careers.novascotia.ca

Graphic Designers and Illustrators

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NOC:5241
Occupation:Graphic Designers and Illustrators
Category:Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

About the job

Nature of work:

Graphic designers conceptualize and produce graphic art and visual materials to effectively communicate information for publications, advertising, films, packaging, posters, signs and interactive media such as Web sites and CDs. They are employed by advertising and graphic design firms, by establishments with advertising or communications departments, and by multimedia production companies, or they may be self-employed. Graphic designers who are also supervisors, project managers or consultants are included in this group. Illustrators conceptualize and create illustrations to represent information through images. They are almost solely self-employed.

Job duties:
Graphic designers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Consult with clients to establish the overall look, graphic elements and content of communications materials in order to meet their needs.
  • Determine the medium best suited to produce the desired visual effect and the most appropriate vehicle for communication.
  • Develop the graphic elements that meet the clients' objectives.
  • Prepare sketches, layouts and graphic elements of the subjects to be rendered using traditional tools, multimedia software and image processing, layout and design software.
  • Estimate cost of materials and time to complete graphic design.
  • Use existing photo and illustration banks and typography guides or hire an illustrator or photographer to produce images that meet clients' communications needs.
  • Establish guidelines for illustrators or photographers.
  • Coordinate all aspects of production for print, audio-visual or electronic materials, such as Web sites, CDs and interactive terminals.
  • Coordinate sub-contracting.
  • Work in a multidisciplinary environment.
  • Supervise other graphic designers or graphic arts technicians.
Illustrators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Consult with clients to determine the nature and content of illustrations in order to meet their communications needs.
  • Develop and produce realistic or representational sketches and final illustrations, by hand or using computer-assisted design (CAD) software, for printed materials such as books, magazines, packaging, greeting cards and stationery.
  • Assist in developing storyboards for electronic productions such as multimedia, interactive and digital products and television advertising and productions.
  • Produce 2-D and 3-D animated drawings or computer illustrations.
  • May adapt existing illustrations.

Illustrators may specialize in a particular field such as illustrations for children, advertising, editorials, humour, or medical, scientific or technical illustration, or multimedia design.

Sample job titles:
  • advertising artist
  • animation artist
  • cartoonist
  • computer graphics specialist
  • content strategist
  • electronic games designer
  • graphic artist
  • graphic designer
  • interactive media designer
  • medical illustrator
  • user interface artist
Skills:

To work in this field, a natural ability to draw along with a good sense of creativity and imagination are beneficial. You should have an understanding of artistic principles and be able to visualize a finished piece of work from a sketch or brief description. Computer design and production skills are essential for the commercial jobs in this field. Self-discipline in meeting deadlines and a good business sense are also very important.

Job requirements:
  • A university degree in visual arts with specialization in graphic design, commercial art, graphic communications or cartooning or completion of a college diploma program in graphic arts is required.
  • Experience or training in multimedia design at a post-secondary, college or technical institution may be required.
  • In addition to the arts, training in biology, engineering, architecture or a scientific field is usually required for medical, technical and scientific illustrators.
Other considerations:

Both self-employment and contract work are common in this group. Many senior practitioners choose self-employment; they manage their own businesses or freelance. Creative ability and artistic talent, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are required for graphic designers and illustrators. Progression to management or senior design positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Limited

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. However, jobseekers may face some competition for those positions. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment (yet overall job prospects are still considered limited). With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Graphic Designers and Illustrators most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers.

The median employment income for 61% of Graphic Designers and Illustrators who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $35,192. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Graphic Designers and Illustrators1,030Moderate growth70Moderate
Minimum: $14.50
Median: $18.13
Maximum: $25.00
Minimum: $3,364
Median: $28,066
Maximum: $67,128
Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport11,000Moderate growth735Moderate
Minimum: $10.81
Median: $16.00
Maximum: $31.00
Minimum: $945
Median: $11,712
Maximum: $60,447
Graphic Designers and IllustratorsCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
Percent employed full-time82%59%
Percent self-employed8%33%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentGraphic Designers and IllustratorsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern8%x12%$30,581
Northern11%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton6%x13%$32,974
Halifax69%$31,71247%$41,209
Annapolis Valley7%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeGraphic Designers and IllustratorsCompared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% Employed% Employed
15-245%N/A
25-3436%13%
35-4429%44%
45-5418%35%
55-649%8%
65+3%4%
Median Age3838
GenderGraphic Designers and IllustratorsCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% Employed% Employed
Female50%56%
Male50%44%
EducationGraphic Designers and IllustratorsCompared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school0.9%$15,49210.2%$2,298
High school12.8%$11,39726.2%$7,127
Trades certificate2.4%$25,8953.6%$13,575
College certificate or diploma40.8%$26,19920.3%$20,158
University certificate or diploma2.4%$4,8321.7%$20,801
Bachelor's degree35.5%$21,90827.5%$19,705
University advanced certificate or diploma2.4%x1.5%$18,274
Master's degreeN/A$21,9068.0%x
Doctorate3.3%x1.0%$30,975
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$11,741
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Society of Graphic Designers of Canada
PO Box 1533, Station M
Halifax, NS B3J 2V3
president.atlantic@gdc.net
Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
Tel: (902) 423-3837
Fax: (902) 422-0881
office@nsdcc.ns.ca

