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Career and Education Opportunities for Graphic Designers in Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for graphic designers. There are currently 4,600 jobs for graphic designers in Colorado and this is projected to grow by 11% to 5,090 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for graphic designers are expected to grow by about 12.9%. In general, graphic designers design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos.

A person working as a graphic designer can expect to earn about $19 hourly or $41,510 per year on average in Colorado and about $20 per hour or $42,400 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Art and Design, people working as graphic designers in Colorado earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Art and Design nationally. Graphic designers work in a variety of jobs, including: advertising layout worker, designer, and art director.

The Denver area is home to sixty-four schools of higher education, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Denver where you can get a degree as a graphic designer. Graphic designers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a graphic designer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Graphic Designer

In general, graphic designers design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. They also may use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Graphic designers develop designs and sample layouts on the basis of knowledge of layout principles and esthetic design concepts. They also maintain archives of images or previous work products. Equally important, graphic designers have to design negatives and prints to produce layout photographs, using negative and print developing equipment and tools. They are often called upon to use computer software to generate new images. They are expected to design graphics and layouts for product illustrations and Internet websites. Finally, graphic designers key data into computer equipment to generate layouts for clients or supervisors.

Every day, graphic designers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to be creative and generate new ideas.

It is important for graphic designers to mark up and assemble final layouts to ready layouts for printer. They are often called upon to produce still and animated graphics for on-air and taped portions of television news broadcasts, using electronic video equipment. They also research new software or layout concepts. They are sometimes expected to talk with clients to consider and decide on layout design. Somewhat less frequently, graphic designers are also expected to photograph layouts, using camera, to make layout prints for supervisors or clients.

Graphic designers sometimes are asked to inspect final layouts and suggest improvements as needed. And finally, they sometimes have to ready notes and instructions for staff who assemble and ready final layouts for printing.

Like many other jobs, graphic designers must be thorough and dependable and believe in innovation and creative thought.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Denver include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Camera Operator. Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Graphic Designer Training

Colorado Technical University - Greenwood Village, CO

Colorado Technical University, 5775 Denver Tech Ctr Blvd, Greenwood Village, CO 80111-3201. Colorado Technical University is a small university located in Greenwood Village, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,010 students. Colorado Technical University has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated three and two students respectively in 2008.

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design - Denver, CO

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, 1600 Pierce St, Denver, CO 80214. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design is a small college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 573 students and an admission rate of 99%. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated eight students in 2008.

Metropolitan State College of Denver - Denver, CO

Metropolitan State College of Denver, Speer Blvd and Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80217-3362. Metropolitan State College of Denver is a large college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,715 students and an admission rate of 78%. Metropolitan State College of Denver has a bachelor's degree program in Industrial Design which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Colorado - Denver, CO

The Art Institute of Colorado, 1200 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80203-2983. The Art Institute of Colorado is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,069 students and an admission rate of 45%. The Art Institute of Colorado has 4 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated four, eight, and twenty students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Industrial Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 33 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated four, thirty-two, and thirty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Platt College - Aurora, CO

Platt College, 3100 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014-3141. Platt College is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 155 students and an admission rate of 100%. Platt College has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Design and Visual Communications which graduated zero, fifteen, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Denver North - Denver, CO

Westwood College-Denver North, 7350 N Broadway, Denver, CO 80221. Westwood College-Denver North is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,843 students and an admission rate of 99%. Westwood College-Denver North has 3 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 39 students in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 63 students in 2008.
  • Commercial and Advertising Art, associate's degree which graduated 80 students in 2008.

Arapahoe Community College - Littleton, CO

Arapahoe Community College, 5900 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, CO 80160-9002. Arapahoe Community College is a medium sized college located in Littleton, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,088 students. Arapahoe Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Graphic Design which graduated one, one, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

University of Denver - Denver, CO

University of Denver, 2199 S. University Blvd, Denver, CO 80208. University of Denver is a large university located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,409 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of Denver has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated nine and four students respectively in 2008.

Pickens Technical College - Aurora, CO

Pickens Technical College, 500 Airport Blvd, Aurora, CO 80011-9307. Pickens Technical College is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,066 students. Pickens Technical College has a one to two year program in Commercial and Advertising Art which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

College America-Denver - Denver, CO

College America-Denver, 1385 S Colorado Blvd., 5th Floor, Denver, CO 80222. College America-Denver is a small college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 400 students. College America-Denver has an associate's degree program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design.

ITT Technical Institute-Thornton - Thornton, CO

ITT Technical Institute-Thornton, 500 E 84th Ave Ste B12, Thornton, CO 80229-5338. ITT Technical Institute-Thornton is a small school located in Thornton, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 750 students and an admission rate of 47%. ITT Technical Institute-Thornton has 2 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree which graduated 18 students in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, associate's degree.

Westwood College-Denver South - Denver, CO

Westwood College-Denver South, 3150 S Sheridan Blvd, Denver, CO 80227. Westwood College-Denver South is a small college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 404 students and an admission rate of 98%. Westwood College-Denver South has 4 areas of study related to Graphic Designer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, bachelor's degree.
  • Computer Graphics, bachelor's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Design and Visual Communications, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Community College of Denver - Denver, CO

Community College of Denver, 1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204-2026. Community College of Denver is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,006 students. Community College of Denver has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Web Professional - Site Designer: A CWP Site Designer implements and maintains Web sites using authoring and scripting languages, content creation and management tools, and digital media.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Web Graphics and Multimedia Certificate: Equips the student for work as a Web graphic artist, creating illustrations, pictures, buttons, and other images for use on the Web, as well as the ability to create interactive multimedia designs in Flash or other programs.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Designer Associate: Web Designer Associates are proficient in the visual arts and creating the images and designs that capture and keep visitors' interest.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado photo by David Shankbone

Denver is located in Denver County, Colorado. It has a population of over 598,707, which has grown by 7.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Denver, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Denver are priced at $223,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, eight hundred thirty-seven new homes were constructed in Denver, down from 1,215 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Denver are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 34.5% of Denver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Denver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.0%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Episcopal Church.

Denver is home to the J F Kennedy Municipal Golf Course and the North Marston Filtration Plant as well as Cheesman Park and Bear Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alameda Square Shopping Center, Boulevard Shopping Center and Brentwood Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Denver can choose from Embassy Suites Hotel Denver Downtown, Intown Suites Aurora and Denver Marriott City Center for temporary stays in the area.