How to Become a Marketing Designer

Learn what qualifications and skills you need to become a marketing designer, and what your day-to-day job would look like.

Marketing design
November 10, 2021

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Considering pursuing a career in marketing design? Here is what skills, software and tasks you would need to know and be able to do in your everyday job.

A good designer working in marketing is much more than just the teammate that creates visuals for ads.

It is the professional working in-house for a company or in an advertising agency, that is in charge of developing the visual aspects of marketing campaigns, as well as developing and nurturing the brand identity of the company they are working for.

Although many graphic designers are self-employed nowadays, a good portion of them works as marketing designers in-house or in marketing and advertising agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for graphic designers in 2020 was $53,380 per year or $25.66 per hour. There were 201,440 officially employed graphic designers last year, out of which most work in the category “Specialized design services”.

Source: BLS

So, being in graphic design is a well-paid and interesting job. Of course, there are plenty of designer jobs, but the specific title “marketing designer” is more of a hybrid. In this article, we’ll explain what it entails exactly.

What does a marketing designer do?

The marketing designer will outline their own design process, manage the workflow, create visual assets and nurture the brand, so they need to also be able to organize their time and ideas well.

A marketing designer that works in-house for a single firm is responsible for generating visual assets for advertising, marketing pitches and publications that meet the company's goals, as well as maybe working on web design and landing sites.

A marketing designer in an advertising agency, on the other hand, is more likely to work on client demands such as digital and print advertisements, brand identity, packaging, out-of-home advertising, and other projects.

Marketing designers must develop effective and good designs regardless of the setting, products, or services they are working on.

A marketing designer develops a lot of visuals for marketing campaigns, internal optimization, business initiatives, and other projects.

If we're talking about an in-house marketing designer, we can imagine that person as the keeper and protector of the company's visual identity.

They must not only evolve and adapt their branding, but also infuse it into each and every project they do, ensuring that everything is coherent, consistent with the brand values, and always with the user experience in mind. As a result, they produce designs that not only reflect the brand effectively but are also simple to use, comprehend and enjoy in the perspective of the end-user.

If the designer works for an agency, they must be speedy, adaptive, and able to quickly learn a new company's brand. They'd be in charge of designing a variety of design aspects for various businesses, so they'd have to work at a different pace.

Some of the fields in which they will have regular tasks are:

  • Brand identity
  • Social media graphics
  • Digital advertising
  • Print advertising
  • Publication design
  • Branded merchandise
  • Websites and landing pages
  • Responsive elements, etc.

Education and career path

If you want to work as a marketing designer, one of the first things you should think about is how much education you'll need. A surprising 75.6 percent of marketing designers hold a bachelor's degree, according to Zippia.

They also discovered that master's degrees are held by only 5.7 percent of marketing designers.

Despite the fact that most marketing designers hold a bachelor's degree, it is feasible to work as one with only holding a high school diploma and getting an extra online education, or even being self-taught nowadays.

Working in different vocations within the industry might also prepare you for a career as a marketing designer. Many marketing designer roles, in fact, necessitate prior experience in a field such as graphic designer. Plenty of them, on the other hand, also have prior work experience as an art director or as a graphic design intern.

Skills you need to have

In order to be able to work on all sorts of marketing projects, marketing designers need to have insight into both the marketing and the design part. Here are some of the most prominent skills required to be able to work in this field.

  • Graphic design: A graphic designer follows basic rules and conventions when designing their products, and when this is paired with artistic abilities and the capacity to design something that resonates with the public, you may consider a graphic designer good and ready to lead a company.
  • Research: A skilled designer should be able to conduct independent research. They should be able to research the values and characteristics of the company they work with, their target audiences, their competitors, as well as the trends and tendencies of the industry.
  • Branding and nurturing: Branding and brand nurturing are more than just being able to create logos, typography, color palettes, and other branding aspects, despite the fact that it officially falls under the graphic design category. In order to develop a company's brand, the designer must be able to ask the correct questions, provide their own views and perspectives, and investigate all of the important variables.
  • Marketing: A thorough awareness of marketing ideas and methods, as well as spending habits, trends, and demographics, is required of a marketing designer. They'll be designing for a specific audience, and they'll need to produce assets that will appeal to them rather than just items that look nice.
  • Prototyping: The marketing design department will almost certainly need prototyping skills in order to meet the needs of the aforementioned web design projects. Because designing entire web pages from scratch is difficult, determining what has to be made, where it will be placed, as well as the colors, elements, and length of copy, goes through a prototyping step first.
  • Teamwork and organization: The marketing designer must be able to collaborate well with others, be open to constructive criticism, be attentive to input and other people's ideas, and, most significantly, be able to manage their time and projects under pressure.

Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.

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