Getting a full time graphic design job is difficult.

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by alebar14, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. macrumors regular

    alebar14

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    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    Auckland CBD, New Zealand
    #1
    Nowadays New graphic designers found getting a foot into an industry right after earned a Bachelor degree from a college is difficult. Most of the industry are looking for 2 - 3 years of commercial related experience rather than fresh graduate experience. I've found their lack of interested giving a chance for people like this are regrettable.

    I would like to ask for your healthy opinion/discussion about the above statement and its solutions.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    May 15, 2006
    #2
    You can offer to work gratis in a place you really admire. Then you'll have the experience and some nice work for your portfolio.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

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    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #3
    Welcome to the job market! Everything is going to be competative, coming out of University you need to be armed to go after the big jobs.

    As the poster above me (sorry, forgot your name) has said, you can try working somewhere for free/cheap to get some experience. Do some voluntary stuff even (make posters or adverts for a local charity). I think it is important to do these things before you graduate as well.

    In most industries you can get into a lot of companies on their special graduate schemes. Is there nothing like this in design? Surely there must be, design sounds like a wide and varied field.
     
  4. Guest

    shecky

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    May 24, 2003
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    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #4
    any fresh graduate who does not have a couple of internships under their belt by the time they graduate at the very least really does not deserve to have a full-time GD position; they deserve to have internship positions until they have at least a modicum of experience. they can also freelance with smaller local clients to build up some experience.

    why would a studio hire someone who is unproven into a full-time job? having a great portfolio with only student work, regardless of how good it may or may not be is a red flag.
     
  5. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #5
    Here's another suggestion: go for a gofer position such as production assistant. It helps you learn about how an agency actually works. That's what I did. Now I'm a senior art director.

    I'll tell you what though- it can take a while. If I were you, I'd count on looking anywhere from 8 months to two years. So dust off those comfy table-waiting shoes. You might need them for a while.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #6
    True, true and true.

    You are required to put in many years of hard, thankless labor and become bitter about the whole thing before your allowed the full time position.
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #7
    And another reason why things are tough is that there is a tremendous over-supply of graduates chasing too few starting positions. Many people are pouring out of design schools with software skills but little repro knowledge, or so it seems to me.

    One area that has a shortage of talent is packaging design, so if you can think well and create in 3D, and the field interests you, then that could be a fruitful avenue to explore.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #8
    Web and broadcast is also GD. So repro is not necessarily a requirement.
    Repro also takes many years of hands on experience to be good at so you cant expect someone right out of school to have those skills.
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9

    True, but those who have put together a few websites are often at sea when it come to print. I've seen it for myself so many times... my design education had lots of repro hours built-in but this was many years ago.

    You could also say the same for the reverse situation, but most designers worth their salt would want to work with people who are more technically-inclined, particularly if the site is complex.

    Anyway, the above posts all give good advice and good reasons why the situation is tough. What's more, someone's portfolio doesn't tell you how long something took to do, a crucial factor when looking for someone who can meet their deadlines.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #10
    Very true about web to print/repro. My wife does print and I do web/broadcast. Print is definately a skill when dealing with color and printers (the profession and the machines). Lots of respect for the "print people". Ill stick to the web thanx, wysiwyg ;)
     
  11. macrumors 6502

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    #11
    if you think graphic design is bad try getting a job in Photography after college that's absolutely bloody impossible
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #12
    You had to come in and bum everyone out didnt you? :D
     
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    alebar14

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    Jul 14, 2007
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    Auckland CBD, New Zealand
    #13
    Now I know that work and experience are important as in every peace of employer's mind. Anyway, I am just an International student from a developed country earning a bachelor degree seeking for an opportunity, something that I can learn that one of these day, I would proudly say to my parent that I have made it, that every money they have spent is worth it.

    As an international student, we entitled to earn six month open work permit after our student permit expired.This allows us to look for a job that suits to our qualification. Like you all said, it would take years to entitled for a full time position. So how to deal with this then ?
     
  14. macrumors regular

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    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Central CA, USA
    #14
    Yes, getting into the design field is very difficult. Took me 2 years to finally get only a part-time job as a graphic designer. But I had to give up my love of videography/motion graphics because there was no need for that postition where I live, even though I interned at a TV news station, there was still no work out there. So I took some classes......did some freelance....and bam! While I was still taking design classes, I got a job. True it's only part time, but you know you have to start somewhere. And it's most likely at the bottom.

