Visual Designer

Job Description:

Visual designers are creative professionals who specialise in the aesthetic and visual aspects of design. They use their artistic skills, creativity, and technical knowledge to create visually appealing and effective designs for a wide range of media and applications

Job Category:
Art & Fashion

What you will do:

Here are the key responsibilities and activities typically associated with the role of visual designers:

  • create graphics, illustrations, and images for various purposes
  • develop and maintain visual brand identities, which include logos, colour schemes, typography, and design guidelines
  • create the visual elements of user interfaces, including icons, buttons, navigation menus, and overall layout
  • collaborate with UX designers to ensure that the visual aspects of a design align with the user experience goals
  • work on print materials, such as brochures, posters, business cards, and banners
  • design website layouts, graphics, and visuals, ensuring that the site is visually appealing, user-friendly, and aligned with the brand’s identity and goals
  • create UI designs that are intuitive, visually appealing, and consistent with the platform’s guidelines
  • select and use typography effectively to enhance readability and convey the desired message or mood
  • work with photographs, either by taking their own or by editing and retouching existing images to fit the design requirements
  • create visual prototypes or mockups of designs to demonstrate how the final product will look and function
  • work closely with clients, stakeholders, and cross-functional teams to understand project requirements, gather feedback, and iterate on designs
  • use various design software and tools, such as Adobe Creative Suite (e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), Sketch, Figma, and other industry-specific software


You’ll need:

  • to understand the fundamental principles of design, including balance, contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity (often referred to as the “CRAP” principles)
  • to be knowledgeable about typography, including typefaces, font pairing, hierarchy, and legibility
  • to know colour theory
  • to understand the use of visual elements such as images, illustrations, icons, and graphics in design
  • proficiency in design software such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) or other industry-standard tools for creating and editing visual content
  • to have digital illustration skills

As well as:

  • to possess a high degree of creativity and the ability to generate innovative design concepts and solutions (creative skills)
  • to pay meticulous attention to detail to ensure that designs are pixel-perfect and error-free
  • excellent communication skills to understand client or project requirements
  • problem-solving skills to address design challenges and meet project goals and deadlines
  • to be open to feedback and willing to make revisions based on client or team feedback (adaptability skills)
  • to collaborate with clients, team members, and stakeholders to understand their needs and deliver designs that align with their objectives
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Visual Designer, you don’t typically need specific qualifications, but certain subjects and skills can be valuable in preparing you for this career. Visual Design is a field that often requires a strong artistic and creative foundation. Here are some subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Art and Design: courses in art and design can provide you with fundamental skills in drawing, painting, graphic design, and other visual arts. These courses can help you develop your creativity and artistic abilities.
  2. Computer Science (Optional): While not mandatory, taking computer science or information technology courses can be valuable, as they can introduce you to digital design tools and software commonly used in the field.
  3. English: Strong written and verbal communication skills are important for effectively conveying design concepts and collaborating with clients and team members.
  4. Mathematics (Optional): Basic math skills are useful for tasks like measurements, proportions, and budgeting, although they may not be a primary focus of the role.
  5. Media Studies (Optional): Courses in media studies can provide insights into visual communication, advertising, and media production, which can be relevant to visual design.
  6. Photography (Optional): If your school offers photography courses, consider taking them to learn about composition, lighting, and visual storytelling.

Post School

While not always required, many Visual Designers hold a bachelor’s degree in fields such as graphic design, visual communication, fine arts, or a related discipline. These programs provide a structured education in design principles and techniques.

Develop a Portfolio
Build a portfolio of your design work. Include a variety of projects that showcase your skills and style, such as logos, branding materials, website designs, posters, and other visual assets.

Master Design Tools
Familiarize yourself with industry-standard design software such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), Sketch, Figma, or other relevant tools.

Internships and Entry-Level Positions
Gain practical experience through internships or entry-level positions at design studios, advertising agencies, or in-house design departments. This hands-on experience is valuable for learning the industry and building a professional network.

Attend design-related events, conferences, and meetups to connect with other designers and potential clients.

Freelance Work
Many Visual Designers start their careers as freelancers. Freelancing allows you to build a client base and gain experience working on diverse projects.

Career Tips
Visual Designers create visual solutions to communicate messages or ideas through various mediums such as print, digital, and multimedia. Building a strong artistic foundation, developing technical skills, and actively seeking opportunities to showcase your work are key to success in this creative profession.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 44 to 46 hours a week, occasionally including evenings.

You could work in an office.

Career Path & Progression:

Choose a specialisation within visual design, such as web design, user experience (UX) design, packaging design, or branding, to focus your career.

Some Visual Designers progress into roles as Art Directors, where they oversee the creative direction of design projects and manage design teams.

Consider freelancing or starting your own design agency to have more control over your projects and clients.