Visual Designer Career Overview & Outlook

Visual design is a promising career for creative thinkers. It will be great for those who love art, know how to innovate via design, and conceptualize ideas.

There are already many tools delivering design templates that are easy to use for everyone, is a visual designer career still worth pursuing? Let’s read to find out!

Job Description

What is visual design?

Visual design often focuses on enhancing the usability and aesthetic of digital products. It may be the strategic implementation of images, colors, and layouts.

Many visual design elements involve the look of a product, but the feel of products is equally important. The main goal of visual design is to make an interface that delivers users the optimal experience.

What is a visual designer?

You will work in various industries as a visual designer across many platforms.

Organizations and companies may hire you to design games, movies, websites, and other digital design projects.

In addition, some specializations require knowledge of a specific business sector.

A visual designer

Roles and Responsibilities

As a visual designer, you may be responsible for iconography, typography, color, texture, and space design. You will use your expertise, knowledge, and skills in all those fields to help users successfully navigate and become comfortable with your company’s products. Here are more roles and responsibilities in detail:

  • Presenting the user interface visually to ensure information is easy to read, understand and find.
  • Preparing work by gathering materials and information.
  • Generating clear concepts, ideas, and designs of creative assets.
  • Working collaboratively with other designers to make sure a consistent, integrated user experience and brand perception.
  • Translating needs, business requirements, and technical requirements into designs that are emotionally and visually enticing and easy to use.
  • Collaborating with a cross-functional team, including product managers, and engineers, to create simple, straightforward-to-use software.
  • Update the latest standards, changes, and trends in the visual design field.
  • Interpreting storyboards to tell visual stories that can support learning.

Education Requirements

In the US, 75% of visual designers have a bachelor’s degree. Several employers require candidates with a diploma or certification as required, but most are interested in how skilled you are and scrutinize your skills via your portfolio.

Moreover, the essential aspect employers want when hiring designers is experience, which you can bring.

Certification is also worth considering, as it will show that you have the knowledge and skills to be a successful visual designer. When beginning visual design, you can get the essential skills and training by taking a course.

Some programs that deliver certification in visual design include the Apple Certified Training Program, the Google Analytics Individual Qualification certification, and the Adobe Certified Associate certification.

Those programs will also offer training in many software programs used by visual designers, such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver.

Essential Skills

Hard Skills

Here are some of the most desirable technical skills for visual designers:

  • Picture skills/photo editing: Visual designers may be responsible for integrating photos into their graphic design projects.
  • Digital technology (CSS, JS, HTML): These skills are helpful if you plan to design webs or work as a visual designer.
  • UX design: Skilled visual designers should understand how to make simple designs that are helpful and meet established accessibility guidelines.
  • CMYK and RGB: You must be able to pick the proper color set for all of your projects. RGB is usually used for digital designs, while CMYK will be ideal for print projects.
  • Design principles: Most successful visual designers know how to use color, hierarchy, white space, and other principles to produce well-balanced designs.
  • Font selection: Font type, weight, and size all affect the appearance of your designs and can influence the way users perceive your message. As a result, you must be able to pick an appropriate font for your project.

Soft Skills

Although your technical skills are good, it will be difficult to succeed in the design industry if you do not have the proper soft skills.

So as a visual designer, you should have those soft skills:

  • Storytelling: If you want to appeal to a group of people, storytelling will be a good way to find out what they need and show them how you can help. These skills are also helpful for visual designers responsible for building consistent brand images.
  • Creativity: It involves the ability to make new ideas and utilize them to solve problems and communicate with other people. Successful visual designers are highly innovative and creative.
  • Time management: Visual design is considered a deadline-driven profession, so visual designers must be able to manage it effectively.
  • Communication skills: Visual designers must be able to communicate effectively with their clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders.

Many employers always favor visual designers who have great communication skills that can express their ideas consistently and clearly.

  • Emotional intelligence: Experts with high levels of emotional intelligence will excel at managing their emotions. It allows visual designers to resolve conflict and minimize stress on their team members.
  • Collaboration skills: These skills will make it easy to work with others in pursuit of a common goal. The skilled visual designer typically listens to others, communicates consistently, and owns up to their mistakes.

Essential Tools

Here are some essential tools for visual designers aiming to unleash the next generation of visual experiences.


