The state of North Dakota, which has a population just over 684,000 and many thousand local businesses, employs hundreds of resident artists as professional graphic designers. Businesses throughout the state regularly hire communications design professionals for numerous visual commercial tasks.
North Dakota Schools and Training Programs for Graphic Design
Several colleges and Universities in North Dakota offer degree programs in graphic design. Popular North Dakota design schools include Bismarck State College, North Dakota State University in Fargo and University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, among others. Also, many aspiring North Dakota artists earn their degrees online. Among the most widely known design colleges with online degree programs are The Art Institutes, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix and DeVry. Graphic artists at design schools North Dakota are most often visual arts majors. The academic workload might include courses in psychology and mass marketing, as well as visual arts like website design, digital media, traditional media, animation, typography and printmaking.
Working as a Graphic Designer in North Dakota
Some North Dakota graphic designers work for leading local ad agencies. Popular favorites include Mabu Marketing and Odney Advertising in Bismarck, as well as Results Unlimited and Spider-&-Company in Fargo. Some local artists design film credits and promotional art for top North Dakota motion picture producers like Memory Preserve and Rain Gauge Video Productions in Bismarck or Memory Preserve and Rain Gauge Video Productions in Fargo. Other North Dakota graphic artists work for art galleries, retailers, news syndicates, software developers and internet start-ups, among others. Statewide professional graphic design jobs include company and brand logos, posters, instructional materials, book covers, web pages, product packaging, storefront signs and many more.
American companies today employ well over a quarter million graphic designers. A designer's starting salary is based on education, experience, skill, geographic location and other factors. The mean annual income for a North Dakota graphic designer is approximately $35,050. On average, North Dakota designers earn about $16.90 an hour. About half of all communications design professionals working in the United States earn between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. Average salaries run comparatively low in North Dakota but luckily, so does the average cost of living.
Skills of a Graphic Designer
Graphic design is commissioned artwork created for the purpose of sending precise communications to specific target groups. Much graphic design is commercial in nature, though it is also used for political statements, community-based messages and other reasons. The majority of graphic design work involves layout – manipulating the physical features of visual symbols and their backgrounds.
Professional graphic design requires special traits and ready skills. These include artistic talent and a healthy perfectionism, as well as excellent verbal and written communication for describing and understanding abstract ideas. Also crucial is proficiency with graphic design software applications, along with some web design ability.
Graphic designers also possess advanced typographical expertise. Typography is the manipulation of the size, spacing, color and relative location of linguistic symbols, and is commonly known as “the official language of graphic design.” Graphic artists regularly alter the physical appearance of words to enhance or diminish their purpose. For example, unembellished, vertically aligned font styles are best for legal documents and educational texts, whereas whimsical, loopy font styles are more appropriate for greeting cards and party flyers.
In the end, no two graphic designers are alike. The secret ingredient that most often lands (or loses) the paid position is really just a question of taste.