Careers in graphic design are structured with different levels of expertise and advancement, like most jobs in creative fields and each level preforms specific tasks and duties. The hierarchy in a design firm is built with specialisation in mind, and the differences between junior and senior designers reflect that.
Junior graphic designers are often young students fresh out of college or employed through internships. Juniors will do most of the work that others do not want to do: layouts, drawing logos, redrawing logos (sometimes repeatedly), correcting typefaces and preforming colour corrections. While working on different aspects of multiple projects is not unusual, they will usually be given one or two tasks to complete at a time. Junior designers tend to stay at this level for an average of two years or longer to build a strong portfolio; however, designers may choose to stay in this position for the majority of their career.
Senior graphic designers have more complicated responsibilities that involve meeting with clients and taking on whole advertising campaigns. They conceptualise and design from beginning to completion. While they work closely with artistic and creative directors, they also direct junior and middleweight designers to complete large projects. Senior designers are often promoted juniors from within a company or hired as an individual who previously held a senior position.
Middleweight graphic designers are designers who fall between junior-level designers and senior-level designers. Middleweight designers will often take on smaller projects independently and will carry out the entire process: concept, design, layout and the artwork itself. They are introduced to speaking directly with clients and they are still overseen by a senior designer and art director while they maintain a moderate amount of control.
In a graphic design firm, senior designer is not the highest position you can obtain. Above the senior designer is the art director and the creative director. The art director brainstorms ideas and creates the overall visual or conceptual style of a campaign; this includes formatting, selecting visual styles and designing page spreads. The creative director is mostly focused on the marketing aspect of graphic design and meets with the clientele. They establish a client's needs and work with the art director to ensure those needs are met.
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