Digital Designer Job Description

In their primary role, digital designers combine their creativity and technical skills to produce digital graphics for computer and electronic games, websites, movie special effects, and more. Some digital designers might create graphics for brochures or fliers; some might create 2- or 3-D graphics; still others might lend their skills to animating graphics for educational or corporate training videos. Regardless of their field or media, digital designers work with artists and illustrators in the conceptualization phase, create templates, produce mock-ups, improve the quality of existing graphics, and run user testing on website and game features.

Digital designers can be employed by advertising firms, video game manufacturers, corporate marketing departments, movie studios, or website design companies. The overall projected employment growth rate for digital designers is 10 percent between 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The continued demand for high-quality and realistic graphics for games and special effects, as well as mobile devices, will be the biggest factor in this expected job growth rate.


Digital Designer Duties and Responsibilities

To accomplish their daily tasks, digital designers must meet and satisfy various demands. After taking a close look at various job listings for this profession, we have the found the following to be among those responsibilities most commonly indicated for digital designers:

Conceptualize Art for Print and Digital Designs

Digital designers work with artists and illustrators to produce digital animation for various projects, such as websites, online magazines, advertisement materials, and videos. They are usually responsible for creating templates and mock-ups to review with artists and management before submitting the finished product.

Improve Existing Designs

While in many cases digital designers provide digital images for new orders, they also might be assigned the task of improving existing graphics and images for websites or videos. Digital designers make suggestions, provide updated images and implement approved changes as instructed.

Perform Usability Tests

For digital designers who are involved in game or video production, it is usually their responsibility to conduct usability tests on animated projects. At this stage, digital designers can spot any flaws or issues in their designs and make corrections and improvements to enhance user experience.


Digital Designer Skills

To find success in this field, digital designers should display stronger than average creative, organizational, and time management skills. They should be detail-oriented self-starters who can easily multitask and who understand project management stages. Excellent presentation, communication, and computer skills are essential. It is also important for digital designers to be team players able handle criticism and implement suggestions to improve animated designs. In addition to these abilities, it is crucial that digital designers possess the following skills:

  • Generate high-quality graphics and computer animations
  • Design and create prototypes and mock-ups
  • Make necessary improvements to existing graphics
  • Test designs for usability and quality


Digital Designer Tools of the Trade

Digital designers must be familiar with various tools used to complete their daily tasks. If you have the desire to become a digital designer, you should have a strong understanding of the following:

  • Programming languages – digital designers must be adept at using various language to design web pages and applications, such as HTML and CSS
  • Adobe Creative Suite software – from Dreamweaver to Photoshop, digital designers should be adept at the various Adobe software that would help them in web development and graphic design
  • Project management concepts – scheduling, cost, and time management are a few project management phases that digital designers should be familiar with when working on various types of projects


Digital Designer Education and Training

Most employers seek potential candidates for digital designer positions who hold a bachelor’s degree, often in graphic design, computer animation, web design, or a related area. Courses in computer science and art are helpful in preparing to become a digital designer. Many degree programs contain internships that allow students to hone skills in a professional setting under the tutelage of experienced designers.


Digital Designer Salary

As reported by the BLS, the median annual salary for digital designers is $65,300; those earning in the 10th percentile realized a median salary of less than $38,520, while top earners were paid more than $115,960. Those employed by software publishers and computer system design companies tend to be paid the highest median annual wages in the industry. The highest mean annual wages for this occupation are seen by those working in California ($82,680), Connecticut ($78,870), and Massachusetts ($77,370).


Digital Designer Resources

Explore what it takes to become and work as a digital designer by following the links below. Review books, blogs, and other resources that can help you decide if a career as a digital designer is for you:

International Digital Media and Arts Association (IDMAa) – Founded in 2004, IDMAa offers digital designers conferences and networking opportunities as well as a published journal with articles focusing on the digital art profession.

Webydo – This blog, focusing on digital designers for websites, offers interviews, design tips, dealing with clients, and so much more.

Tobias van Schneider – A professional digital designer gives personal insight into this profession, with blogs focusing on job advice, working habits, using tools, and portfolio design.

InVision Blog – From template reviews to inspirational design quotes, this blog offers timely articles about digital design practices and trends.

Digital Arts – An online publication offering digital designers information about visual trends, helpful tools, illustration tips, tutorials, and more.

Becoming a Graphic and Digital Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design – From best practices to career options, this book offers a comprehensive look at what it takes to work successfully as a digital designer. Professional tips, portfolio development, and design inspiration are just a few of the details you will find in this volume.

Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff they don’t teach you in design school, but should – A professional designer and artist takes you through a personal and behind-the-scenes look at being a digital designer; filled with practical advice about client management, teamwork, and placing bids.


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