“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
You’re probably familiar with that quote, which was allegedly spoken by sixth century Chinese philosopher, Confucius. And just as Confucius morphed from philosopher to politician to author to teacher, his approach to finding the right career remains pertinent today as you map out your future — while you decide what you want to do for the rest of your life, it makes perfect sense to seek opportunities in the areas you already enjoy.
If you’re a creative, tech-savvy individual with an artistic background, you’ve probably considered working in graphic design. Careers in this field will allow you to exercise your imagination alongside your technical skills on a daily basis.
What you may not know is there are several types of graphic design jobs out there. This article will introduce you to eight specialist graphic design positions you may not be aware of. Becoming familiar with these opportunities will give you a better idea of how you can leverage your creativity for a career you truly enjoy.
8 graphic design specialist positions to consider
Advancements in technology drastically changed the graphic design industry. While you can still be a jack-of-all-trades and dabble in multiple facets of the field, more opportunities are emerging for specialists to thrive.
What’s more? Designers with specialized skills have the potential to earn more money than those with generalized skills. This means you won’t have to choose between personal satisfaction and financial stability when it comes to narrowing your career path.
Take a look at these eight graphic design jobs you may not have considered.
1. Creative services manager
The main role of the creative services manager is to act as a liaison between senior management and the creative department within an organization. Typically with at least three years of experience under their belts, these design professionals oversee entire projects, ensuring all deadlines are met and budgets are honored.
It is their responsibility to deliver a quality product to the senior management team while also maintaining an efficient work environment for other creative personnel on the project.
2. Email marketing designer
These professionals are tasked with designing and executing engaging email communications and promotions for an organization. Email marketing designers work closely with other designers, user interface specialists, writers and marketing managers to ensure strategies are fulfilled and brand standards are upheld.
It is important for email marketing designers to understand the principles of design, user experience and user interface, while also maintaining significant knowledge and experience with HTML and CSS.
3. Flash designer/developer
These specialists create interactive online content, including advertisements, games and other rich media applications. Flash designers test, implement and maintain dynamic website elements using Flash and Actionscript.
4. Information architect
Information architects help clients define content strategy and design features for websites. In an effort to improve website design and user experience, they specialize in analyzing the needs of a prospective audience.
These design pros use wireframes, process maps and create mock-ups to describe the intended user experience for their clients. They also conduct usability testing on working prototypes or finished products to improve architecture and navigation.
5. Mobile designer
The pros operating under this job title design content and functionality specifically for mobile platforms, including Android, Blackberry, HTML5 and iOS. This is especially important in our contemporary digital age, as a 2016 study yielded that 56 percent of web traffic to the leading websites in the U.S. occurred on mobile devices.
Mobile designers collaborate with cross-functional teams to create compelling, interactive experiences on mobile devices. These designers must be well versed in both the aesthetic and functional aspects of web and mobile design, and fluency across multiple platforms and programming languages is ideal for individuals in this position.
6. Presentation specialist
Presentation specialists produce and deliver visual presentations for internal and external clients. In addition to design acumen, knowledge of marketing strategy is essential in this role, as is the ability to effectively organize information and convey data in an easily digestible way.
Those specializing in this facet of design must employ critical thinking and multimedia skills, and it is helpful to maintain experience using Adobe Creative Suite applications, as well as presentation programs like PowerPoint and Keynote.
7. User experience (UX) designer
UX designers’ primary purpose is to create satisfying or captivating experiences for an audience based on user research and workflow analysis. They are often responsible for generating personas, usage scenarios, sitemaps, wireframes and other tools to help create a positive user experience.
These specialists also conduct usability testing on prototypes or finished products to assess the quality of the user experience. An in-depth understanding of web technologies and graphic design is a must in this position.
8. User interface (UI) designer
UI designers build the application interfaces that connect users to back-end processes and data. They enable users to quickly accomplish their goals by providing code that meets usability and accessibility standards.
Design your future
As you may be realizing, there is so much more to graphic design than just logos and layouts. If you’re looking to launch a fulfilling design career that can also help pay the bills, these specialist positions could be the answer you’ve been looking for. You can keep your creative life watered while making a living in a career path you love.
Learn more about how a degree can help prime you for success in one of these positions by reading our article: Is a Graphic Design Degree Worth It or Worthless?
*Information on graphic design positions and job duties based on job descriptions from The Creative Group.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in May 2014. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2016.