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Graphic Designers Spill Their Career Secrets in Infographics

Every profession is prone to the occasional bout of navel gazing, and graphic design is no exception. Proof: a new book from publishers GraphicDesign& called Graphic Designers Surveyed is an in-depth look at the profession. Graphic designers Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright enlisted the help of sociologist Nikandre Kopcke to help them craft a survey that would probe respondents for their experiences as designers, and how they really feel about their profession.

There were questions about education, income, and the differences between men and women in the field. Some, like the ones featured in the gallery above, probed more deeply than others. Others, like what’s your favorite Pantone color, were more silly. In total, nearly 2,000 designers from the US and UK responded, creating a decent chunk of data that designer Stefanie Posavic (of the Dear Data project) used to craft a book full of infographics.

The findings aren’t science, exactly. The survey was distributed through graphic design websites, and the respondents were self-selecting, which gives the whole thing an inherent bias towards the young, web-savvy set. Regardless, it’s a creative book that provides some real insight on where the industry stands today.

Some key takeaways:

  • Graphic design is young: 85% of respondents were under 40
  • Surprise! Men make more than women: In the UK men were six times as likely to earn more than £60k /year.
  • It’s a bit of a boys’ club: 48% of women thought that graphic design had a masculine culture
  • Graphic designers work hard: 58% work more than 40 hours a week, and 78% say they worked more hours than they were paid for.
  • It’s not great money: On average graphic designers made less than their partners and worked longer hours.
  • But people in the industry are generally pretty happy: 55% said they’re happy with their career, but 85% would recommend graphic design as a profession to a friend.


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