Graphic and Multimedia Designer

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects
Openings 5 years to May 2022: 16.1%
Median weekly earnings: $1101 to $1350
Australian Government Department of Employment , Occupation Employment Projections
A world without design would be very dull indeed. Designers turn ideas and information into eye-catching visuals that grab the reader's attention.

There are approximately 2,200 people employed as Graphic and Web Designers and Illustrators in South Australia. Employment is mostly in the Manufacturing industry. There are even numbers of males and females in this occupation. Designers work on average 37 hours per week but can be required to work many more hours than this if a deadline needs to be met.

TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Graphic and Multimedia Designer

Accredited (Award)

  • Would you buy a CD in a plain box, or a greeting card that just had the words, ''Happy Birthday'' embossed on it? It can be easy to take for granted the way graphic designs transform these generic products into individual, unique items.

    Designers arrange and present information in creative and personalised forms for clients. They are engaged to create a look and feel that draws attention to the client's product or service. They analyse client needs, figure out the cost and prepare sketches, instructions and layout diagrams. They then submit designs or 'roughs' to the client for their approval.

    Artistic and CreativeFigures and Computational

  • Currently 17% percent of Graphic and Multimedia Designers have either a Certificate III or Certificate IV, 22% have an Advanced Diploma and 2% have Certificate I or II. While there are 21% who have no formal qualifications it is recommended that further study be undertaken to remain competitive in the industry.

    TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design, Diploma Program in Graphic Design (Illustration), Diploma of Digital Media Technologies. Pathways include the Certificate III Program in Visual Arts (Digital Arts), Certificate III in Media, Certificate III Program in Information, Digital Media and Technology (Multimedia) and Certificate IV in Digital Media Technologies.

    Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Flinders University in Diploma of Digital Media Technologies/Bachelor of Information Technology (Digital Media).

    Flinders University offers a Bachelor of Arts which incorporates the Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts. Students study concurrently at both the University and TAFE SA to complete the Award.

    SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

  • Competition for jobs is intense and many employers consider the graduate's portfolio to be the deciding factor. Students, therefore, need to be on the lookout for projects that add something more to their own portfolio. Getting to know the industry first hand and personal networking also helps. There are great opportunities in multimedia and web design, particularly with the Internet becoming an inexpensive way to sell a product or service. There is a backlash against the traditional websites that first appeared on the Internet. The Internet was traditionally a field dominated by techno-gurus who didn't know anything about design. Fortunately technology has come a long way since then.

    Traditional graphic design houses are increasingly taking on multimedia and website work. Opportunities for designers also exist in marketing and business management services, printing and publishing and other areas such as computer service firms and post-school education. Surprisingly, only a handful actually work in film, video, radio and television. With years of experience, graphic designers may choose to become art directors in advertising firms and also the media.

  • The sorts of things that designers bring to life include:
    *multimedia products like CD-ROM's,
    *video games and information kiosks;
    *publications like newspaper and magazine advertisements;
    *trademarks and corporate logos;
    *TV graphics;
    *magazines, books, posters and brochures;
    *signs and billboards; and
    *even Disney movies!

    If you become a Graphic and Multimedia Designer you can work in a variety of different areas.

  • Designers generally work indoors in well lit and ventilated offices. Many also work from their homes. The designer's main tools are drawing boards and computer software packages. If you want to get into graphics today you need to be proficient in Apple Macintosh. All the colleges use Macs and software packages such as PhotoShop, Quark and Illustrator. It is also important to have excellent communication skills since there is a high level of client liaison, sometimes trying to sell or pitch ideas. You have to be able to sell a design idea and the first impression is really important. Sometimes the client won't like it, but by the time the meeting finishes, you need to convince them of your idea's worth. You may also use basic psychology, knowing how to read people's behaviour and somehow convincing them that your ideas are worthy of their financial investment.

  • Designers usually work between 40 and 50 hours per week. They may have to work long and irregular hours in order to meet deadlines, so designers must be flexible and able to work under lots of pressure. You'll also be operating within a team, so enjoying working closely with people is essential for one to succeed in this occupation. If you decide to start your own business, be prepared to work more than 40 hours a week since you'll also be doing the marketing, finding the customers and keeping the paper work sorted out. The potential for high earnings is also there.

    For further information, contact:

    Australian Graphic Design Association
    Phone: (08) 8410 9228
    Fax: (08) 8276 8003

    Design Institute of Australia (National Office)
    Phone: 1300 888 056