How many hours does a graphic designer work per day graphics designers produce designs that get their clients’ messages across with high visual impact? They work on a huge variety of products, including websites, packaging, books and magazines, corporate identity (to give organizations a visual ‘brand’), advertising, exhibitions and displays, and computer games.

Most graphic design work is now done on computer using specialized industry-standard graphics and multimedia software packages. Graphic designers have to work closely with other colleagues involved in projects, such as copywriters, photographers and sales staff. They may also work directly with clients.

Graphic designers usually work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Extra hours are common, especially to meet critical project deadlines. Part-time work may be possible. The work is usually done in an open-plan design studio. It involves sitting and working at a computer for long periods.

How many hours does a graphic designer work per day – Salaries may range from around £11,000 to £65,000 a year.

A graphic designer must have:

  • creative flair, originality and a strong visual sense
  • strong computer skills
  • confidence, to present and explain ideas to clients and colleagues
  • An interest in graphics and typography.

There are nearly 40,000 businesses working in graphic design, ranging from major agencies to sole freelancers. The design sector is growing, but competition for vacancies can still be keen. Gaining early experience and building a portfolio of work is an advantage. Some graphic designers create websites to show off their work.

Most graphic designers have a degree or diploma. This may be in graphic design, illustration, fine art or a related subject. There are many courses available at universities and arts colleges across the UK.

 Many students take a one-year Foundation Diploma in Art and Design before applying for a degree or diploma course.

Junior designers can progress to a senior position such as studio manager or creative director in an agency. Graphic designers can also specialize in a particular field, such as packaging or magazine design. Many designers work on a freelance basis once experienced. There may be opportunities for experienced designers to work abroad, e.g. in Europe and the USA.

What is the work like?

Graphic design input is required for a huge variety of products and activities, including:



books and magazines

corporate identity – to give organisations a visual ‘brand’


exhibitions and displays

computer games.

Tasks are likely to include:

Finding out about the project requirements (taking a ‘brief’)

Estimating the time the project will require, and providing a cost quotation

Coming up with design concepts that fit the client’s needs

Presenting options for design treatments

Creating final designs, working to a deadline and budget

Amending designs according to the clients’ final comments

Proofreading and preparing designs to be sent to print.

Apart from rough sketches, most graphic design work is now done on computer. Graphic designers use specialised industry-standard graphics or multimedia software packages. Designers may use different media – eg photography and illustration – to get the results they want.

Graphic designers may deal directly with their clients. Those working in an agency may take briefs from an account manager who has responsibility for client contact.

Designers also have to work closely with other colleagues involved in projects, such as copywriters, photographers and sales staff. In order to win work, they may take part in formal presentations to ‘pitch’ their ideas to potential clients.