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Animation, interactive technology, video graphics and special effects
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to use computer applications and related visual and sound imaging techniques to manipulate images and information originating as film, video, still photographs, digital copy, soundtracks, and physical objects in order to communicate messages simulating real-world content. These programs include courses in specialized camerawork and equipment operation and maintenance, image capture, computer programming, dubbing, CAD applications, and applications to specific commercial, industrial, and entertainment needs.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Program Name:Computer graphics
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the software, hardware, and mathematical tools used to represent, display, and manipulate topological two- and three-dimensional objects on a computer screen and that prepares individuals to function as computer graphics specialists. These programs include courses in graphics software and systems; digital multimedia; graphic design; graphics devices, processors, and standards; attributes and transformations; projections; surface identification and rendering; colour theory and application; and applicable geometry and algorithms.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Design and visual communications - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program in the applied visual arts that focuses on the general principles and techniques for effectively communicating ideas and information, and packaging products, in digital and other formats to business and consumer audiences, and that prepares individuals in any of the applied art media.
See all institutions providing this program+
NSCAD University
5163 Duke Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3J6
(902) 444-9600
admissions@nscad.ca
Program Name:Digital arts, general
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general, undifferentiated program that focuses on the use of computerized digital images as the primary medium of expression in the visual and performing arts, and that may prepare individuals for a wide variety of careers using new media, including graphic design, digital animation, motion graphics, 3D visualization, game and interactive media design, music and sound design, video production, web design, photography, and other fields.
See all institutions providing this program+
DaVinci College of Art and Design NS Ltd.
1577 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Z7
(902) 429-1847
Program Name:Game and interactive media design
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the design, development, and programming of interactive media entertainment, including computer and video games, virtual environments, Internet applications, and other interactive media. These programs include courses in theory of games, turn-based games, real-time games, visual and interactive design, story development, animation, simulation, and programming.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Graphic design
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply artistic and computer techniques to the interpretation of technical and commercial concepts. These programs include courses in computer-assisted art and design, printmaking, concepts sketching, technical drawing, colour theory, imaging, studio technique, still and life modelling, communication skills and commercial art business operations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Centre for Distance Education
222 George Street, Suite C
Sydney, NS B1P 1J3
(866) 446-5898
info@cd-ed.com
DaVinci College of Art and Design NS Ltd.
1577 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Z7
(902) 429-1847
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute
80 Mawiomi Place
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5
(902) 491-1100
waterfront.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Illustration
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to use artistic techniques to develop and execute interpretations of the concepts of authors and designers to specifications. These programs include courses in book illustration, fashion illustration, map illustration, rendering, exhibit preparation, textual layout, cartooning, and the use of various artistic techniques as requested by clients.
See all institutions providing this program+
NSCAD University
5163 Duke Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3J6
(902) 444-9600
admissions@nscad.ca
Program Name:Web page, digital/multimedia and information resources design
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply HTML, XML, Javascript, graphics applications, and other authoring tools to the design, editing, and publishing (launching) of documents, images, graphics, sound, and multimedia products on the World Wide Web. These programs include courses in Internet theory; web page standards and policies; elements of web page design; user interfaces; vector tools; special effects; interactive and multimedia components; search engines; navigation; morphing; e-commerce tools; and emerging web technologies.
See all institutions providing this program+
Academy of Learning - Halifax
6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre
Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
(902) 455-3395
careers@aolhrm.com
Centre for Distance Education
222 George Street, Suite C
Sydney, NS B1P 1J3
(866) 446-5898
info@cd-ed.com
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Work Occupation Video(s)

User Interface Artist

Medical Illustrator