  • Pen and paper.
  • Computer.
  • Stylus and graphics tablet.
  • Smartphone.
  • Camera.
  • Color space reference.
  • Monitor calibration.
  • Storage.


  • Graphic design applications.
  • Online graphic design services.
  • Graphics repositories.
  • Cloud storage.

Instruction, insight, and inspiration.

  • Portfolio.
  • Training.
  • Resource sites.
  • Your own workspace/creative nook.

Job Outlook

Across various industries, endless opportunities for visual designers.

Is visual design a promising career? The short answer is yes.

Visual design is considered a commodity on the internet. Many organizations are shifting their focus to establish a more substantial brand presence digitally, leading to the demand for visual designers is always high.

Across various industries and business niches, endless opportunities await professionals who want to find a career in graphic design.

Whether you learn graphic design or product design or opt for a specialized profession like motion design, the booming job market for designers won’t disappear anytime soon.

Visual designer jobs are expected to grow by 5% from 2016 to 2026, according to BLS. The job of these professionals will continue to be important in product and service promotion across the economy.

Their employment in computer systems design or associated services will be expanded. Companies tend to increase their digital presence, forcing graphic designers to construct functional and aesthetically appealing web layouts.


The average annual salary for a visual designer in the US is $91,284. It equates to $43.89 per hour, $1,755 per week, or $7,607 per month.

Advantages and Disadvantages

– Can be Creative.
– Good Life Balance.
– Can be Self-Employed.
– It can work for many companies.
– Steady Demand.
– Can Work From Home.
– Competitive Job.
– Working All Day on the Computer.


How to Become a Visual Designer?

Step 1: Gain the essential skills.

Creativity has been considered a critical part of visual designers’ roles. You have to be able to strategize the usage of lines, color, typography, and white space.

Visual designers work closely with design teams in a company to make brand imagery, so they must possess outstanding verbal and communication skills.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with visual design tools.

Some popular visual design tools include Adobe Photoshop, Figma, and Canva. It is ideal to start with Canva and practice making your digital products for free with this Guided Project.

Step 3: Male a resume.

You can build portfolios with the best work. These portfolios will give job seekers an excellent opportunity to show their skills and knowledge.

You can build your portfolio by working on some projects independently or joining a Guided Project like the mentioned option.

Step 4: Pick an area.

Another good way to increase your chances of getting a job is by choosing a specialization. For instance, if you want to become a visual designer specializing in UI design, we recommend getting a UX Design Professional Certificate from Google or a UI/UX design certificate from the California Institute of Arts.

Step 5: Update this industry.

Updating the visual design industry will allow you to demonstrate expertise to your potential employers and master the latest technologies and trends.

We suggest following experts on social media or subscribing to relevant YouTube channels and blogs. In the design field, you can visit the professional association for design (AIGA) Website, allowing you to find updates on design industry events like upcoming awards and conferences.

Regarding peer-to-peer connection, you should check out Slack channels like the Designed Slack discussion to explore tools, design processes, visual design jobs, etc.

Are There Free Courses for Visual Design?

The short answer is Yes. There are countless free courses specifically designed for visual design available online.

Who Do Visual Designers Work With?

As a visual designer, you will work in design teams alongside content writers, photographers, videographers, and other creative professionals. But you could potentially work with many other levels of an organization.

Depending on the role and company, you could collaborate with experts in user experience (UX) design, web design, sales, marketing, public relations, and IT (information technology). It all depends on the work environment.

Do You Need the Experience to Become a Visual Designer?

Many recruiters are looking for visual designers with some experience. There are many ways to allow you to gain this experience.

Many employers prefer relevant work experience, but volunteer projects, internships, and personal projects can help show your skills.

If you don’t have much experience, a strong portfolio with various personal projects can help you attract recruiters. Even after applying for a visual design job, you can start freelancing immediately to build your portfolio further.

What Are the Most In-Demand Visual Design Jobs?

The most in-demand graphic design jobs are Graphic Designer, Product Designer, Illustrator, UX Designer, and Motion Designer.

Career Advice

Visual design is vital for providing web users with an enhanced digital experience. It combines principles of various types of design to make aesthetically pleasing digital products.

If you want to become a visual designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education. Most visual designers have a bachelor’s degree. Regarding higher education levels, nearly 8.8% of designers have master’s degrees.

You should also consider getting a certificate, which will help you hone the proper knowledge and skills. There are many options available online. So take advantage of them.