job. I won’t do it forever.

If you let it be.
Depends on your response.

If you take criticism badly then you’ll stress yourself out.

Instead, graphic design is a matter of opinion and taste. You’re designing for someone else.

So be prepared that you don’t always please every client.

I used to get stressed with clients that came to be on the 11th hour pleading that I need to design something that’s needed for them in the morning.

Until I realised that I don’t need to do that. If you want it in a hurry you pay the rush charge.

I had a client stress me out over a launch of a product and I worked through the night and sent the final artwork at 4am - then I couldn’t get hold of them for the whole day. They responded later the next day and said that the launch was pushed back a week.

That was the last time I put myself in that position.

Volunteer - or work for an organisation that helps people.

Something I’m exploring now.

1 Like
  1. what is a typical week as a graphic designer?
    Emails, calls, research, design work, and then more of those things until a project is done.

  2. how was your first time as a graphic designer?
    I believe my first paying design job was designing newsletters for my university. It was fun.

  3. do you wish you chose another job other than a graphic designer?
    Nope. It can be difficult at times but job satisfaction is worth the trouble.

  4. in your opinion, how would you describe your job?
    Problem-solving, constant learning, research, followed by photo editing, digital imaging, and other production techniques.

  5. is being a graphic designer hard?
    Sometimes. Many don’t understand the value of design and want to compensate fairly, plus everyone wants a unicorn and that is hard to do. It can take a long time to get good at design.

  6. why did you choose to become a graphic designer?
    I was interested in web design but the computer science route required too much math.

  7. how does being a graphic designer affect your physical, mental, and social life?
    Physical - bad for your eyes and back.
    Mental - The volume of responsibilities and work can be stressful. The pressure to be amazing can be rough. Imposter syndrome is common.
    Social - Everyone thinks I have the cool job and while I do really like it, it can often be draining and monotonous.

  8. what are the pros and cons of being a graphic designer?
    Pros - You can make all kinds of cool stuff for yourself and friends if not tapped out by work projects.
    Cons - Lots of competition, hard to find good pay, you’re expected to be able to do everything.

  9. is being a graphic designer stressful?
    Yes

  10. if you were not a graphic designer, what do you think your occupation would be right now?
    Management or HR

what is a typical week as a graphic designer?
I’m freelance with a client base that has been with me awhile. They email what it is they need, and I design it and send them pdfs. Half of everything is rush. Most projects start out as their incomplete thoughts, so I try to fill in the gaps, but everything usually goes through lots of changes.

how was your first time as a graphic designer?
I did layout on yearbook and newspaper throughout jr high, high school and college. First paid work was making bootleg shirts of rock band logos for other kids at school. First paycheck was working for my dad processing litho and doing paste ups for 35mm slide graphics (it was the olden days). I was good at it and not a lot of people could do it or wanted to do it, so it was kind of a dark art.

do you wish you chose another job other than a graphic designer?
Yes, most definitely. It’s not a career I’d recommend anymore.

in your opinion, how would you describe your job?
Solving visual problems so my clients make more money.

is being a graphic designer hard?
There are good and bad days. Sometimes you eat the fish, and sometimes it eats you.

why did you choose to become a graphic designer?
It was the family business. It was familiar.

how does being a graphic designer affect your physical, mental, and social life?
Sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time does damage to a body.

what are the pros and cons of being a graphic designer?
As a freelancer, the pros are that I can set my own hours. If I want to take an afternoon off to go bowling or see a movie, I go. And I can decline work from problem people. It took me many years to realize I couldn’t rely on other people to provide me with a dream job. If I want an ideal working environment, I need to create that for myself. Cons: a lot of competition. There is an overabundance of designers and a lot of competition and that has forced rates down. Computers come installed with graphic design programs, and a lot of people prefer to design things themselves to save money. My competition isn’t design agencies. It’s my client’s receptionists. They get down times and my client doesn’t like to see them doing nothing so they tell them to design flyers, brochures, social media. They call me to do the heavy lifting, but a lot of the smaller projects have now moved in house, as busy work, to anyone there who has run out of things to do.

is being a graphic designer stressful?
Yeah, sometimes you work and work, but you don’t produce good ideas. Any time you do great, you are guaranteed another project. But when you start failing, the projects start to go to other people. This is happening to a friend of mine, who is far more experienced and talented than I am, but who is now switching careers and trying to open a sandwich shop. It’s sobering and stressful.

if you were not a graphic designer, what do you think your occupation would be right now?
Math teacher or instructional designer. If I was 18 right now, I’d skip university and student loans and go into a skilled trade. I would still be interested in design and art, but it would be as a hobby, rather than a career. I’d rather have a career that provided good compensation and early retirement.

