10 examples of most successful careers in design and creation

Career In Design

Graphic design is becoming an increasingly popular career choice for many young and aspiring people. The creative flare that comes with designing products and getting paid for creativity is something that can rarely be found in any other industry.

Some of the best graphic designers didn’t become successful overnight, since the process of learning and honing your skills is excruciatingly painful. Let’s take a look at some of the most successful careers in the creative industry and the world’s most famous graphic designers.

Before we get into it; we should consider what it means to be a graphic designer and how these people found themselves taking up the mantle of a designer.

Graphic Design

Is graphic design a good career?

Whether or not graphic design is a good career choice for you comes down to several factors, the biggest of them all is your creativity. Some of the questions every future designer needs to consider in order to start learning the craft include:

  • Do you consider yourself a creative person?
  • Do you like sketching, drawing and sitting at the computer for hours on end and maybe getting something done
  • Do you have the skills necessary to sell your newly created design with a seller’s smile?
  • Do you mind constant revisions and client feedback and compromising your vision because of it?
  • Are you still enthusiastic about graphic design after answering these questions?

Now that we covered some of the basic questions, how does the field itself make you feel? Do you feel like you understand what is behind the thinking of a graphic designer better or do you feel more alienated by the field?

10 Successful Designers

These following professionals successfully built their names through working harder than their contemporaries and focusing on personal development instead of what others perceive. In graphic design; success comes from recognition and working on your own creations instead of what others think of you is the true way to succeed as a designer. The list of these professionals are in no particular order since their successes, careers and particular styles are subjective and open to debate.

  1. Chip Kidd – A New York-based designer specializing in editorial illustration and book design. Chip Kidd made a name for himself by becoming a celebrity. Many people come to Chip not because of his design, but because his signature matters more than anything. This is due to his awkward, introverted and warm personality that manages to make his designs lively and organic.
  2. Michael Bierut – Becoming a part of a multi-national multi-million dollar graphic design firm is something that many aspiring artists dream of. Michael Bierut has become a part Pentagram, a design agency that specializes in branding and logo design and has remained there for 27 years. With a permanent exhibition in MoMA, Bierut is a good example of a corporate graphic designer with a successful career.
  3. Kate Moross – Launching a successful graphic design career may take more than talent, and in Kate’s case, that was certainly true. Kate Moross is a London-based graphic designer specializing in typography and hand-drawn graphics. She is a rock star in England when it comes to vinyl design, cover design, music posters and so forth.
  4. Paula Scher – Speaking of album covers, no one is as popular as Paula Scher. Beginning her New York designer’s career as an album cover artist. Paula has designed over 150 album covers for prominent bands and musicians, only to eventually become a famous art director. She has since been inducted into the Art Director’s Hall of Fame in New York as the most successful female graphic designer in the world.
  5. Lindon Leader – You have certainly heard of the company named FedEx. Lindon Leader is the sole graphic designer to be thankful for when it comes to designing the FedEx logo and subsequent visual branding materials. Just like you would offer someone CV editing for a person who seeks a job, Lindon did the same for the transportation company in 1994 when the logo was established. Since then he has become the senior design director at his firm, establishing his name as an influential graphic designer.
  6. Rob Janoff – Just like any other company in the world, Apple once struggled with its visual identity. This is where Rob Janoff came to stage with his intuitive and energetic design philosophy and changed the fact of the company. His doctrine was to visualize the word “apple” in different ways and present into the management as a number of viable solutions – turns out that it was exactly what they needed.
  7.  Marian Bantjes – As a Canadian graphic designer and typographer, Marian Bantjes is one of the most dominant female figures in the industry. Her unique approach to typography, lettering, and hand-crafted art leaves little to be desired. She built her portfolio and career on lettering and even published her own monograph using this same unique design style.
  8. Susan Kare – Launching a web design career doesn’t differentiate that much from working in graphic design. After all, you work with computer graphics one way or the other. This is the approach that Susan Kare took when she designed the user interface and icons of now-famous Mac OS. Her innovative and fresh approach to UI design left little to be desired once the company saw what she was capable of.
  9. Milton Glaser – Anyone who has ever delved into graphic design for a longer period will tell you about Milton Glaser. As an icon of modern American graphic design, Glaser is famous for his “I <3 New York” design that you can see all over the world, printed on T-shirts, posters and packaging design alike. His work stretches towards pop culture icons such as Bob Dylan and even comic book companies like DC Comics. His doctrine involves persuading people that design is more than just a pretty picture printed on a piece of material and that it carries a fundamental message for anyone that takes a look at it.
  10. David Carson – Topping off our list is a name that many will find familiar. David Carson is the most influential editorial illustrator and designer that ushered in a new movement in typography and lettering. His most famous work involves the many years spent designing the magazine “Ray Gun” which boasted his signature typography and design philosophy to full extent.

You can do it too!

If you have followed along, you will have noticed a pattern that connects all of these professional graphic designers. Each of them has struggled with making a name for them and none of them have done it just for the popularity and recognition that comes with it.

They send us all a simple yet powerful message: “Anyone can become a graphic designer through hard work and dedication.” If your problems lie in drawing techniques and design software, these can be amended with a couple of months of exploration and creative exercises.

It usually takes far more than just talent for drawing and creativity to get by in the market. Young designers should aspire to develop not only their design skills but also communication skills and sales. Only then; will fresh and ambitious graphic designers manage to fight their way through to true success.

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