Print Designer Job Description

Print designers create graphic materials for printed advertisements. Companies of all types hire these professionals to design print ads, brochures, and marketing materials. Print designers primarily work full time in office environments during daytime business hours, functioning as part of a collaborative design team and reporting primarily to the advertising department manager. Print designers rarely travel to perform their duties, as they work within the office visualizing, designing, and creating material.


Print Designer Duties and Responsibilities

Print designers perform varying duties based on the printed materials they create and the company they represent. Despite these factors, the following core duties are commonly associated with the job:

Design Materials for Print

Print designers visualize and design materials to be printed, such as brochures, display pieces, and mailers.

Collaborate with Colleagues

Print designers collaborate with creative and advertising teams to create new material designs based on the messages and products the company wants to promote.

Create Original Graphics

Print designers design brand-new, original graphics and infographics.

Maintain Brand Consistency

Print designers maintain brand consistency across all designs and stay on message to represent the company’s interests.


Print designers proofread all materials to ensure they are letter-perfect and mistake-free.


Print designers research market and design trends to create timely, trendy designs that look fresh and current.


Print Designer Skills and Qualifications

Print designers are creative professionals with a good sense of color and design who create eye-catching, memorable materials to promote products and brands of all types. Employers prefer candidates who have the following specific skills:

  • Organization skills – print designers work on multiple projects and design elements at once, which requires good organization skills
  • Time management – because print designers work against tight deadlines, these professionals need excellent time management skills and the ability to produce quality material while under pressure
  • Communication skills – print designers use strong verbal communication skills to collaborate with the design and advertising teams, and good written communication skills to deliver simple, memorable messages through their designs
  • Attention to detail – print designers use attention to detail to integrate many different messages and elements into their design pieces, especially concepts that can be quickly grasped with a single glance
  • Computer skills – print designers need excellent computer skills to work with design software programs such as Adobe Photoshop
  • Problem-solving skills – print designers use problem-solving skills to overcome obstacles and find ways to make their designs work with printed materials of all sizes and types


Print Designer Education and Training

Print designers must have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, graphic design, or a related field of study in order to pursue this career. Some employers accept past work experience in place of education, but candidates who have both education and experience stand out among others vying for the same job. Print designers should also assemble their own portfolio to demonstrate their talents to potential employers.

Little training is offered to print designers, who already know how to create designs for advertisements. Many employers provide print designers with examples of successful print designs used in the past to help them capture the brand’s voice, but beyond this formal job training is typically not provided.


Print Designer Salary and Outlook

According to PayScale data, print designers earn a median annual salary of $42,596. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graphic designers (including print designers) earn a median annual income of $48,700. BLS data projects that jobs for graphic designers will increase 4 percent through 2026, job growth which is slower than the national average.

A majority of employers give print designers full benefits packages that include healthcare coverage with medical, dental, and vision insurance. Print designers also typically receive life insurance, retirement plans, paid vacation leave, and paid holidays. Some employers provide print designers with profit-sharing bonuses in addition to regular salary.


Helpful Resources

Use these books and websites to find job openings for print designers, learn career strategies, and discover ways to advance down this path:

The Society of Publication Designers – search for jobs, upcoming design events, design competitions, and professional development resources at the SPD website

Typography – learn how to use typography to catch the eye, make an impression, and create truly memorable designs with the tips and strategies in this book

The Professionals Association for Design – the AIGA website has numerous career resources and updated job listings, information about upcoming events, and design study materials for print designers and all design professionals

CSS for Print Designers – print design and web design often go hand-in-hand, and this book serves to bridge that gap by presenting CSS for print designers, so professionals can create designs across different mediums

Association for Print Technologies – find training webinars, education resources, news updates, and information about upcoming events at the APT website

Ready to Print: Handbook for Media Designers – this handbook delves into the process of creating print media, from idea to design and everything in between


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