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What is graphic design?

Graphic design can greatly improve the readability of visual forms, which enhance people’s understanding of the message that is being conveyed. Graphic design can also aid in the sales of an idea or product, or can contribute to a company’s identity through branding. Within the study of this field is the use of typography, page layout, and visual arts in creating materials. Examples of graphic design include:

  • Reference manuals
  • Business signs
  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Advertisements
  • Product packaging
  • Logos
  • Basically anything conveying a visual message

What are the prerequisites for graphic design degrees?

In order to be accepted into a graphic design degree, applicants will generally need at least a high school diploma. Credits in creative subjects such as art, painting, photography or design would definitely be beneficial. Additionally, it would be beneficial for you to have some experience with CAD (computer-generated design) software, such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Some universities may also require some form of portfolio  as proof of your previous work and experience, but this will differ depending on the level of program you're applying for and the school

A graphic designer mocks up logo designs at his desk

What will I learn if I study graphic design abroad?

Studying graphic design abroad will develop skills in traditional hand work such as drawing and painting, as well as an understanding of artistic concepts like color balance and composition. In addition, the technological advances of today have created the need for a degree of proficiency in various design and photo manipulation software packages.

Graphic design degrees, whether a Bachelor’s or Master’s, will focus on the most effective way to get messages across to the intended audience.

Below are some main components you will focus on while studying graphic design abroad:

  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Computer graphics & design software

The study of basic business principles is also valuable for success within the field of graphic design.

Where should I study graphic design abroad?

Degrees in graphic design are available in many countries; however, two of the most popular places to study graphic design are Spain and the United Kingdom. Both countries have a wide range of graphic design degrees available, (in Spain, studies are centered in the artistic city of Barcelona), providing students with degrees in the ever-changing and exciting field of graphic design.

There are a variety of study options available within graphic design: 

What can I do with a degree in Graphic Design?

Many companies require graphic designers to work with interactive media, combining different visual effects and components from a variety of sources.

Companies such as advertising agencies or design consultancies are devoted specifically to the industry, while other graduates may be in marketing, publishing, or other communications fields. Entry-level positions usually require at least a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. These new designers often work under more senior team members, who interact directly with the clients.

Here are some average stats about graphic design jobs in the U.S. according to salary.com and the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Typical entry-level education

Bachelor's degree

Number of jobs

266,300

Job outlook, 2016 - 2026

4% growth (slower than average)

Average salary:

Entry level

USD $49,754

Mid level

USD $63,962

Senior level

USD $71,558


Or perhaps you're interested in studying abroad in a related field:

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