Today’s career profile features Bronson Dunbar, a Graphic Designer and Web Developer. I interviewed Mr. Dunbar to find out what he does at work during a typical day, what skills he uses in his job, and what career advice he has for people considering graphic design and web development as a career.
Bronson, how would you describe the main functions of your work?
Most of my work is web graphics, with print work done now and then. Sometimes the client leaves everything up to you, then you need to create an appropriate design for a certain product or service. This can involve researching the market of the product or service and apply that to the design.
Client communication is also one of the main functions, if I am not designing, I am replying to clients via email or talking to them over Skype.
The services I offer are logo design including stationery, website design and development, eProduct graphics and digital photo album design.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Every day is a creative one. I am either updating design drafts for a client, or creating new artwork from scratch, and communicating with clients.
What do you like best about your career?
I chose graphic design as a career because I am passionate about being creative and solving problems.
What are the most challenging things about your career?
At times it can be challenging to bring a message across through a design due to the limitations of a project. Deadlines can also be challenging. When you have a tight deadline, it usually involves having a late night.
And now and then you get the occasional difficult client.
How did you build your company?
After finishing my studies in graphic design, I found it difficult to get a job as a graphic designer. My father suggested I create my own website and start doing work for clients to build my portfolio as well as my experience.
My website first went up in 2008 and I have been running it since then. My client base is worldwide, with clients in USA, Canada, UK, and Australia, to name a few.
I have in between worked for design companies, but it never felt right so at the end of last year I decided I am going to work for myself fulltime.
At this time, I have over 200 clients and I support myself through my website, which is my business.
What was your educational and professional background before starting your company?
After graduating high school, I completed my diploma in Graphic Design from AAA School Of Advertising in Johannesburg, South Africa. While in school, I learned the basics of website design. I started my website and my business soon after I graduated.
What skills are most important to succeed in your work?
Graphic design is about being creative, solving problems using design elements and communicating a message through a design.
You also need to be hardworking and be prepared for late nights as deadlines are also an essential part of graphic design.
What advice do you have for someone who wants a career similar to your job?
As a graphic designer you need to be able to meet deadlines, interact well with clients, and be a creative individual.
You will also need to be computer literate and learn specific software in order to be able to design. The most common programs designers use are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator.
If a college student wanted to build a career in graphic design, what should he/she be sure to do?
I would recommend doing a course in graphic design, it is important to get the basics of design, layout and typography.
Then they will need to build up a portfolio, whether they are looking for a job as a graphic designer or want to start their own business.
They can also start your own website and start doing work for clients through their website.
I am writing a book aimed at people who have finished their studies as a graphic designer and would like to work for themselves. For more information you can visit my Facebook page.
If a mid-career professional decided he/she wanted to make a career change into your field, what are the steps he/she should take to make a successful career transition?
They would need to do a course in graphic design in order to have the basic knowledge of design and layout.
They can then freelance in order to build up their portfolio. As soon as they have a solid portfolio, they can either look for a job at an advertising agency or start their own website.
Are there any commonly held mistaken beliefs about your career?
People believe you have to be artistic to be a graphic designer, but this is not necessarily true. If you are creative and have knowledge of computers, you can become a graphic designer.
What is the income range for persons in your career?
The average income for a graphic designer is $47 000 a year.
What are your long-term career goals?
My long term goal is to build an established design business both online and offline, expand my client base even more, and become known as a great graphic designer.
Any other comments?
If you are thinking of becoming a graphic designer and if you meet the criteria of a graphic designer, I say go for it. Graphic design is creative, fun, and in my opinion, a great career choice.
Thank you, Bronson!
Please visit Bronson Dunbar’s website at Bronson Dunbar Graphic Design & Web Development.