What is a Graphic Designer?


I found this general description of a Graphic Designer on a website and it made me wonder:
A graphic designer creates posters, bus wraps, billboards, packaging, logos and marketing materials, depending on the industry—graphic designers work at magazines, advertising and marketing agencies, and more. Selecting photos and typefaces, and developing layouts for advertisements, annual reports, brochures, magazines and other projects are also part of the gig.
This description pretty much describes my idea of a Graphic Designer. However, adverts for Graphic Design jobs these days require you to be an Illustrator, photographer, web developer, animator, video editor, Microsoft expert, IT Consultant, etc. The list seems to be endless.

Why do people think Graphic Designers can do absolutely everything, when they don't expect the same from a Photographer or Web Designer?

Interested in your thoughts. :)


Staff member
Every industry is the same - looking to hire someone to do 3 or 4 peoples jobs for under the industry value for even 1 of the jobs.

This usually comes from Managers who do not know what they need or who to hire, so it's a blanket sweeping statement. They usually get someone to go along for the ride, but usually that ends up being a very demanding role, and the Manager cannot understand why 1 person cannot do it all, as they have no experience themselves.

Usually it's a good idea to steer clear of this type of job advertsement.

A graphic designer can be a print designer or a web designer or both, but usually not also a videographer, video editor, website editor, front end developer, App developer and whatever else they throw in there.

The saying is real - "Jack of all trades, master of none".


Staff member
Well I can beat that... my entire qualification has been 'recategorised' lol.

My actual degree qualification is Product Design (Hons) BSc (it's still available too), I studied essentially how to make a physical product from concept through to manufacture including engineering etc (think design a chair and then have it mass produced).... if you search for product design jobs these days it's basically asking for a UI/UX designer.... which is nowhere near the same because that's realistically a type of graphic design.

If I want to find my version of Product Design, I need to look for Industrial Design which (at least when I was at Uni) was essentially just coming up with designs without any idea if they could be made....ie none of the engineering and/or prep for mass production.... ie the BA version of my course when I was at uni.

It's made even worse when people in the industry are saying the things I'm qualified to do is actually industrial design (ie to manufacture) and what I was taught industrial design (no manufacture) is product design.... essentially it's a big ass cluster f***. Some of it's due to American 'terms' being intermingled with UK terms which really doesn't help much.

So basically jobs and qualification 'names' mean absolutely nothing these days, it's now more about can you fill the job role and if it's paying you enough to do the job(s) they require. The issue is like with everything graphic design (well design in general) is incredibly undervalued due to 'everyone having photoshop' and the places that shall not be named offering up work for the price of a packed lunch. Then throw in people (graduates etc) that are so desperate to get on the ladder etc they'll actually apply for these jobs that require far more than they should.

Edit: In reality there is some crossover between 'areas of expertise', I could throw in that I have to do marketing, graphics, video etc too, I have to be able to 'sell' a product to clients by doing visualisations/models etc too, it's just how much crossover the job entails.
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