Day in the life of
Graphic Designer – Amy De Wolfe
I am a freelance graphic designer and have done this both part-time and full-time for the past 19 years. I have also worked inside a company as a graphic designer in several positions.
My typical work day as a freelancer (which is my current full-time job) looks like this…
Wake up and get the kids ready for school.
Once they are off I’m checking my email. This is my home base for my work, and where I get client requests, client feedback, and industry emails from various websites and publications for info and inspiration. If I see any urgent messages, I reply back or handle those quick tasks. Once anything urgent is handled, if I see some industry news that grabs my interest, I might check that out.
Once I’m caught up on email, I get to work. I use my Apple calendar to keep my schedule. Colour coding is so good for organizing between work, family, and phone commitments.
My work is mainly done in Adobe Creative Cloud and PowerPoint. My work could be anything from designing a logo, building a web page, designing a social media template, business card, marketing postcard, a book, or an illustration, but my recent focus is on PowerPoint quite often means I’m firing up PowerPoint and working on a slide deck.
What I love most about my design career, is that each day’s projects vary so much. There is a lot of variety in the creative requirements of different projects and that keeps things interesting. I also love that keeping up with trends is part of the job. Scrolling social media, websites, and publications are all important ways to keep in touch with what’s new.
Another great part about being a graphic designer is the challenge of problem solving the gap between the content required, the space to do it, and creating the right impact for the target audience. This can include research and lots of experimentation to get it right… but when the design comes together exactly right and you know you’ve nailed it. That’s the best… but my favourite part has to be the amazing feeling of seeing your work in print, on billboards, in stores, or with lots of online kudos. For me, that’s magic.
I also love the flexibility in my schedule, and that I’m not tied down to any one desk. My job allows me to work on a patio, a desk, the couch, or even while traveling. It also allows me to work during off-hours on days when my kids need more of my time for doctor’s appointments or school events.
Of course, there are some cons to being a graphic designer too. The long hours of sitting, for one. And then there are the situations when your least favorite idea is the one selected by a group of stakeholders for the final project, or when your client wants to choose design details based on their personal taste rather than their ideal customer’s preferences… but worst of all… when the computer crashes just as you’re clicking save.
This leads to the last con, which is that you can end up working many more hours than you would as an in-house designer if you don’t consciously balance your time. Personally, I am terrible at this because I really love my work, which means I’m not always good about logging off at a reasonable time of night or balancing for regular downtime.
design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.