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What is graphic design?

Graphic design greatly improves 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

Some famous graphic designers include Milton Glaser, designer of the I Heart NY logo, and Saul Bass, best known for his Alred Hitchcock movie posters. Did you know that most entry-level graphic design jobs require at least a bachelor's degree? So, get out there and add your name to this list of influential graphic designers by studying graphic design abroad.

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 will definitely be beneficial. Additionally, it is 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. By the end of your graphic design program, you will be an expert in programs like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. These practical skills will be especially helpful when it comes time to find a job after graduation!

Graphic design degrees, whether a Bachelor’s or Master’s, will also 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?

Are you interested in studying graphic design abroad but not sure where to start? Degrees in graphic design are available in many countries around the world. However, three of the top five graphic design schools in Europe are in the United Kingdom, according to the European Higher Education Fair. Universites across the UK are world-renowned for providing students with degrees in the ever-changing and exciting field of graphic design while also providing students with plenty of professional opportunities through internships and apprenticeships. It's no wonder the UK has become such a popular destination for students interested in studying graphic design abroad. However, according to the same ranking, there are also popular graphic design programs offered in Finland and Italy.

Furthermore, there are a variety of study options available within graphic design: 

If you already have a degree in graphic design, you may also wanted to consider pursuing graduate studies in graphic design. Graduate education allows students to choose a specialization within the field of graphic design while also proving to future employers that they take their professional development seriously. 

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 the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Typical entry-level education

Bachelor's degree

Number of jobs


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

So, do you think you have what it takes? Browse all of the graphic design degrees abroad to find the option that best suits you and your future design goals.


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