10 Types of Design Jobs for Creative People

woman considering design jobs for creative people

There are many types of design careers where people just like you can thrive. So what's out there for people with an eye for design and hoping to head down a design career path?

Embarking on a design career can be an exciting and fulfilling journey for individuals who possess a keen eye for aesthetics and a passion for creating visually captivating work.

Technology and design: an ever-evolving landscape

Aspiring creatives may dream of becoming a creative director or excelling in computer graphics. With the ever-evolving landscape of technology and design, creative individuals can specialize in many different areas—with many different tools.

As you navigate through the myriad of design careers, remember that each offers unique challenges and rewards, allowing you to shape your professional journey to suit your skills and interests. Whether you aim to lead as a creative director, product designer, digital designer - or immerse yourself in the realm of CGI graphics - there is a potential place for you in this dynamic industry.

Inventiveness and advanced knowledge

Great news for all you creative folks - there are many types of design careers that allow you to capitalize on your inventiveness and advanced knowledge.

10 creative careers in the design field

Let's take a look at 10 design careers that may ignite your passion for a future in design. Check out this brief breakdown of what each top design job and career position entails and some of the skills needed for success.

Take a look and see which creative careers interest you most, then dive in and discover the possibilities that await you in the world of design and ever-expanding creative fields.

1. Graphic designer

One of the most common design careers out there is a graphic designer. A graphic designer often collaborates with other design professionals, such as art directors, product designers, digital designers, user experience designers—or even a production team—to ensure the visual elements of a project meet the desired outcome.

As the field of design continues to grow, graphic designers evolve by mastering new design software or emerging design principles; a successful graphic or web designer is always learning and adapting to stay relevant in the ever-changing landscape of design careers.

These professionals create designs for marketing collateral, product packaging, illustrations, visual imagery, brand identities and websites—often using computer software like the Adobe® Creative Suite.

They merge technical skill with artistic ability to create a design that resonates with its desired target audience. Graphic designers may work independently as freelancers or contractors, in an in-house setting for a company or in an agency setting.

Common skills for graphic designers:1

  • Adobe® Creative Suite
  • Typesetting
  • Marketing materials
  • Social media design
  • Website design
  • Packaging

Interested? Learn more in our article “What Is Graphic Design? A Beginner's Guide to This Creative Career.”

2. User experience (UX) designer

Before 1994, web design meant "creating a spider's home." Of course, the world has changed immensely since then. UX designers make websites, mobile applications, software and video games easier to navigate and more intuitive for users to interact with.

They study and evaluate how people feel about a particular system and design their products to cater to the needs of the user. They also analyze the specific components of the systems, such as usefulness, value, credibility and accessibility.

For example, a UX designer might work with a retailer to update their product webpages and mitigate issues, like frustrating forms, hard-to-find buttons and visual clutter, that can prevent users from making a purchase.

Common skills for UX designers:1

  • UX wireframes
  • Prototyping
  • Visual design
  • User research
  • Adobe Creative Suite

For more information, check out our article “8 Basic User Experience Guidelines Designers Need to Know.”

3. User interface (UI) designer

A close relative of user experience design, this specialized design role is focused on creating (or improving existing) interfaces. Not sure what that means? Think of the menu systems of your favorite apps or the touchscreen displays you see in vehicles - those are prominent examples of an interface, and a lot of careful consideration goes into ensuring they're intuitive, aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate.

This role requires user empathy and the ability to balance the needs of the user and the needs of the application's creator.

Typically, UI design professional development requires a mix of design, psychology and development know-how to be successful. These professionals use their creative skills - and often utilize computer aided design software.

Common skills for UI designers:1

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Interaction design
  • UX wireframing
  • JavaScript
  • User research

For a more in-depth breakdown, check out our article “What Is User Interface Design? An Introduction for Aspiring Designers..”

4. Photographer

Photographers utilize their creativity and composition skills alongside their technical expertise to capture photographs that tell a story or document an event.

The majority of today's photographers work with digital cameras and editing software to capture subjects in commercial-quality images. Some travel to a location to shoot an event or scenery while others have their own studios for portraits, commercial shoots or artistic work.

Common skills for photographers:1

  • Digital photography
  • Customer service
  • Videography
  • Adobe Photoshop®
  • Video editing
  • Social media

5. Interior designer

Interior designers share the creative landscape with other creative professionals like graphic designers, art directors, and those in various design jobs - often collaborating with each other during the overall creative process. They sometimes utilize the help of a product designer or a digital designer, too.

