With nearly 175,000 people and none less than 25,000 commercial businesses, the city of Jackson, Mississippi is home to hundreds of local artists employed as graphic designers. Companies all over Jackson hire graphic design professionals for assorted commercial purposes.
Jackson Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
Several good colleges in Jackson, Mississippi offer degree programs in graphic design, also known as communications design. Popular local design colleges include Jackson State University, Antonelli College and University of Mississippi Medical Center College. Some aspiring local artists earn professional degrees online. Among the largest schools offering online degree programs in graphic design are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry.
Graphic designers at colleges in Jackson, Mississippi typically major in visual communications. Required course work may include psychology and commercial marketing, as well as website design, traditional media, animation, technical drawing, typography and printmaking.
Working as a Graphic Designer in Jackson, Mississippi
Some graphic artists in Jackson, Mississippi work for leading local ad agencies. The largest of these include Eversole Group, Grapevine Marketing and Yellow Book USA. Other local artists design film credits and promotional art for top Jackson-based motion picture producers such as Orbis United Productions, St-Pe' Studios and Video Works. Jackson graphic designers also work for landscaping professionals, patent offices, software developers, colleges, book publishers, retailers, equipment manufacturers and internet start-ups, among others. Local graphic design jobs include company logos, architectural blueprints, promotional artwork, instruction manuals, book covers, web pages, product packaging and more.
At this time, more than 250,000 graphic designers work for United States companies. Starting salaries vary depending on education, experience, skill level and other factors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for a graphic designer in Jackson, Mississippi is roughly around $34,350, with an average hourly rate of about $16.50. About half of all graphic designers employed in United States earn from $30,000 to $60,000 in annual income. True, Mississippi finishes second to last among states in terms of employment income. Yet, also true is that Mississippi's low-as-can-go cost of living adequately offsets the state's relatively meager salaries.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
Graphic design is a form of visual communication that primarily involves layout - manipulating the size, color, location, orientation and motion of visual elements against well-defined backgrounds.
Graphic designers must first have the verbal and written communications skills needed to articulate and understand ideas. Other important qualifications include proficiency with graphic design software, some web design ability and a deep understanding of typography, which has to do with the altering physical appearance of letters, numbers, punctuation and other linguistic symbols. The final ingredient to a successful work of graphic design is the compelling, universal quality of the artist's unique “signature” style.