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A magazine designer is someone who is responsible for the visual layout of a magazine. The magazine designer uses photos, graphics and other forms of artwork to create the covers and inside pages of a magazine. A thorough understanding of the magazine’s target audience and analysis of market trends are necessary to make a magazine more visually appealing than that of the competition.
Work for magazine designers who apply as permanent employees is found wherever there are magazines being published. Many freelance designers work remotely from their home office across the country from the headquarters of the publication that has contracted them to do work.
Although the specific education requirements for becoming a magazine designer may vary from employer to employer, many publications seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, graphic design, journalism or similar fields of study.
Some employers may hire magazine designers with little or no formal post-secondary education, provided they have many years of relevant work experience.
Such experience may include working for a magazine publication in positions of progressive levels of responsibility, or working in related careers, such as Layout Designer, or Graphic Designer.
In order to become effective in a career as a magazine designer, and perform your job duties with competence, you need to posses a certain set of skills, including:
• Advanced computer skills, including graphic design software such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop
• Able to apply creativity to technical work
• Marketing skills (are necessary to find work, if working as a freelancer)
• Able to schedule and prioritize tasks
• Excellent attention to detail
• Able to work effectively with other professionals, such as writers, editors, and graphic designers
• Able to balance the various needs of a publication’s visual layout, such as aesthetic appeal, advertisements, and captivating content
Many magazine designers begin their career by directly applying for open positions with magazine publishing companies after graduation. They may apply in the areas of layout design, copywriting, artwork and others.
If there are no available positions in the organization that you wish to work for, it is worth considering applying for an entry level job with them. This will allow you to get your foot in the door and impress them with your work ethic. When an open position becomes available in a role you desire, you will have a much better chance of being considered than an outside applicant.
Arranging an internship opportunity while you’re still a student is a great way to get a head start on your career, as this will help you gain valuable industry experience and make important contacts. Speak with your instructors and your school’s career services office, as they may be able to help you identify and apply for such opportunities.
ARE YOU FIT FOR THE JOB?
If you want to become a magazine designer, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a magazine designer:
• You have excellent abilities with graphic design software such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop
• You are able to delegate work to others
• You enjoy combining creativity with technical work
• You are able to schedule and prioritize tasks, and you have excellent attention to detail
• You are interested in solving complicated publication layout issues, such as balancing advertisements with content
• You are interested in working with computers as well as collaborating with others
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