What exactly does a graphic designer do

What does a graphic designer do?

Everything at a glance:

  • The graphic designer creates all kinds of visual products and advertising materials.
  • The creation of a concept design as well as the implementation of a graphic product are part of his area of ​​responsibility.
  • Expertise in various design software, creativity and knowledge of current trends are essential for this job.
  • Graphic designers complete their basic training in the form of an apprenticeship or degree in the fields of media, design or communication design.
  • The salary nationwide is between 30,000 and 55,000 euros per year.

job profile

Graphic designers are suppliers and producers of creative ideas. You design the graphic implementation of advertising material such as flyers or posters, design company logos or the corporate identity of a brand. You work in creative agencies, advertising agencies, publishing houses, newspapers and magazines or in companies with their own graphics departments.


The workflow is mostly the same regardless of the company in which graphic designers are employed. A customer, colleague or supervisor approaches you with an idea or a specific order, whereupon you have to implement it. Depending on the stage of the idea, graphic designers either develop a solution from scratch or implement existing specifications precisely. To do this, they used software such as Photoshop or After Effects. Graphic designers often work in teams with colleagues from the creative industry on larger projects. There they collect ideas, conduct brainstorming sessions, develop concepts and finally implement them. During the entire process, they keep in touch with the client repeatedly.

There is no typical industry for a graphic designer. He can be employed in different companies, publishing houses and agencies and work on films as well as on websites, books, booklets, packaging designs and other applications.

What are the tasks of a graphic designer?

  • Design of products for visual communication
  • Collection of ideas and conception
  • Consultation with clients
  • Web design, animation, graphic creation

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Graphic designers are confident with the software they need to get their work done. This includes programs for image processing and optimization, software for animations and effects in moving images, vector programs or layout applications. You have a good understanding of aesthetics, knowledge of typography as well as drawing and artistic talent. In daily professional life, soft skills such as the ability to work in a team are also important, as graphic designers often work in creative work groups and on a project basis. A reliable and independent way of working and a willingness to learn are also important, because the creative industry is constantly developing. That is why graphic designers have to keep themselves informed about new graphic trends and design options.

What does a graphic designer have to be able to do?

  • Dealing with specialized software
  • Knowledge of typography
  • Communication skills and willingness to learn
  • Teamwork
  • creativity
  • Diligence and skill in drawing


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Although the job of graphic designer does not necessarily require a specific educational qualification, most of the apprentices have an intermediate qualification or higher. There is also the opportunity to study graphic design or related subjects at a university or a technical college. The names of the courses can vary widely and have names such as communication design, media and communication or design.


Specialization is possible, especially with regard to media and applications. There are graphic designers who primarily produce for print and graphic designers who concentrate on animated effects.


The starting salary for a graphic designer is around 30,000 euros gross per year. The average gross salary is around 40,000 euros per year. The senior salary is 55,000 euros, but in exceptional cases it can be significantly higher. The actual salary in individual cases depends on many factors, such as the industry and the company, but also on professional experience.

The averageFreelancer hourly rate of a graphic designer 71 euros. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, that isDaily rate at about 568 euros (freelancermap price index - as of July 2019).

How much does a graphic designer earn?

Starting salary30,000 euros
Average salary40,000 euros
Senior salary55,000 euros
Freelancer hourly rate71 euros / hour
Freelancer daily rate568 euros / day
Ø budget in graphic design projects769 euros / project

freelanceXpress team

The freelanceXpress team provides the latest news, trends and information on topics in the creative industry, freelancing and self-employment.