    Oh and another thing, I'm one of those believers that feel you don't need to go to a 4 year college and get your Bachelors degree to be a good designer. I've only taken a few classes in High School and 2 classes at a community college, just to learn some programs. I think experience is everything. Sure you may know the Golden Ratio by heart and memorized the entire pantone library, but some just dont have that design ability in them. Everything else that I learned, was from experience. And I feel that any employer is going to look more at work experience over schooling

    but that's just my opinion.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Poncho

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    Location:
    Holland
    #15
    I've been working salaried in a Mac design environment since the late 80s. But how did I get my first job? I worked for free for one company for a friggin' year... with bar work in the evenings to keep me going. It payed off in the end though I guess. Still, I think the law's changed in the UK and you can't work for free, they have to pay you minimum wage.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

    alebar14

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    #16
    Yup. I'd agree with you. I have been in New Zealand since 2004. But, if you grew up from Eastern culture, they are likely look for Education background. I talked with my other friend (went school together) that work as a graphic designer in my country now, and he said for a starter like me, they would pay me around US$160 monthly (Yes! employer pays based on monthly basis)
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #17
    NO!SPEC, sorry just had to add that one.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors regular

    alebar14

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    #18
    I did interned with a home-based video production studio couple months ago and I quit. I guess me and the previous employer has different direction. Life has to move on, hasn't it. So after awhile, I looked and followed up every single day applying jobs ,sending an unsolicited e-mails, phone cold through yellow pages, and luckily until now I managed freelancing with one wedding photographer - designing her marketing print materials and wedding albums.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors regular

    alebar14

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    #19
    Something that I should aware.... thanks !
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

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    Torontoland
    #20
    The beauty about being a graphic designer is that there is no such thing as being unemployed.

    By that I mean that when building a resume, you don't have to have any gaps in there. You weren't unemployed. You were freelancing, doing work for a variety of local and global clients on a project-by-project basis.

    That said, it's a great way to gain experience. If you've been out of school for a year and a prospective employer is looking for someone with experience and a portfolio to back it, you can easily position yourself as the right candidate for the job.

    I write for a living, but the same freelancing principle applies. I was lucky enough to get a job right out of school. It was a great opportunity but the pay was pretty low. To supplement my income, I started to do work on the side (shhhh... don't tell HR).

    To build my freelance portfolio, I went to local businesses and offered my services for free. I ended up doing a series of posters for a local hair salon.

    Once I got laid off, my side work came in handy in gaining more clients. I freelanced for about 10 months until I landed on my feet somewhere else.

    So, in a nutshell, do some free work and build a killer portfolio. You can tell prospective employers that you've been freelancing and then show them the work to prove it.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #21
    I agree with no spec, it really boils my blood when my Creative Director makes me ask for spec work, Im supposed to be the Art Director but I generally get overridden by the CD/Part Owner. But here is my beef ..

    While Im firmly against spec work, is dispise artist who refuse to sign over the ownership rights to their work. Or GD's who flatten their layers and refuse to give me an editable. If Im willing to pay you a acceptable fee to supply me with a product, dont dare tell me that I can do with it as I please. I wont do business with these people/firms now.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #22
    It took me about 3-4 months to find a position at a very smalltown newspaper, doing page design. It was a position that I was, even as a new graduate, grossly overqualified for. Everything I did there, they loved, because a journalist had been doing my job.

    I worked there until I was able to find something better. That something better is my current position.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    California
    #23
    I dont know any professional designers who will supply unflattened or project files for the standard fee. I do broadcast design and some print, and unless a client is willing to pay 3 to 5x over my standard rate, they have no chance of getting the project files. Supplying the project files gives the client the chance to reverse engineer them and make endless variations to use for free. You also run the risk of the client making you look bad by royally screwing your design work in the process.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #24
    First step is trying to get some experience, which will probably mean being paid nothing. I signed on when I left uni, but managed to get a placement working for nothing soon after (ironic how you can't tell the job centre you're working for nothing, which is precisely what you have to do in design to get a job working for something. They just want you off their books and in a supermarket!).

    I managed to get my placement (which eventually turned into a full job) by getting my portfolio online and bombarding agencies with flyers to get them to look at my work. Eventually one of them did and invited me in for a chat.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #25
    This is true. No GD should hand over the master file without a hefty fee. If they do they are fools. The master file is all you have as leverage to get paid as well as get more work.
    When a company/client hires a GD to produce graphics they are ONLY paying for a final image, Not the editable master file unless it is specifically agreed to in a contract. Handing over the master file almost guarantees no more work and in some cases not getting paid.
     

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