Visual Designer Job Description
Visual Designers create holistic digital aesthetics that translate across platforms.They are concerned with how a website looks and feels to the user, and whether this look and feel matches the brand vision of their employer. The role of Visual Designer is collaborative, as they typically work with Graphic Designers, UX Designers and Copywriters to bring their employer or client’s digital vision to life.
Visual Designer is considered an entry- to mid-level position at most companies, and they typically work under a project leader. Visual Designers can also work independently with clients from a variety of industries. Due to the increasing importance of a digital presence, companies in almost every industry have used Visual Designers. While large companies may have their own design department, it is typical for Visual Designers to find employment at design agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Visual Designers, which they classify under Graphic Designers, is set to rise 1 percent through 2024.
Visual Designer Duties and Responsibilities
In order to achieve their goal of creating beautiful websites that positively represent their employer, Visual Designers must complete several duties and responsibilities. According to our research of several Visual Designer job descriptions, the following duties and responsibilities are most common:
Brainstorm Visual Concepts
Visual Designers have to be ideas people. The beginning of every project involves understanding its particular size, scope and purpose. This allows Visual Designers to brainstorm the visual elements required to achieve the project’s goal.
Work With Graphic Designers to Create Visual Elements
Visual Designers and Graphic Designers share a lot of the same responsibilities. In a lot of agencies, these two roles work collaboratively to bring visual concepts to life. Visual Designers must be able to clearly communicate their ideas so Graphic Designers can do their job.
Work With UX Designers to Incorporate Visual Elements to Website Function
Visual Designers have to work with the User Experience Designers to ensure all the bells and whistles they conceptualize are functional. User Experience Designers write the code that creates the visual features and functions of a website.
Create a Cross-Channel Visual Strategy
One of the big differences between Visual Designers and Graphic Designers is Visual Designers are responsible for the look and feel of their employer across all distribution channels. This involves creating concepts for graphics on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Stay Abreast of Current Digital Design Trends
What’s hot and what’s not changes often in the world of digital design. Visual Designers have to stay on top of these trends in order to ensure their employer or clients never look like they’re behind the times. Having an outdated website or social media presence turns potential customers away.
Visual Designer Skills
Visual Designers possess many of the same skills as Graphic Designers. They have to be creative thinkers who can conceptualize the entirety of a design project, as well as what individual tasks need to be done in order to make the vision a reality. Visual Designers also have to be excellent communicators. They essentially serve as the liaison between the Graphic Designers and UX Designers, as they have a working knowledge of both the front and back end of web development. In addition to these qualities, employers are looking for Visual Designers with the following skills and abilities:
- Using graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create digital mock ups for visual elements of websites.
- Managing website design projects by communicating which tasks need to be done by either the UX Designer or Graphic Designer
- Collaborating with UX Designers, Copywriters, web developers and Graphic Designers to create complete websites.
- Presenting visual concepts to project stakeholders
Visual Designer Tools of the Trade: Visual Designers use a few digital tools in their quest to perform their duties and responsibilities. Here are a few examples:
Google – Visual Designers need to be experts at using Google search to stay on top of the latest industry trends and to research other sites for design inspiration.
Adobe Creative Suite – Visual Designers have to have a working knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator to create outlines of the graphics they need.
Social Media – Visual Designers use social media platforms to distribute graphics that align with their employer’s aesthetic.
Visual Designer Education and Training
Visual Designers usually have a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. Classes cover topics such as typography, color, the history of design, design strategies and design tools.
Some of the skills Visual Designers possess comes from on the job experience. The ability to successfully communicate and collaborate in an interdisciplinary capacity is something that can’t be taught in the classroom.
Visual Designer Salary
The median salary for Visual Designers, which are categorized by the BLS as Graphic Designers, is $47,640. Those in the top 10th percentile make above $82,020, while those in the bottom 10th percentile make below $27,950.
Visual Designer Resources
Do you think you have what it takes to become a Visual Designer. If you think this career path is for you, then take a look at these resources below:
Don’t Make me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug- Published in 2005, this book has sold over 100,000 copies and is considered a must read amongst those in the web design community.
UsabilityGeek.com – Usability Geek is an excellent blog that covers all topics related to the user experience. This is a great resource for Visual Designers to use for maintaining their working knowledge of UX Design.
AListApart.com – A List Apart was first created in 1998, which makes it one of the oldest still-active resources for all types of designers.
UserOnboard.com - User Onboard is a compilation of case studies on the sign up processes of dozens of different websites. It is a great swipe resource for Visual Designers.
DesignModo.com - Designmodo is constantly updated with articles on User Experience, graphic design and User Interface Design.
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