Professionals in this occupation work with interior spaces to improve the safety, functionality and aesthetic appeal of the area by including many essential and decorative items.

They select color schemes, furniture, flooring, lighting and all other elements of a room or building. Interior designers also sketch their ideas or use design software to communicate their plans with architects, exhibit designers, structural engineers and builders who bring their designs to life.

Common skills for interior designers:1

  • Customer service
  • Budgeting
  • Computer Aided Drafting/Design (CAD) software
  • Space planning
  • Project management
  • Purchasing

6. Multimedia artist & animator

These professionals create animations and special effects for movies, television, video games and other forms of media - both two-dimensional and three-dimensional. They often work with a digital designer or animation supervisor on movie and television productions.

They work with teams of animators and artists to bring ideas to life using computer software or by writing their own computer code.

Some work in studios or offices, but many are self-employed and work from home.

Common skills for multimedia artists and animators:1

  • Adobe Photoshop®
  • Animation
  • Motion graphics
  • Adobe Aftereffects®
  • 3D modeling

Sound interesting? Learn more about this position in our article “Everything You Need to Know About Working in Animation.”

7. Art director

Typically a role reserved for experienced design professionals (often with an advanced degree, a master's degree or various certificate programs), art directors work in a variety of settings, such as magazines, newspapers, internet-based publications, and advertising or public relations agencies. Some in this niche have a background in art history or may have studied an art history program.

They communicate with clients while overseeing project budgets and timelines. People in this industry are usually art and design majors looking to bridge the gap between their passion for art history or the fine arts and a career in the creative industry.

These art and design professionals often draw on their practical experience in areas such as digital design, computer animation studios, graphics and fine art - and sometimes work in tandem with a product designer. They are responsible for developing and maintaining a project's visual style, ensuring it aligns with the overall vision and client expectations.

As a result, aspiring art directors should focus on honing the creative and technical skills needed to excel in this multifaceted role. Additionally, an art director often manages a team of art and design professionals, reviewing and approving all creative materials before presenting to clients.

Common skills for art directors:1

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Graphic design
  • Budgeting
  • Creative direction
  • Project management

For a closer look at the role, see our article “What Does an Art Director Do? Expert Insight from the Pros Who Know.”

8. Advertising & promotions manager

Professionals in these positions often work in agencies to organize campaigns for clients. They may also be responsible for selling advertising space or time for media firms.

This top design job is a job for creative people with a strong business acumen as they work with sales staff and graphic designers to develop concepts for campaigns, partner with creative teams to produce layouts, negotiate contracts and prepare overall campaign budgets.

Common skills for advertising and promotions managers:1

  • Budgeting
  • Project management
  • Social media
  • Ad campaigns
  • Digital advertising

9. Fashion designer

Professionals in this field design new clothing and accessories. Designs are sketched on paper or digital devices, and then colors, materials and textures of the final product are determined.

Fashion designers study fashion trends by reviewing magazines and attending fashion shows. They then provide sample garments to sales representatives and agents in hopes of selling their own collections.

Common skills for fashion designers:1

  • Sales
  • Customer contact
  • Merchandising
  • Product design and development
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Sketching

10. Film & video editor

Film and video editors use technical software to construct promotional or artistic productions from footage shot by camera operators. A similar profession is a video game designer.

This creative career involves working with graphic designers, directors and producers to determine which material is most captivating for their audience and to make visual concepts to help piece together scenes.

The editing process involves trimming footage down into segments, marking frames for audio, and organizing raw footage into a seamless and polished final product.

Common skills for film and video editors:1

  • Video editing
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Social media
  • Video production
  • Music and sound implementation

What creative career inspires you most?

It's now clear that there are many different types of design jobs that will allow you to exercise your creativity day in and day out.

With such a wide variety of opportunities, you should be closer to finding the possible creative careers that align best with your skills and interests.

If you're ready to take the next step toward creative career for art and design majors, a graphic design degree may be an excellent starting point for many of the roles highlighted above.

Check out the Rasmussen University Graphic Design program page to learn more about our programs, or request more information today to hear from an admissions advisor. We offer an associate degree and a bachelor's degree in this dynamic discipline.

1Burning-Glass.com (analysis of job postings for design careers from March 01, 2020 – February 28, 2021).

Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Creative Suite are registered trademarks of Adobe, Inc.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published in December 2013. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2023.

About the author

Glynn Cosker

Glynn Cosker is a content strategy manager and professional writer. He was born and raised in the UK and is now a U.S. citizen. He has authored numerous journalistic articles on assorted topics during the 20+ years of his writing career.

Rasmussen blog author

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