These days, it’s not enough to be a graphic designer who knows how to manage web hosting services. Graphic designers need to have a secondary skill or become an expert in some aspect of design. This will help keep their services in demand as freelancers and also secure their positions if they’re working for a company. Here is a list of the top 10 trending projects in graphic design that you can use to position yourself as an in-demand professional.
1. UI/UX Design
SaaS businesses, enterprise apps and content membership sites need a well-designed platform for their users. A big part of making sure that their users get value out of their service, they are hiring UI/UX designers to make sure that the interface and the browsing experience is optimized. Many companies are also starting to look for UI/UX designers for their site as they understand that the overall experience of the users has a big impact on website profitability.
2. Social Media Manager
More businesses are using social media as a marketing channel and are usually looking for positions to run their social media campaigns. While this isn’t exactly a graphic design project, it often requires a lot of graphic design work as businesses often use photos, images and videos in their content. With some fundamental training on social media usage and basic web skills like working with web hosting panels, graphic designers will be able to fill this role and excel in this field.
3. Web Designer
While general web design projects are competitive, they are still in demand. However, graphic designers must be well versed of the latest trends in design like parallax, flat design, advanced CSS, search engine optimized design and mobile friendly design. This makes it more challenging to satisfy clients or find clients that fit your skill sets. With that said, you’ll stand out among the crowd if you do have the necessary skills to deliver what clients are looking for today.
4. Art Director
Art directors are one of the highest paying jobs in graphic design with salaries climbing as high $90,000 a year. They oversee everything related to design and publishing. They are usually the visionaries behind the creative aspects of a company. It takes many years to gain the skills and experience to land this position but it is well worth the effort as many of the larger companies usually require an art director.
5. Video Game Designer
The video game industry will reach about $23.5 billion in revenue in 2017. The crazy part is that figure makes up the US alone. Companies are always looking for digital sketch artists, 3D artists and videographers. It can be an exciting and fun industry to work in as a graphic designer. The only barrier is that bigger companies seek graphic designers with the right education and years of experience. Fortunately, there are many small and medium sized companies that are thriving and need designers as they grow.
More companies are using animations in their web communications. Animators can command as much as $50 to a $100 an hour for their services. While it is a service that many businesses seek out, it’s still not as commonly sought out as other graphic design projects. So while the hourly rate is very high, it’s well advised to have a secondary design skill to backup your animation skills. With that said, working for an animation studio is the way to go if you want to focus on this aspect of design.
7. App Designer
The design of an app has a big role in determining its success in the marketplace. The app business is a big industry and the biggest companies are looking for the best designers in the field. While it may seem like companies only want to use graphic design for the UI of the app, there’s a lot more that goes into it. There’s everything from the prototyping, UX design, testing, development, graphic design, to branding. As a result, graphic designers that are passionate about apps will find these projects to be rewarding.
8. Content Creation & Design
Content marketing has become one of the used marketing strategies over the past few years. It has literally spawned an industry by itself. Content marketing campaigns require a lot of content that includes photos and images. There’s also a lot of design work that goes into the content design itself. As a result, graphic designers are often sought for companies using content marketing. Because content marketing is something that graphic designers can pick up relatively quickly, they’ll have no trouble getting these positions for medium and large companies.
9. Landing Page Designer
The design and copy of landing and sales pages determine whether or not a business generates sales from their digital marketing campaigns. They have a lot riding on their landing/sales pages and need a conversion rate optimization (CRO) expert to help their campaigns work. A lot of CRO involves design work which makes it a great fit for graphic designers. This position, however, requires that you understand the fundamentals of copywriting, testing with software and various conversion related subjects.
10. Responsive/Mobile First Design
With mobile devices overtaking desktop usage, commerce driven websites need to make sure that their mobile design is perfect. Many websites are using responsive design to serve mobile users but using templates/themes usually isn’t enough. There is still a lot of design and optimization work that is required for these sites. A lot of companies are also starting from scratch and designing with the mobile first approach in order to satisfy the changing technology trend. As a result, they are seeking skilled mobile web designers for the job.
As you can see, graphic designers need to branch out into other roles that require their core skills. They also need to invest in themselves to learn a secondary skill or become a very well versed web designer in the industry. This is what will help graphic designers accelerate in exciting careers or continue getting steady work as freelancers.