Graphic designers combine art, design, computer and communications skills to create visual media. They are a key element of the creative process and often work with copywriters to develop web pages, ad campaigns, print materials and logos. Almost all junior designer jobs require working knowledge of design programs such s Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash and InDesign. After getting a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, an aspiring designer will usually start with an entry-level job as a junior designer.
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Assist Senior Designers
First and foremost, junior designers assist senior designers. This can mean anything from replicating the senior designer’s work to assisting on photo shoots to taking notes at meetings. Following the footsteps of a good senior designer is a fast way for junior designers to learn the design industry and develop her skills.
While senior designers handle large projects such as homepages and magazine covers, junior designers are often assigned to related small projects such as website banners, affiliate advertisements and logo variations. These smaller projects are usually modelled off large-scale projects previously completed by senior designers.
Coming up with innovative design is only the first part of a designer’s job. Once a beautiful finished product is designed and approved, there is still plenty of work to be done. A web page, for example, has to be sliced into pieces and optimised for file size and space. Junior designers handle much of the grunt work when it comes to asset optimisation. Though the work seems less than compelling, asset optimisation thoroughly familiarises junior designers with the production process.
Work with Copywriters
Even on small projects, junior designers will work with copywriters to develop creative solutions. Copywriters come up with project ideas and work with designers on the actual copy in the ad. Cultivating good working relationships with copywriters is an important skill for a junior designer to develop; the further a junior designer advances, the more face time will be spent with copywriters and creative directors.
Corrections and Updates
Once the main concept for a creative project has been designed and established by a senior designer, the project is often handed off to a junior designer for corrections and follow-up. Similarly, old advertisements or existing websites often need small updates, which are usually assigned to junior designers.
In 2010, the average junior designer's salary nationwide was £23,400 per year, with the 25th-75th percentiles ranging from £20,800 to £26,650. AIGA, the professional association of design, publishes salary information each year for various regions, company sizes, design jobs and industries.
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