1. what is a typical week as a graphic designer?
I generally work a 9-5 and fit in freelancing around it. I’ve been developing my own supplement brand so that’s been a pet project of mine for a few months. There is no typical week.
2. how was your first time as a graphic designer?
I really had no idea what I was doing or what design was. I was exposed to it at university so I had a slower dive into it.
3. do you wish you chose another job other than a graphic designer?
Sometimes I do, but then I remember I’m paid decently to do something I like.
4. in your opinion, how would you describe your job?
I develop emails, landing pages, update websites, and create 1 pagers. Sometime I work on sales campaigns, presentations, and booklets. Every day is really different, but usually I can expect to work on an email.
5. is being a graphic designer hard?
Yes. Anything involving clients and their “dream” is hard. It’s about communication.
6. why did you choose to become a graphic designer?
I was really good at photoshop and I generally liked messing around in photoshop at the time. I was always proficient at art so this seemed like a natural career path.
7. how does being a graphic designer affect your physical, mental, and social life?
I’m spending alot of time sitting, so I’ve signed up to a gym and a personal trainer to get me away from the software.
8. what are the pros and cons of being a graphic designer?
pros: you judge every logo you see and think what you would have done.
clients: “make it like apple” without understanding what apple is or has invested in.
9. is being a graphic designer stressful?
somedays more than others, there are crunch times!
10. if you were not a graphic designer, what do you think your occupation would be right now?
I’d be a chef. I was really into and good at cooking while in university so if I failed at design I’d be in a kitchen.

To the OP,
Anything here you want to ask about or respond to?
If you think we are trying to discourage you into a graphic design career, we are, for all the reasons given.
Be very sure you love it enough to give up the higher pay some other option may offer. Right now if I were 18 again, I’d be looking at trades. Where I work, we are finding it very hard to hire skilled tradesmen and women.

I’d still do it over again as a career choice (unless the rock star option was on the table). That said, these days there is so much dross out there, you need to be doubly sure you give yourself the best chance at playing with the big kids and not bottom-feeding in the swamp with the crowd-source wannabes. It will be hard (it always was), but if you can get anywhere near the top of the pile, then it’s a fantastically, fun, rewarding career, in my experience. Hard work. Harder work that I imagined at college, but worth every 3am deadline in my opinion.

I think you can still earn reasonable money, once you’ve earned your stripes and got the right experience. Never going to match that of a futures trader / lawyer, but still OK. Depends where you are of course.

  1. what is a typical week as a graphic designer? There is no typical week - even when I worked for a company. As a freelancer though it is good to have a bit of a schedule - when you start work, break for lunch, etc. Otherwise you’ll find yourself working all the time, stressed out, and clients have deadlines. Find what schedule works for you - sometimes I design best at night, sometimes in the morning.

  2. how was your first time as a graphic designer? It was the best first job - designing CDs and other music media covers for independent bands. Great art department and freedom to be as creative as possible although as quickly as possible.

  3. do you wish you chose another job other than a graphic designer? No, I’ve loved it since I was 16. I’ve tried other jobs along the way when I did get frustrated with it - but I’ve always come back to it. It can apply to anything - music, science, writing, business - everyone needs a graphic designer!

  4. in your opinion, how would you describe your job? I am hired to interpret words and images to express a concept and visually communicate to the client’s intended audience.

  5. is being a graphic designer hard? Not hard as in rocket science hard, challenging trying to find the right concept for the viewer to quickly connect to the product.

  6. why did you choose to become a graphic designer? I loved creating layouts, selecting the right photograph, and cropping said photographs for yearbook and then learned there was a career to do all those things.

  7. how does being a graphic designer affect your physical, mental, and social life? My non-art friends think I’m weird and I have art friends who I just am blown away by their creativity and thought process.

  8. what are the pros and cons of being a graphic designer? Pros: everybody needs a graphic designer Cons: everybody thinks they are a graphic designer (I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve been given a project that someone “designed” in Microsoft WORD!)

  9. is being a graphic designer stressful? Yes and worth it!

  10. if you were not a graphic designer, what do you think your occupation would be right now? I don’t even want to think about that ever! I LOVE being a graphic designer!

  1. It depends entirely on the field in which you wish to work. Each is unique. 2. To be honest, it was a little complicated at first, but everything worked out in the end. 3. I’m considering taking a phlebotomy course because they appear reasonably priced , but I’m still debating it. 4. Extremely intriguing 5. It is entirely up to you. 6. I’ve always found it fascinating, and here we are. 7. I’m not sure what’s going out, but it’ll be fine, haha. 8. It is entirely up to you, but my biggest disadvantage is that my back hurts, haha. 9. Definitely not 10. I’d be selling marijuana, haha.