Graphic designer

Produces designs for communications that combine both written and visual elements according to agreed design briefs.

Job description

Graphic designers/artists design graphics for use in media and multi-media products like magazines, labels, CD-ROMs, advertising and signage.

Work activities

  • Conferring with clients to determine their requirements and budget
  • Designing client proposals from typesetting (taking a word document, designing it in Quark etc) through to design, print and production
  • Working with clients, briefing and advising them with regard to proposal style, format, print production and timescales
  • Developing concepts, graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and internet website
  • Determining size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, and font style and size
  • Preparing rough drafts of material based on agreed brief
  • Reviewing final layouts and suggesting improvements if required
  • Liaising with external printers on a regular basis to ensure deadlines are met and material is printed to the highest quality.

Work conditions

Travel: onsite attendance may occasionally be required.
Working hours: mainly 9-5, but deadlines may require working additional hours. Location: opportunities exist mainly in towns or cities throughout the country, although freelance designers can work from home.
Opportunities for self-employment: freelance work is common.

Typical employers

Advertising agencies, large print houses, brand and identity agencies, signage companies, book and magazine and newspaper publishers, multimedia companies including the games industry and web development, television, the packaging industry and in-house graphic design services of major national and international organisations and companies.

Career development

Career development will more than likely require frequent job movement to widen your experience and develop your portfolio.

Related occupations

Multimedia designer


Salaries will vary depending on employer and experience.

Republic of Ireland: A junior graphic designer can expect to earn between €20,000–€24,500; a middleweight graphic designer can expect to earn between €25,000–€32,000; a senior graphic designer can expect to earn between €32,500–€65,000 and a creative director can expect to earn between €52,000–€82,000.

Entry requirements

While entry is open to non graduates, subjects that include the visual arts may increase your chances. Preference will more than likely be given to those with relevant degrees.

Specific degree subjects required

Subjects that include the visual arts may give you an advantage.

Other relevant degree subjects

  • Advertising and marketing communications
  • Animation
  • Art/fine art
  • Communication design
  • Digital media engineering
  • Media arts
  • Multimedia systems/web engineering
  • Photography
  • Print and digital media management
  • Visual communication and design

Postgraduate study

A range of industry relevant taught postgraduate programmes are on offer across colleges that provide similar programmes at undergraduate level.

Specific entry requirements

A portfolio of work may be requested, particularly for entry to postgraduate programmes.


Mainly in-house.

Tips for applications

Gain relevant experience, particularly during summer vacations. Get involved in publishing with clubs and societies in college. Become familiar with relevant industry software.

Skills and qualities

  • Excellent IT skills
  • Exceptional creative flair and design
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • An understanding of the latest trends and their role within a commercial environment
  • Proven competence in design and image processing software
  • Professional approach to time, costs and deadlines.